Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Introducing Gamertag: CyberKnight

I am a gamer. I enjoy playing games, I like to read about games, I like to talk about games. I spend a lot of time in the forums on the gaming website While I do have a blog for personal and general, day-to-day stuff, I figure, why not create one that's centered on what I spend a lot of free time doing? Well, besides various computer-related projects, anyway.

For some perspective, I figured I might as well describe the kind of gamer I am, and for that, I might as well start off with who I am. I am a male, in my mid-thirties, married, with three boys, two of which are in elementary school and the third about a year old now. I am a Christian, and my politics tend to the right of the spectrum. By trade, I am a computer programmer. I've been writing in Microsoft languages since graduating college in the mid '90s, starting with BASIC for DOS; and I currently write web applications in C# and .Net 2.0. I run my own home network that includes my own mail, web, and file server -- the server is running Linux, and the clients are Windows.

I've loved computers and video games for as long as I can remember. I remember playing Pong, how cool it was to hook a device up to a TV to play a game. (I also thought it was strange, because it took batteries -- it seemed weird to me to have something battery-operated connected to something that you plugged in.) I remember when we got the Atari 2600, spending hours playing Combat in all its variations. My biggest problem was finding someone to play with. My parents weren't too interested. I moved around quite a bit growing up, so I found it very difficult to make friends, and those I did weren't as into these newfangled silicon devices as I was.

I played games on the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Commodore 64 (the machine on which I also taught myself to program), Sega Master System, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Sega Genesis/CD.

During and after college, my gaming platform migrated to the PC. When I got out on my own, I had all but abandoned console gaming. Trying to be a responsible adult, I figured that, if I was going to spend the money, why not do it on a platform that was good for something more than just playing games? I therefore missed the era of PlayStation, GameCube, and Dreamcast, and it was with detached bemusement that I watched the drama unfold with the PS2 launch, the hardware shortages and failures.

It was in 2001 when my father had come to visit, he mentioned that he had bought my brother (5 years younger than I) an "Xbox" and offered to buy me one as well. I had read about this new console and its PC-style hardware, and I was intrigued. Plus, someone had brought one into the office where I worked (although going out of style, this programming shop was in its final throes of being "cool"), and I was very impressed with the graphics and gameplay. I was still unsure about spending money on something that was only going to play games — but if my dad was buying it, it wasn't going to be my money, was it? We went out and got one with a couple games — a basketball game, to satisfy what was left of my college appreciation for the game; and Halo, which I had read was the reason you bought an Xbox.

The shift from PC to console gaming was pretty quick, fueled by the quality of games, the lack of a need to upgrade my aging computer hardware, and the fact that I could play without retreating from my family (since the Xbox is in the family room while the computer is in a bedroom). A year later, I signed up for the Xbox Live beta and was admitted in one of the later waves, which helps to explain why my Gamertag lacks random letters, numbers, or sequence of "x"s.

I suppose I am a bit of an Xbox fanboy. I do think other systems have their merits, but there's still a part of me that feels a little guilty about spending money on something that is strictly a recreational device, so I only want to have one; and if I have one, of course I want to feel like I have the best one.

So that gives you a basic idea of who I am and from where the opinions expressed in this blog come. I hope you enjoy your visit. Please feel free to stay as long as you like, and post a comment if you feel the need.

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