Pros, Pwning, and a Mess of Online Gaming

By Gavin "Blayd" Keating

Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Being a man with a Cable Internet Connection, I find that it is not only my privilege, but my duty to play online games. However, it would be about a year after I got my Cable connection that I would start playing them. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.

As with many people, my online gaming started with Battle.net. I played those old Starcraft custom games. Golems, Penguins, and a slew of other genres of whacked out game types were constantly on my screen. I have to confess that I wasn’t the best player in the regular games. In fact, I was downright horrible. So I was content with playing those custom games for about half a year, my favorite type being the RP’s. In these types of games, players were able to have unlimited resources and unit creation. The idea was to create a fictional world, and play out a story. It was an addicting and empowering game, being able to be God. This love for online RPG-esque type gaming lent to my lust for MMORPG’s (which, by the way, I still don’t know exactly what it stands for). After about a year, Starcraft got dull. The expansion pack brought a little life back to it, but I soon stopped playing it. I grew more and more attached to my AIM account, which is how I discovered FMC.

FMC was a dying, and now dead, Online Chat Room. A contact on AIM turned me onto it, and I was able to meet alot of new people. Most of them bitter (but hilarious), they instructed me on Nettiquete, the idea of proper net socializing. I started using the shift key, I used “lol” a lot less, and became a tad bitter myself. In FMC, I met a person named Arrianne. She was the one who truly led me to online gaming by introducing me to Ragnarok Online. An incredibly simplistic and addictive MMORPG, I spent hundreds of sleepless nights hunting powerful monsters for rare items and treasure. My very first class was Priest, thus Support classes will always be a favorite of mine. I was allowed to join her guild, and the hectic “Guild Hunts” ensued. It was a great experience. I felt like I was in a troope of famous heroes (which wasn’t too far off, the guild was eighth best in the game). However, like all things, it soon became monotonous. The same monsters, the same maps, everything was the same. I stopped playing, and contented myself to be a Forumer.

Through various contacts, I discovered Gaia. Although glitchier then a shrew on Heroine, the RP’s on Gaia reignited my love of Role Playing. Again, the same process. Months of addiction, followed by boredom, followed by non-attendence. Through Gaia I found vgcats.com. The artist of the online comic provided breaking news in the game world. He introduced me to both Maple Story (http://www.maplestory.com/intro.aspx), another MMORPG, and Gunbound (http://gunbound.net/), an artillery-type Online Game. The same thing happened, as with all the other online game I played. Now, I content myself by playing Continuum (http://beginners.subspace.net/), a Multi-player online version of Asteroids.

Two factors are present in every online game. The first is addiction. I’m not sure if it’s the sense of community, the game design, or something else, but all online games are incredibly addicting. Prepare to loose some sleep if you plan on getting into them. The other factor is, of course, boredom. It’s bound to happen with any game, and online games are no exception. Maybe not the first year, maybe not the fifth, but you will get tired of them. My final verdict? It’s worth all the patching, all the fees, and all other BS just to get a chance to show up some Newbie in an online game.

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