commented by: chris, andre.
W ith everyone else who visits this site, playing video games is still one of my passions, even though i will hardly be able to do so due to lack of time. but how did i get interested in these video games, what are my interests and what else is there to write about them??
i owe this magical attraction towards technology to my father, who even before i was born in 1994 equipped the apartment with all kinds of electronic gadgets. my parents actually owned a commodore c64 after the turnaround, but they forgot all the details about it. About which model it was or what they did with it. They could only remember one game, which they called "fron is beautiful. This one did not exist at my birth, but other things did.
About an IBM-compatible PC. Such a model, which you typically found on a desk at that time. in a desktop case with a very deep tube screen on top, equipped with a mouse without scroll wheel and a keyboard without windows keys. MS-DOS and windows 3.1 was THE station wagon par excellence.
the data transfer was done either by 3,5" or by 5,25" floppy disks. Unfortunately, no one could tell me the exact specifications. My father could vaguely remember a 486 with a supposedly 1 GB hard disk used for about. 1.500 DM. Bought in 1994. At least this is his view of things.
Me (on the right) with my sister on 31. march 1996 at the home pc.
(picture: frank puschak)
Gradually there were PC upgrades: from desktop to tower case, CD drive and for the acoustic background of course large and mostly tinny sounding loudspeakers. In a fancy beige case, of course. with great respect, i was also allowed to bang on the keys and watch the colorful movement on the flickering plastic box together with a family member, be it sister or father. And I’m not talking about a tv.
My father bought across the board. The main thing is a lot of software and games for the computer, may they run or not. So we also came to known titles like dungeon keeper, carmageddon, sim city 2000, jazz jackrabbit etc. Last but not least we owned dozens of shareware-cds, where you could play cool demoversions, before you decided to buy more levels for money. but as far as i know we never accepted this offer. Shareware remained shareware and full version remained full version.
The own gaming computer
Basically: if my father bought a new PC including equipment, I got the previous one. so i didn’t have to ask anymore if i could use the computer in the living room, rather i had to ask politely for playing games. for a long time i didn’t dare to ask my father, if he would lend me "need for speed: burning asphalt", because the cd-case of this game on his desk is still stuck in my mind.
I on 23. April 2000 on my own PC. (picture: frank puschak)
around 1999 or 2000 i had my own game box when i was 5 or 6 years old. Even if it was only enough for decently older games. I didn’t mind that at all, I can remember long hours playing "need for speed II" or "autobahn raser". Whenever I came across a game CD, I would insert it and start playing. At least I knew how to install and start windows 98 from the start menu. Besides these games I also played educational games bought from my parents, which were also a lot of fun. They didn’t take it too hard when I played slightly more brutal racing games like "road rash" (USK16) on the screen. If even the access to "death rally" (USK18) was not made difficult for me, which was on a CD, which I also inserted quite often into my drive, then you can say that they left the choice quite open to me.
But as you could already see from the titles, I was magically attracted to racing games. Since I have a certain weakness for cars (but I have absolutely no idea about engine technology), it must have come to this. Moreover, they were smooth-running and you could – hopefully – get started without a big tutorial. I was also influenced by my father’s interest in games, and my fascination with the train simulator "microsoft train simulator" from 2001 was particularly memorable. Graphically very interesting games with isometric perspective also excited me, even if I had absolutely no idea how to play them at all. Best examples are "age of empires" and "rollercoaster tycoon".
When it was time for me to go to middle school, my interest in action games started slowly. I was particularly taken with the "grand theft auto" series, because I also longed for games where you could run and drive. And just GTA finally offered something like this. But I was more attracted to the driving than to the gunplay. likewise with the venerable competition like "mafia".
Off to the gray zone
Does anyone still know these funny programs like "kazaa" or "emule"? All the internet sites showed that you could download demos or freeware with ease. But you could also download fancy full versions that actually cost something. With a 2 mbit/s, later 6 mbit/s, strong line it wasn’t mega fast, but you could get to your potential favorite games. These had to be paid for if necessary. Be activated with a serial number from a text file or you needed a copyable nocd-crack from these artfully designed RAR archives. In times of increasingly difficult to crack copy protection measures such effortless things are no longer given, but at a later age you have the money and the possibilities to get cheap and above all legal games. Be it through ebay, classifieds, buying and selling stores or flea markets.
It was a fun time, but I would definitely not do something like that anymore today. But the whole world of technology had to be discovered and such things belong to it. May they still seem so dirty to you. I was young, I didn’t need money and I didn’t have any. Interesting was the fact that I had my first experience of playing a game a few days before it was officially released using such methods. A ride into the zone that I do not want to return to with the best will in the world.
Moving, listlessness and upswing
The vocational school is calling, which is unfortunately far away, so the computer has to go with me. But what is this? Suddenly the lust for video games fades more and more. I didn’t want to concentrate so much on learning, because the great colorful internet pages have kidnapped me now. Among other things, the social media sites or streaming sites like youtube have brought me to my temporary lack of interest in video games, which you can actually think is impossible. It went so far that I even wanted to give up the PC. But I remained steadfast. The computer still stayed with me.
to escape the dilemma, i started a youtube-channel, where i could show all my gameplays to the whole world, but – as it always is in the beginning with youtube – not even a part of it wanted to see it. But there was a new problem. Since I was more and more interested in the older game titles, I wanted to present them authentically, but even with the numerous emulators I couldn’t find a reasonable solution. And then at some point the commented gameplays started, the internet knows them under the name "let’s plays".
With let’s plays and videos around games and technology I ran until 2018 a channel under the name "kepu94", here is the let’s play to the racing game "autobahn raser III: die polizei schlagt zuruck" from the year 2013 to see. The game was played here on a pentium-III-PC.
(picture: youtube/kevin puschak)
Since I also wanted to focus on older games, it was a bit of a gamble: game A ran without any restrictions under the latest windows and could be recorded without any problems, game B could be completely different and absolutely no recording was possible, let alone working under current systems. So slowly but surely the retro fever hit me.
So I started to buy older computers from different eras, for example a 486 for DOS and windows 3.1-games or a pentium II for windows 95/98-games, if then even with glide-interface, which promised you even nicer graphics and smoother textures. The newest games were of course still played on the main computer and the renunciation of emulators was perfect. because it was very authentic to watch how an older computer game ran on a contemporary system. A feeling that is hard to get through emulators. even if it’s more expensive with real computers in terms of purchase and power consumption, it gives me a much more comfortable feeling. Combined with the love of the running technology and the hate of the striking technology.
The change of buying a game
Since you had the financial means at your disposal at a higher age, you could buy and afford games on your own. I don’t really remember buying games when I still lived at home, but that could be more or less because I continued to help myself to the enormous amount of software at home or because my parents paid for the games. At least my first purchase at amazon in 2012 was the game "trackmania united forever" for 9,99€ in the hammerprice-edition. Not very elaborate, not much in it, but the DVD inside contained one of my favorite games. having a steam account also opened up new horizons for me, that of buying games digitally. Suddenly a few clicks and a download were enough to get to the game. Even if I was not completely comfortable with the fact that you had to buy a game first to be able to add friends.
Anyway, in "spiral knights" I found my very first game, which I downloaded from steam. I found it very cuddly, click by click to do the battles and bag lots of items. But the addition of friends has already appealed to me, which is why I reached for a very cheap game: "home". Until today I have hardly played this pixel horror game.
Of course I also had to buy them at the sales, where you could get high quality games for absurdly low prices. last but not least i got valves own titles like half-life or portal, but also some GTA games ended up in my library. In the meantime, I rarely buy anything from steam, every now and then I take advantage of free offers or get presents, because this kind of distribution has become a bit boring for me. Above all, the strict binding to steam causes great concern. GOG sets a better example. Unfortunately there is a certain popularity boost missing.
the game collection is bursting at the seams.
(picture: kevin puschak)
More symapthic to me were the so called big box games: games packed in cardboard boxes, a bit bigger than DIN A4. This suggests a lot of content, which is also sometimes confirmed. besides the cd cover, there was a really thick printed manual every now and then and some goodies or the good old registration card on the side. So that the publishers would know on which box the good buyer was playing the game. It’s just funny that some systems are listed, which don’t even meet the minimum requirements.
The boxes take up a lot of space and can be expensive, but they look nice on the shelf. Especially since well preserved and above all rare copies deserve a special place. But you have to rely on other sources of procurement. No electronic discounter, no supermarket, here auction houses, flea markets or small ads rather come to mind. Banging for the best condition at the lowest price. With a bit of luck this will work, rarely with very popular titles, but often with lesser known titles that no one else wants to have. what upscale game collector would want to add "autobahn raser" to his hall of fame??
Enough about pcs, what about consoles?
The PC has the highest priority for me as a gaming station, because I personally would be too lazy to turn on the TV and the console in addition to my surfing on the Internet. But also in this world I was quite initiated.
let’s start small: very early we were in possession of the first gameboy from nintendo. The big clunky handheld, which was introduced in 1989, was a technical device at the beginning of the 90s, which could be put into every hand, whose fingers could move super mario through the crazy landscapes or push the blocks through the area in tetris. All in the backdrop of a grayscale display with green backlighting. Until today the number of gameboy games is higher than the number of gameboy color games. And that, although I own a color since some time. But i also prefer to use a more compact device with two AA batteries instead of four. But such a gameboy has also quite its character. The copy is still in working order at my parents’ house, although unfortunately with a yellowed case.
the family heirloom: a SEGA master system II with original controller and the game "sonic the hedgehog 2". (picture: kevin puschak)
But as strange as it might sound: we also had SEGA’s competitor in the house, the game gear. Technically this device was far superior than the gameboy anyway, just look at the display, which could show colors. With the included TV tuner, it was even possible to receive analog terrestrial television. I sat one day with enthusiasm in front of the part, as my father received with it the station "MDR television". But we had only one game for this handheld and that was a 4in1-collection with tennis, penalty shooting, racing and a copy of tetris. Especially since the part swallowed 6 batteries and was nevertheless faster out of breath than the nintendo competition. Unfortunately, this very nice device no longer exists.
Stationary we could only serve with SEGA. Besides a master system II, which can do less than its predecessor, but at least gives the possibility to run master system games, there was also a mega drive. First and foremost, the jump&run "sonic the hedgehog" was played the most on both of them. Speeding through the game world and collecting the great rings at the same time, which you lose again at a very stupid place at the latest. In the meantime, both consoles and games live with me and the collection will eventually be increased.
For a long time, we didn’t buy another game console, until we brought a nintendo wii into the house in 2009. For the beginning of course only with the game "wii sports". Suddenly moving while playing was really fun and hours of bowling with subsequent muscle soreness were guaranteed. But it didn’t stop there, more games were bought and with them a lot of accessories: wiimotion plus, balance board, the steering wheel from mario kart, charging stations, etc. every now and then the console is still used to play a round of golf. Which in my opinion works quite authentically with this console.
And a playstation? it was popular everywhere, even in my home neighborhood. I was more into PC games, others did this with games for this very popular console from sony. I hesitated for a long time, until one day I bought a sony playstation from 1997. Gradually, games such as "gran turismo," a playstation-exclusive racing game, were added, which made me curious just because of the enormous number of cars. The only thing missing at the time of writing is the real highclass titles like tony hawks pro skater or resident evil. There is certainly much more to get.
a thoughtful man. (picture: kevin puschak)
I’m firmly convinced that PC games will continue to appeal to me even in my old age, be it older titles I’m eager to discover or new ones I’ve never played before. Everyone knows but me, or new titles. Even if the latter has a harder time convincing me. But I am open for new and the one or the other would interest me there nevertheless. I could get very excited about "deliver us the moon" at gamescom 2018. But for consoles I also want to find a motivation to get to know them better. After all, they are an extremely inexpensive alternative to a gaming computer. Last but not least, the games were tailored to the console and ran accordingly well… more or less. And then this quick "installation": cartridge in, console on and off it goes. While on the PC one to four bars, in the background colorful pictures and with a little luck a loud and exciting melody could be admired.
I still don’t want to use emulators, as long as there are no 100% reliable ones, which allow an arbitrary emulation of all hardware. And the older PC boxes will also last for quite some time to come. Hopefully. the still sealed commodore C64 of the first generation, which i can call my own for some time now, is still running perfectly, but i still have to discover the large palette of games. Giana sisters, winter games and how they are not all called. Home computers enjoy cult status these days anyway, which is why koch media released a modernized mini-version of the C64. But as you hopefully got to know me through the text, I prefer the original as well. Even if my curiosity is aroused by new editions of such things.
And do I want to lose just one thought to ever completely give up playing? Never. There are too many games for that, which I would like to discover very much, respectively. What I would like to leave my impressions about. From the point of view of a young adult, who is only slightly older or even younger than these games, such impressions seem extremely young, fresh and particularly interesting. Even if you have played it yourself or it has been reviewed by journalists of different game magazines like PC player, PC ACTION, power play, PC games etc. There are similar opinions about it.