Monday, January 25, 2016

Remembering Computer Gaming World

Demo disks from CGW
One of the nice things about having a blog (or a diary), is the ability to go back and know exactly when something or someone entered or left you life.  One of the things we did over Christmas break was clean out our old CDs and floppy disks and I found the demo CDs that were included in my subscription to Computer Gaming World (CGW) from about 2002 to 2006.  In the days of very cheap old games from Good Old Games and other sites it didn't make sense to keep them, but it did make me nostalgic for the many years where I would look forward to getting a copy in the mail.

A TI 99/4a I bought in high school was my first computer and I probably got it when it first came out in 1981.  At the time, it was the first 16-bit home computer that was available and well ahead of the Commodore, Atari, and Apple computers that were it's main competitors.  Being more advanced didn't really help if people wouldn't pay for it and it was discontinued after two years.  However, for learning programming, word processing and some light gaming, it served me well until I bought my first IBM compatible computer (a 386) probably around 1989.  I was never good at picking the popular choice as I also had a Mattel Intellivision when Atari ruled the video game space.

While I was in college I had a friend from high school who had an Apple computer and I would visit his house and play computer games (mainly RPGs) with him.  I also remember visiting my brother a little later and playing Warlords and F19 Stealth Fighter with him (I'm guessing it was 1989).  Around that time I found CGW and was amazed to be able to read a magazine totally about Computer games.

I always liked statistics and I remember being fascinated by the listing of best games that they would calculate based on a mail in survey they received from their subscribers.  Later it changed to an online survey and then they dropped it all together.  I also remember the Scorpia articles where she would provide hints to questions asked by her readers, which is difficult to imagine is this again of instant internet answers.

I probably subscribe the the magazine for 16 years between 1990 and 2006 when it shut down and it existed about 9 years before I started subscribing to it.  I would sometimes look at PC Gamer (which started 12 years after CGW), but I loved CGW with its focus on technology and strategy besides the hype associated with whatever was the next big thing.  I kept all the issues for many years, reducing to one per year at some point and finally getting rid of them all a few years ago.  There used to be a CGW Museum that had many of the old issues, but it isn't currently online, so I can't look at those old issues there.

In this Internet age, with all the sources of games news online, I don't need a computer game magazine and I'm not sure how PC Gamer still exists, but, almost 10 years after it stopped existing, I still have fond memories of reading each issue cover to cover when it arrived.

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Gaming 2015

Happy 2016!  Yes, I'm already 2 weeks behind, but better late than never.

I used Raptor to confirm what I played in 2015 (based on what I had recorded in January).
  • World of Warcraft - 371 hours
  • Minecraft - 27 hours
  • Don't Starve Together - 7 hours
  • Guild Wars 2 - 3 hours (14 hours recorded)
  • Games with more than 1 but less than 5 hours
    • Banished
    • Diablo III
    • Bastion
    • Civilization V

Yes, not a lot of gaming outside of World of Warcraft, but it is probably even less than it looks like.  I reduced the Guild Wars 2 time because I'm pretty sure most of that time was spent installing and upgrading the game over a couple of nights.  Some of that Minecraft time was one of my daughters playing with my her friends, but generally I think it's pretty accurate.

In World of Warcraft, I generally spent between 30 minutes and an hour most days doing my garrison tasks and the rest was primarily leveling my five level 90 or above toons.  With the advent of the WoW Token, most of my time playing was free, so I don't think 45 minutes a day was bad to let me play free for the rest of the time.  It is quite possible I spent more time in the Garrison than every other place combined in 2015, but that is part of being a casual player who wants to use tokens.  I was still able to make some progress.

The Minecraft and Don't Starve Together time was primarily time spend playing with my daughter.  It'll be interesting to see if this grows as two of my daughters are now old enough to want to play computer games, but not so old that it is not cool to play with their father.

I enjoyed all four of the games I played less than 5 hours, but was never able to get into any of them much.  I just played the Diablo III trial and I am still hoping to find it for $10 or $20 with the expansion, but that might not happen.  Bastion and Banished were both Steam sale purchases that I enjoyed but never played much.  I bought the complete Civilization V also on a Steam Sale (I had the original game for quite a while), but I only played one game of it and I'm not even sure I completed that game.

I posted on this blog 21 times in 2015, a little less than twice a month and significant less than the 28 times I did in 2014.  I would like to get back to posting most weeks.  On a positive note, I kept up with reading my blog roll in 2015 and even commented a little more with some incentive from Blaugust.  Besides posting once a week, I'd like to comment at least once a week as well.  I enjoy the game/mmo blogging community but I'm not a full part of it unless at least some of the communication is two ways.

I wish you all a Happy, Prosperous and Fun 2016!