Do You Game?

I used to love FPS games; but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost most of my taste for them. Probably because my reaction time is down and I’ve had less spare cash for PC upgrades to be able to run modern FPS games.

I’m also a bit cheap so I don’t tend to go for the latest console systems. Though I did end up buying a Wii last year and have been enjoying it greatly. Specially the Lego games (Lego Star Wars, Lego Indian Jones, etc..).

I’ve also played Rock Band/Guitar Hero at friends’ places and enjoyed those as well but haven’t picked up it yet (cheap + pricey controllers = delay in buying).

In response to Do You Game? by Shawn Powers.

Do any of my readers game? If so what do you like to play?

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As you probably know from my Twitter, I play games on my computer. I feel kind of silly about it sometimes; a grown man with other responsibilities like kids or even maintaining my sinking-ship of an old house, spending what free time he can find playing imaginary roles in front of the computer. But I sure do have fun.

I think the cost to maintain a computer good enough for gaming has gone down considerably in recent years, mostly due to the price of graphics cards plummeting. What would normally cost $300 5 years ago can now be bought for $130. The total system cost still isn’t as cheap as a Wii or Xbox, but if you already need a decent computer anyway (we edit home movies), another $130 for a nice graphics card is much cheaper than the consoles.

But on to your question, I’ve found FPS’s to be hit and miss for me. I’ve LOVED the Half-Life series, especially Half-Life 2 and it’s episodic sequels. But other games like Dooom 3 I’ve tried but ended up quitting before I was very far in. I haven’t even tried any of the wartime FPS’s that seem so popular these days, and I don’t really have anyone to play the on-line FPS’s with (Left 4 Dead looks like a lot of fun).

It’s been years since I picked up an RPG (not counting a couple years of World of Warcraft with my wife), but I’m glad I tried Fallout 3. It’s been a lot of fun, and I find myself looking forward to every small block of time I can find to play it at home.

I also enjoy the casual puzzle game here and there. World Of Goo is wonderful.

I play the occasion flash game online, like at fantasticcontraption.com, but I don’t own any consoles or games for computers.

I still enjoy play RPGs of the P&P (Pencil and Paper) variety.

I have to disagree with the cost of maintaining a good computer. The mid-range graphic cards I used to look at cost in $175-$250 range. Today’s $175-$250 video cards tend to be bottom barrel1. So even if I’m out of touch on buying components to upgrade, a console is still far, far cheaper than an entire new system.

I quite agree FPS games can be hit or miss. Most by Valve are excellent (especially Portal!) but other than those, Unreal Tournament (the original) is probably the last good one I played. And playing online (particularly with an outdated system) is an exercise in frustration. Since I don’t have time to play constantly I get regularly owned by kids with nothing better to do.

RPGs tend to be better than FPS games for me as I get older and my reactions slow down, but more casual games (e.g. the Lego games mentioned above) are best of all. Easy to pick up and play any old time I have the time & inclination to do so.

And while P&P RPGs weren’t really part of the original poster’s question, I still enjoy them and play them when I can.

1 Or at least they were the last time I was looking. My main desktop is … disturbingly out of date, particularly for somebody who works in technology.

Oh and I forgot to mention I also enjoy playing flash games over at Kongregate for those long days at the office when work is slow to trickle in. *grin*

How could I forget to mention Portal? Great, great experience.

The ATI Radeon HD 4850 and NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ are both around $150 (often under with mail-in-rebates) and can run most current games with the graphics settings maxed out and still get decent frame rates. Granted, I’m taking reviewers’ words on this, but I’ve been impressed with how my Radeon 4850 has handled what I’VE thrown at it. I still see the financial advantage to buying consoles though.

I really want to play a P&P RPG someday. It really sounds like a lot of fun, and my lack of experience really hurts my geek cred.

Ah but both of those require PCI Express or whatever you kids today call that new-fangled computer slot. In my day, we had AGP and we liked it! :p

Which is another way of saying my desktop pre-dates PCI Express. I did say my desktop was disturbingly out of date.

Thanks for the linkback. 🙂

I do have to agree Portal is crazy fun. One of the few games I have been able to complete.

Also, my kids are another story altogether. They seem to like games of all kinds.

No problem. You were talking about a topic that interested me and I’ve been trying to do more with my site anyway… So copying my response here made sense and if I’m going to post my response, it’s only fair to point back to what I’m responding to.

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