Assignment #1 and Introductions

Hello Everyone!

Your first assignment is to include introduce yourself by posting your personal Game History. This Assignment is due Monday June 9th by midnight.

As a child what types of games did you like to play? Include things like board games, imaginative play, sports, cards etc.. Be specific. How did these games influence your personal growth, your development in game play.

What games did you play in your teen years?

What games do you play now, in adulthood? Has your choice in games changed? If so, how and why? If not, why do you think that is the case?  How much time to you spend playing games?

If you don’t play games, why do you think this is the case? Does this say anything about you as a person?

What does your choice in games say about you? 

In creating your personal gaming history BE SPECIFIC. Provide names of games, how long you may have played them, how you felt about them then/now, etc…

This assignment should be posted below.


My Introduction and game history in brief:

When I was a kid, I was fortunate to have an aunt who worked for Milton Bradley, so we grew up playing a lot of board games such as: Monopoly, Hungry Hippos, Battleship, Connect Four, Trouble, Life, Don’t Break the Ice, Don’t Spill the Beans, Clue, an operation. I preferred games like Clue and Monopoly – the other ones just stressed me out.

We also used to play a lot of card games like Uno, Old Maid, Gin, Rummy, and Cribbage.  I like card games, but HATED playing with my mother (she ALWAYS won and it drove me crazy – still does.) I still like playing cards and still hate playing with my mother.

We also had an Atari and a Commodore 64 system (it helps when your dad is a computer geek) when I was young (yes, I am that old!)  They games were (like Pong) were fun, but soon lost their appeal.

I didn’t really think too much of video games or gaming until college, when Tetris came out. I played FAR TOO much Tetris. I dabbled with some MUD games (but can’t for the life of me remember which ones – they obviously were not that memorable.)

Other early graphics based games I remember playing and loving are Mysts of Avalon and Civilization (actually have a fun memory of visiting my sister in Georgia and spending the entire weekend with in my pajamas because we were too busy building a civilzation to get dressed.

Most of my recent (i.e. 11 year) gaming experiences revolve around playing with my daughter. We played a variety of games of her Leapster and when she graduated up to a Nintendo DS – I had my fair share of Nintendogs and Pokemon. Currently, we have a Wii and an XBOX Kinnect. Games that we play range from Rayman Raging Rabbits,Lego Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars,  Lego Indiana Jones and Minecraft (actually as I type this my daughter, her cousin and her friend are building luxurious houses in Minecraft.)

I prefer fantasy, problem solving games to first person shooter, but have been known to play the later (I especially enjoy the graphics of games like Bioshock.) One of my favorite games for the PS is Little Big Planet, I really love the ability to create my own game space. My phone has games like Zombie Tsunami, Zombies Ate My Friend, Haunted Nigh, Various versions of Angry Birds, and Fruit Ninja.  I will often play when I have a few minutes to spare or to detox and wind down after teaching


28 thoughts on “Assignment #1 and Introductions

  1. Natalie Masucci

    Natalie Masucci
    CP 470A
    Game History

    As a child, I never wanted to play pretend. I saw it as “stupid” and so fictional that I was “
    too young to look that far ahead now” ( second point was mainly about when friends or cousins
    asked me to play house or anything career related). Instead of these games of imagination, my
    father started me at a young age with technology. Yes, like most toddlers, I did watch Barney on
    tv and go to preschool, but unlike those children who often went on playdates after school , I
    came home and played on the computer. My dad bought me my first “personal computer” when
    I was 5. On this computer, which was built for children of my age, were games that thought you
    advancement in math and vocabulary. One can say that these were all a part of my first
    introduction to the world of video games. This started my whirlwind interest in what the
    computer had to offer for me. By the age of 8, my dad set me up with my own desktop computer
    and bought me many pc games that were based upon movies or toys that most children my age
    would be playing with ( E.c. Rugrats in Paris or Barbie games). I soon found myself beating all
    these games and seeking more. Outside of the video game world in my youth, I also was big on
    classic board games like Clue and Monopoly ( which I also played with my father because kids
    my age never seemed to be into what I was into). Looking back now, I can see that my father
    was truly the person who set me on the pathway that I now love. He introduced me to so many
    games and I picked them up quickly and was so happy with what I was learning, I did not even
    notice how the puzzles inside the games were helping me learn things that were also essential
    in schooling.
    Entering my teen years, I hit a snag. A lot of games being released for the PC were
    either too young for me or too old. When the Wii came out, my family purchased it because it
    was believed to be aimed at all age levels. Little did we know then that not many games would
    be released for the Wii and how expensive the games would come out to be. The only games
    we ever ended up purchasing for the Wii were Just Dance and Call of Duty Black Ops and we
    rarely ever even played them because we only had one remote and one nunchuck anyways.
    Instead, I turned myself over to The Sims 3. I loved the idea of being able to make a family and
    a house , play as the characters, and doing what you want to do with complete control. This
    relates back to my childhood on how I never wanted to play house because it was too far into
    my future. Now it wasn’t so much so my imagination was finally set free. To this day I still play
    Sims 3 and have it on my Mac. I still have equally as much fun as I did then.
    Towards the end of my teen years and entering my adulthood, I found my interest in
    gaming take a plunge. No one around me seemed interested in any sort of gaming and it felt
    like there was an emptiness in me. I then started to date Josh. Josh was an avid gamer and had
    a love for some certain internet personalities who are gamer. I , at first, thought the idea of
    youtube gamers were stupid and often Josh and I butted heads. Eventually, Josh dumped me.
    Once again, bored and empty without my gaming side, I was lost. I decided to look into these
    youtube gamers. The first group I ran into was Rooster Teeth/ Achievement Hunters. The first
    video I was ever seen of theres was their Rage Quit of Surgeon Simulator 2013 ( which now has
    over 9 million views). I felt as if my emptiness was filled. The games I could not afford and did
    not have the consoles to play on were getting played hilariously. It made me happy. One can
    definitely say my style of gaming has definitely changed because I now watch these youtube
    gamers religiously . In fact, at Rooster Teeth’s convention in July, I will be helping them film a
    short ( I am super excited for this) . I now have an xbox 360 and I am an avid Minecraft player.
    Between watching the youtubers and my own gaming, I spend most of my free time gaming and
    I personally love it.
    I believe my game choices show that I prefer to have fun with my gaming. I do not like
    more serious games like Watchdogs, but I prefer more comical games like Goat Simulator or
    more whimsical games such as Zelda : Wind Waker. This shows the childlike side of my
    personality and how I still never want to grow up.

  2. Jennifer Machura

    Hello! My name is Jenny Machura. I’m a Senior majoring in Cinema with a minor in RTD. Along with video and computer games, my interests include reading, writing, art, and filmmaking.
    I was born in 1978, so I wasn’t really surrounded by sophisticated technology when I was younger. I did have a Speak & Spell (almost every kid did) and a really slow Texas Instruments computer that was hooked up to the TV so we could play “video games” such as Munch Man (a really bad Pac Man ripoff) and Alpine Climber. I do remember playing lots of board games and my two favorites were Chutes & Ladders and Candy Land. My whole family also spent many nights playing the board games Pictionary, Trivia Adventure (like Trivia Pursuit, but for kids), and Wheel Of Fortune (my brother always insisted on unveiling the letters on the board).
    Creative play was also a big deal when I was growing up. Since my dad was a graphic designer, artistic projects were always encouraged. In addition to making my own drawings, I also used coloring and paint-by-number books. On hot summer days, my mom (who probably wanted us out of the house for a while because we were driving her nuts) would give my brother and I paint brushes and cups of water and tell us to “paint the house”. We would paint the bricks on the side of the house with water and pretend we were professionals. I know it sounds pretty lame now, but back then we though we were so cool!
    The Atari 2600 was all the rage when I was a kid, but because of my parents’ frugality, we didn’t have one. My best friend who lived down the block did, and that was my introduction to video gaming. We played games like Frogger, Breakout. Pole Position, Centipede, and of course Pac Man. We didn’t really play it that much whenever I was there, it was more of a novelty thing that was reserved for weekends and rainy days.
    I think the board games that I played as a child, as well as the other more creative games I played, definitely influenced my creative growth and my imagination. I was able to develop stories and character bios in my head (and still do, even though I’m kind of in a creative drought right now). The downside is that I feel as though a lot of my creativity has diminished through the years, due to both technology and my own bitterness. I wish I could get that enthusiasm back.
    In terms of development in game play, what I played when I was a child has made me competitive (especially when it comes to board games). For some reason, if I lose at a board game, I feel dumb. It’s very silly, but when I was younger, I played with some very competitive people who sometimes laughed at “the loser”.
    When I was a teenager, my brother got the Nintendo Entertainment System (the original) for his birthday. Of course, we constantly fought over whose turn it was to be Mario, Link, or whatever character that was on the screen. We played Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Rad Racer, Metroid, Gyromite, Excite Bike, Kid Icarus (which is still impossible for me to beat!), and tons of other games that now look archaic (but back then were cutting-edge).
    My choice in games now has changed a bit. I do enjoy a good action video game every once and a while. I have played and enjoyed some Playstation games when I was in my mid-20’s, such as Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and the Resident Evil games. Now I prefer puzzle and strategic games on my phone and online. I guess it’s because I’ve calmed down a bit and I don’t need that much stimulation. I like the challenge that these games bring to me. I also know that if I bought a gaming console for my house, I would probably never leave. I spend maybe an hour a day playing games, depending on how busy I am.
    I’m not quite sure exactly what my choice in games says about me. I guess back when I was a kid, I expressed a lot of creativity through the games I played. I loved playing with others (except when it sometimes came to board games), but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve isolated myself in my gaming, now just playing games on my phone that only I can see. I’m sad and embarrassed to say that I can’t remember when the last time was that I played a board game with other people, but I really think this advancing technology that we’re surrounded by has isolated many people when they play games.

    1. Jennifer Machura

      I forgot to list some of my favorite games that I play now (which are all on my phone): 2048, Farm Heroes, Jelly Mania, Monument, Red Remover, Two Dots, and Beyond Ynth.
      I also play Fez and Sugar Sugar on my laptop.

  3. Clayton Goodman

    Clayton Goodman
    Hello. My name is Clayton Goodman and when I was a child I would dress up in a blue suit and make up Presidential speeches and perform them for my mother. My first computer was a Macintosh 2 that sat in my room and had a fun Lion King game on it. I did this from ages 4 to 5. Around the same time, my brother and our neighbors would play Army and “Star Wars” all day during the summer and fall. I was always serious with imaginative play. Things had to be a certain way for me. I also had a Nintendo Entertainment system and a Sega Genesis and played “Jackal”, “The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey and Minnie”, and “X-men” for about twice a week. “The Man Hole” Our family usually had a game night and would play Monopoly, Spy Alley, and Bee Safe or Bee Sorry every Sunday until I was 7. Legos and puzzles were my favorite pastime in my early years until “Pokemon” came along. I would play football, hockey, soccer, and baseball with friends throughout my childhood and was obsessed with keeping score. My friends around our neighborhood called me “Scoreboard”.
    I was very organized in my game playing and wanted to do things to the fullest. In the “Freddie Fish” and “Putt-Putt” games I would have all the items to beat the game and still roam the ocean for the last purple sea urchin or such. If anything, my need for completion has only grown in these past few years.
    In my early teen years I discovered the RPG in “Lord of the Rings: The Third Age” and “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic”. I loved to play them over and experience all the different opportunities. I played “Star Wars: KOTOR” to completion 9 times throughout my teen years (4 on dark and 5 on light). My imaginative play did not fully stop as I would ride my bike and my little games for myself or imagine I was on the moon of Endor chasing storm troopers.
    I also found the “Final Fantasy” series in “Final Fantasy X”. This was the beginning of my video gaming lifestyle. At first I wanted to play the original “Final Fantasy” so I needed and NES. I went to Game Corner in Perryville and my eyes were opened. Over the next few years I acquired a Yobo famiclone (NES), SNES, N64, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Panasonic 3DO, Gameboy Pocket, Color, Advance/SD, PSP, and a SEGA Game Gear. My interest had turned into an obsession.
    Today, I continue to play video games and look at them with a more mature eye. I still want to complete games completely and look for games with long campaigns. Recently, I have played “Fear”, “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim”, and “Child of Light”. I look at games a viable art form and fight tooth and nail to have them viewed as such. I want to continue to fight for them until I die.

  4. Chelsea Spence

    Hello. My name is Chelsea Spence. I am a junior majoring in Cinema with a minor in Linguistics. I want to be a scriptwriter.
    Games have always been a part of my life since I was little. I have two older brothers that are seven and five years older than me, and so some of my fondest memories of when I was little involve me either trying to play games with them on the Super Nintendo or watching them play. We would play Mortal Kombat, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Captain Commando, Contra, and, of course, Mario. When I was on my own, I would play Mario Paint or Kirby on the original Nintendo, or if I was watching, they would usually play Mario RPG or one of the early Final Fantasies. The one game my brothers regret introducing me to was The Sims, a game I still enjoy to this day.
    I wasn’t only interested in video games though. I enjoyed playing board games with my family. My favorite ones were Clue and Parcheesi, though I grew out of them by the time I entered middle school. I would play card games like Uno and Three to Thirteen when my mother’s side of the family would come over for holidays, a tradition that still holds to this day, though nowadays I tend to drag my feet and groan when someone asks if I’d like to play anything besides Uno. My mother also tried to get me interested in sports when I was little, enrolling me in softball, soccer, gymnastics, and dance, but they lasted one to two years at the most before I was bored with those as well.
    The one thing, I feel, that has stuck with me through my childhood, is playing pretend. I would make up songs when I was little, I would play with dolls and pretended to be a teacher and make my stuff animals turn in assignments for grades at the end of class. My friends and I would make believe that we were characters from Sailor Moon and act out new adventures in the backyard or in someone’s pool, pretending that a villain was trying to pull us under the water. My cousin and I would even take his Yugi-oh cards and play with them like dolls, imagining the cards as creatures that had feelings and different areas of the room were different parts of a town or a house and we would make them interact with each other. I believe this is what has helped me be creative throughout my life, having a childhood that was so full of playing pretend. Even now, though I don’t play with dolls, I still catch myself daydreaming often, and I believe that it helps my stories and scripts.
    When I was a teenager, I was still very much hooked on Sims (my family might call it an addiction) and we had a Playstation 2. I loved the PS2, probably because it was the first system that I was really able to find some games that weren’t the normal side scrollers and first person shooters I as used to. My middle brother bought Sly Cooper and Kingdom Hearts, and I gobbled them up, wanting more. On my own, I discovered Final Fantasy X and would stay up playing it until my mother would scold me and shoo me off to bed. Then, unfortunately, the PS2 died, and my brother decided he would rather have an Xbox than get a new one. And while the new system was entertaining to watch for awhile, I lost interest in it and turned to the computer.
    Aside from Sims, which I would only play if I could invest at least two hours in one sitting, I would go on the internet and look for fun games to pass the time for shorter periods. I really enjoyed time management games like Diner Dash and Wedding Dash, which helped me later when I got my first job at a fast food restaurant. When I was on drive thru or at the register, I would pretend I was playing Diner Dash and try to click all the buttons and get the drinks ready as fast as possible, as if I was racing the timer.
    Nowadays, I don’t enjoy card games all that much unless it’s Uno, which I only enjoy because my mother gave me a special Nightmare Before Christmas edition that has special cards to make the game more interesting. I still play Sims, although it has evolved from the first one to the third, with all the expansion packs (thank goodness for birthday presents). I also seek out cool online games that will make me think about life, like Alexander Ocia’s Loved. I find it very cool to be able to hide deep messages in little online games.
    Recently, my boyfriend and I purchased a PS3, and I could not be happier to have a console again. We don’t have much yet, but we do have Little Big Planet, which is fun to play around with, Injustice: Gods Among Men, which is also fun when playing against friends, and, what I’m playing right now, Bioshock. Not Infinite, the first one. I love the story and the world of Rapture, though I’m not used to horror games, so I tend to jump and scream obscenities when the screen blacks out or something startles me. I want to play Portal 2, Beyond Two Souls, and The Last of Us after I finish the Bioshock series.
    Watching people play video games is still part of my life as well. My boyfriend plays games on Steam with his friends that live far away from us, so they can stay connected no matter the distance. I also like to watch a few Youtubers play games, particularly horror or multiplayer, just for the comments and shrieks they make while playing. Whether it’s Smite, Gary’s Mod games, Outlast, or Battleblock Theater, the commentary is always entertaining, even if what is actually going on in the game is not.
    My game choice has narrowed from when I was a little kid, but at the same time, a lot of those games I still find fun and nostalgic. My parents have a Wii, and we downloaded Mario RPG on to it to replay, and I still find it just as fun. As for board games and card games, I’m sure I will play with them again when I have my own family. I think the reason I lost interest in those because I was made to play them, and they didn’t hold my interest in watching, as video games do. One reason Sims has held my interest for all these years is because I can imagine a story around my sims. I make up a back story and give them goals, and with their actions, they continue to build the story around them and it lets me act out possible story lines.
    I think that my choices in games show that I enjoy a good story, whether I make it up, or play through someone else’s. Though a design may drop my jaw in awe, it won’t stay there if there is a bad story or bad characters. I hope that through playing and discovering new games, they will inspire me and help my own writing.

  5. Marta Parrillo

    Hello, my name is Marta Parrillo. I am a senior double majoring in Television and Cinema. I’ve always had a large imagination so playing games, especially imaginative play. Most of the made up pretend games I would play with my friends were either reenacting Charlie’s Angels or just simply playing house. I also played soccer when I was younger. As far as board games, I typically played the normal family games. I was huge into the board game Mouse Trap. I think that mainly the imaginative pretend games influenced my life in later years because it was a way to exercise my creativity and storytelling. This has helped my creativity and storytelling when I am trying to create a film script or an idea for a short film.

    1. Marta Parrillo

      I was on a swim team for eight years up until I was seventeen. That was the only sports team I was on at that time. I often also would go over to friend’s houses after school when I was sixteen to play the board game Risk. We liked to play Risk and Pictionary and occasionally Monopoly. But Risk and Monopoly would get a little too competitive, so we eventually decided it was probably better for us to stop playing board games. So we played a lot of pool instead. I would also play a lot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell video game, The Sims video game.

      I still tend to play a lot of pool but now that I’m older I play a lot of card games now. I also play several games on my iPhone when I’m bored and need some stimulation or brain exercises. The only reason my taste in games changed is because I’m usually more busy in college, so I don’t have time to play actual video games. I tend to just play games I have access to on the go. I probably spend about 5-10 hours a week playing games. It kind of depends on the day and what I have planned.

      I would guess that my choice in games says a bit about me in the sense that I really don’t enjoy playing many task video games and more the fun games with less action.

      The games I played as a child were computer games. I played Pajama Sam for several years and Sims as well. Other than those games I really only played Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, basically any Nintendo64 game, and Portal. Other than that I really don’t play video games anymore. I played the Sims for probably about two years when I was in Jr. High, but it was kind of occasional. Splinter Cell I only played three or four times with my friend when I was fifteen. Once we beat the game we never revisted it. I still enjoy video games and don’t have a different opinion about them, I just don’t play them as often.

  6. Parrish Colbert

    When I was a child in the me and my older sister used to play cards at my grandmothers house for hours. We couldn’t play with each other’s toys for obvious gender reasons; and didn’t have enough for a game system at the time. In fact the idea never even came into mind of owning a system to myself. Until my 10th birthday when my mother bought me a Sega Genesis from the thrift shop. I stayed up all night playing Mortal Kombat (the only game i had for it) and didn’t even come downstairs to eat that night. It was like being a part of another world and I was completely sucked into the countless levels and waves of combat. I began to get more games for my gneiss including Shinobi, Sonic The Hedgehog, and X-men. Eventually I started borrowing games from my friends. I’d get whichever ones I haven’t played and even borrowed my friends Super Nintendo to play the games he had for the system.

    Around the peak of me becoming a teenager my grandmother bought me and my younger brother a ps2. By this time my sister had outgrown the idea of videogames and after that I knew playing games would never be the same. With the new advanced technology I was overwhelmed. Any time I visited my grandmother I would be playing the game and was completely engulfed in getting to the next level. As a teen gaming was one of the few things me and my younger brother could connect on and relate with.

    Now as an adult I play a lot of open world games and classic titles that have been around in the gaming industry such as GTA and The Elder Scrolls. I have also been delving into more rpgs because I can now grasp the concept of them as my understanding of gaming has expanded over the last few years.

  7. Alex Wilson

    Hello everyone, my name is Alex Wilson. I’m a senior majoring in Cinema with a minor in psychology, and assuming I pass all of my summer classes I’ll be done with school for good! Video games have been a part of my life since I can remember, and I love them dearly. It’s hard to put an actual age on a lot of the games I played however, because I often owned multiple systems or played on multiple platforms, and I don’t ecaxtly remember when all of the games I played came into the picture. I’m going to start with the different platforms that I have owned through the years (and put them in chronological order to the best of my ability), then get into the individual games themselves that I played the most or feel had the most impact on me.
    The first console would have been the NES, followed by an old computer, which the monitor only displayed in black and green. After these, I received a Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, and Game Boy. My parents bought a computer that had Windows 95 on it sometime during this period as well, except I’m not sure where it fell into the order of the other platforms. Next in line were my PS1, Game Boy Color, PS2, Windows XP Computer, Xbox 360, PS3, and finally PS4.
    The first console that my household owned was an NES that my father bought for my sister. I was too little to play at the time, so most of the time when I thought I was playing, I was really just holding a controller that wasn’t plugged in. Once I was actually able to comprehend that a controller had to be plugged in to work, I was raised on games such as the Super Mario Brothers trilogy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Flintstones: The Rescue or Dino and Hoppy, and lastly Disney’s “Adventures in the Magic Kingdom”. These games and their variety really launched me into the video game world and gave me an appreciation for them, setting the base for my gaming future. All of the Mario Brothers, and the Flintstones I still own and play to this day.
    After the NES, I owned a Sega Genesis, of which Super Street Fighter 2, Streets of Rage 2, Sonic the Hedgehog (not sure which version), Toejam and Earl: Panic on Funkotron, and NBA Jam were my games of choice. I have fond memories of playing both of these consoles with both my sister and my father, of which took place before my teen years, although I’m not sure on an exact age.
    At some point in the same period, we owned a computer that could only show the color green (black background, green text). I vaguely remember playing Oregon Trail on this computer, which came on a floppy disk, mostly because I liked to go hunting (the only part where you got to interact in ways other than typing text in the game). This particular game didn’t have much of an influence other than it prompted me to buy another version of Oregon Trail years after. After this computer my parents bought the Windows 95 computer, on which I played learning games such as Curious George, Tonka Construction, and Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley.
    The first game that really took over my life would have been Pokémon Blue for my Game Boy. It released in 1997, so I am going to guess I would have been around the age of 8 or so when I acquired it. I would say this was the first game that I was “emotionally” attached to, and played over and over restlessly because of the joy it gave me (I was also heavily into the show and card game/collecting cards).
    Next the PS1 comes into play with Crash Bandicoot (my favorite being Warped), Crash Team Racing, and Spyro the Dragon. I played all of the Crash games, and purchased them on my PS3 and continue to play them to this day. Crash Team Racing and is probably one of my favorite multiplayer games to play with friends, and has never gotten “old” playing yet.
    Once we had a computer that was capable of playing games online, I got into playing NeoPets and Runescape at different times in my life. Both of these games consumed hundreds of hours of my life, Runescape probably reaching hours into the thousands. It’s pretty easy to say I became addicted to both of these, and was constantly thinking about playing them whenever I wasn’t. Runescape is pretty easily the game I have invested most of my time into out of all the games I have ever played, although I haven’t played for a few years (although I do still have the accounts).
    On the PS2 I was really into Star Wars Battlefront, and was introduced to my favorite game/s of all time, Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2. This was at the age where I wasn’t really “into” Disney anymore, but the nostalgia of playing with all of the Disney characters and the amazing story instantly pulled me in. I also enjoyed playing Cabalas Big Game Hunter, Madden 2006, Frequency, NBA Street, Twisted Metal Black, Shadow of the Colossus, and Guitar Hero.
    While I had my PS2, I discovered the game Halo on the Xbox and was instantly in love with it. My cousins had it (Both 1 and 2) and during the summer I would do anything to be able to go over and play it with them. This takes us to the release of the Xbox 360 and Halo 3. It was solely because of Halo 3 that I ended up deciding to switch from Sony to Microsoft. The second time my 360 RROD’d, however, I gave up on Microsoft and purchased a PS3.
    The games I played mostly on the PS3 were the Call of Duty’s, of which I played online fairly competitively. As far as series’ are concerned, the Call of Duty franchise takes the cake for most hours spent playing and the most money spent on games.
    Most recently, I won a PS4 from the Taco Bell giveaway before the PS4’s were actually released. I was lucky enough to actually have the system and be playing it about 4 days before they were released to sell in the US. I currently play Battlefield 4 on it, and have logged about 5 days worth of playing time, or ~120hrs.
    Overall video games are a big part of my life, and if I’m at home and have free times you will most likely find me playing one game or another. The games I am currently in to are Mercenary Kings, Borderlands 2, and Battlefield 4.

    1. Alex Wilson

      I forgot to mention I also played sports all through school growing up. When I was younger in grade school I played Basketball and baseball, in Jr. High I played Basketball and did a few events in track, and in High School I played Football and Basketball as well.

      As far as board/card games go, I enjoy playing them but not as much as sports or video games. I really like playing Settlers of Catan, but that’s about the only one I play now on a regular basis. I really enjoy playing Texas Holdem as well, however I rarely play due to not having any friends in the area who know how or want to.

  8. Austin Bennett

    Hey everyone! My name is Austin Bennett, i’m a senior this year at Carbondale and I’m majoring in Cinema & Photography with a minor in animation.

    What child never played make-believe? As a kid I used to dress-up as police and firefighters (both at once sometimes, I realized I was quite materialistic and I had to have EVERYTHING on.), build scenes and act out the daily life of a minifigure with LEGO, and run around on the playground playing whatever new show we were into at the time (pokemon was a staple, but Zoids, Beast Machines, Legend of Zelda, Yu-Gi-Oh, etcetera.

    I’ve always been big on card games too, starting with just collecting Pokemon cards but then hitting it big with Yu-Gi-Oh. Anyone still have a deck? I’m unbeatable, try me ;] I’m so glad I didn’t sell them like all my friends eventually did, all I have left is my brother to duel.

    I also grew up with a plethora of board games, Trouble, Monopoly, Risk (god that takes FOREVER, unlike the computer version which I also used to play), and Jumanji. FREAKING JUMANJI. Nightmare fuel of our generation.

    My folks didn’t let me have a console til I was in 3rd grade, so I was an avid pokemon player with occasional other games like Tetris and horrible 3rd party ones like Harry Potter on my original gameboy, gameboy color, and Gameboy Advance SP. Those were the golden years, and I’m so excited for Ruby and Sapphire to come back this winter. I’d always play N64 with my friends until I got a Gamecube, then a Wii. I’ve always been a Nintendo boy. Fought through The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Resident Evil 4, and I loved getting together with friends for a night of Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. I play Halo and COD quite often with my friends on their 360’s, but I’ve never really had the desire to own one of my own. Wanting is much sweeter than having, right? I keep my teeth sharp, but I don’t get bored of it.

    And onto the dark ages. I bought a PSP. I hate it. Sorry PSP fans, but jeez that was a huge mistake. It just sits in my closet now, I tried to sell it but I think we all have an idea how that market is. Guess it’s too late now….

    Now I have a 3DS (barely play my Wii, but I’m tempted to get a WiiU after I played Mario Kart 8) and I extremely enjoyed Pokemon X, plowed right through it over Xmas break, and I also played Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater. I love that it was the first chronologically, and it got me really itching to play the other ones. Very good game, if you have a 3DS I can’t recommend it enough!
    I also periodically browse the free apps on the app store for games, I’ve reluctantly bought EVERY SINGLE Angry Birds game that comes out for iOS, and I log onto the Minecraft Pocket Edition every now and then (i think that stems from my love of LEGO really early on). I think being a Cinema major I now tilt towards cinematic games, and MGS:SE was perfect for that.

    Well that’s my gaming history condensed! Looking forward to our discussions in this class!

  9. Jaylin Johnson

    Hello. My name is Jaylin Johnson, and I am a sophomore at Siuc and a Radio/Television major. I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can possibly remember. Because of this, I unfortunately do not remember all of the exact details of my gaming life, but I remember the most important thing in my gaming career and that is the expansion of my imagination.

    I started playing games around the time I was three. While I don’t remember exactly how it happened, I know that it was likely my father and my uncles that introduced me to. My uncle is the one who introduced me to many of my favorite franchises today. This ranges from Sonic, Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and many others. I started out with consoles that were a bit older than my generation, as when I was born 3d video games were just beginning to take off. I started with a genesis, an nes, and an Snes, which in time moved up to the N64, the dreamcast, the playstation, and so on and so forth.

    I never was a particularly huge fan of board games. My family and I would play a game of sorry on occasions but I usually preferred video games above other things. The main reason being that video games, at least in my eyes, did a much better job of fueling my imagination which was and continues to be extremely active. I use to love playing imaginary games with my cousins and friends and just playing make believe. I often came up with the rules and laws of the game and often was the one who assigned the individual abilities and assets to each character and player.

    As I got older I continued to play video games more and more and expanded my horizons to different genres until I eventually got into high school. Around this point the amount of gaming I did began to decline drastically. There were three main reasons for this. One was time, I was much busier than normal and I was going through many issues at the time. Two was money was much tighter for me when I got older. Three was simply because the gaming industry wasn’t as interesting to me anymore. There was nothing all that new and original to me anymore and nothing all that interesting was coming out as often as it used too. I still played games but no where near the amount that I used too.

    Now I am in college and have decided instead to pursue my own interest in the design and development of games. Games to me are a symbol of the kind of adventures I kind of wish that I could have and represent that childishly overactive imaginative side of my personality that just doesn’t seem to want to go away no matter how old I get. It’s not to use this as well as several other mediums as an outlet for storytelling and world crafting and that is what will always keep me coming back to this.

  10. Shane Newman

    Hello all, my name is Shane Newman, and I am a Junior in the CP program here at SIU. As a young child I remember the sort of make believe and play that seemed to be based wholly on imagination. As I began school sports became a large part of my life, and I happily devoted much of my time to these pursuits. As a result I stopped playing imaginatively, but also began playing video games on my dads computer. He had the old basic hunting games, of which I don’t recall the name. At this point, there wasn’t a game that grabbed my attention. Thats until I found the greatness that is GTA. I started playing the franchise with my older cousin whenever I would visit his house. He was several years older than me, and I spent countless hours of my 5th grade year playing Grand Theft Auto at his house, as my parents wouldn’t allow it. In 6th grade I began playing Runescape a horrible game, that while awful was somehow terribly addicting. I couldn’t tell you how many hours I spent playing that game, or how few days I went without playing it for a span of nearly 2 years. Noobs. All this while I played Halo and Halo 2 on my Xbox which soon became the focus of my gaming desires. I got an Xbox 360 when Halo 3 was released and played it more than any other game I have ever played, the hours I lost to it is just sad. However, as I entered high school I found myself playing video games less and less on my console. Alas this wasn’t the end of gaming for me. The handiness of games on the go during a boring wait were more tempting than any game before. I have played Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Fratty Bird, Chess, and a plethora of other games on my handheld devices. This appears to be the way of the future, with better quality games and ports of console games being released on an ever increasing basis. At this moment in my life I play NBA 2k14 almost exclusively when I do play games, which is less than 2 hours a week. Although I have spent much time gaming, I feel my time is better allocated in other pursuits.

  11. Dimitri

    Hello everyone, I am Dimitri. I’m 23 years old, a junior, and my major is cinema. I believe that, throughout the many years, video games sort of came my way through either my parents or word-of-mouth. When I was little, I honestly had a different childhood compared to my friends. My friends, especially those who were close to me, had multiple board games, ranging from critical thinking (like Monopoly) or silly fun (like Trouble). Not only that, they had access to video game consoles, N64s and the early PlayStation model. I was not so fortunate in that department because my parents completely did not believe in video games. I have to ask them why, but I have always known that they hardly wanted me to sit on my butt all day and stare at a screen. My parents encouraged board or card games instead. I’ve played the following board games: Monopoly, Clue, and Candy land. Cards were always our go-to games and I always will remember the game Uno. I have honestly lost count on the number of times we have played that game. Like Crazy Eights, another card game, Uno was about numbers and colors and each card had a specific color. The ultimate goal of the game was to drop all of your cards on the pile and not collect them. Some might not see this, but it is a rather intense game if you play with the right group of people.

    When I moved to my current hometown, I finally was able to play on my very own console machine. My parents bought a PlayStation 2 and that basically defined my entire teen years. My brother and I often played James Bond video games. My brother encountered Bond on TV, but as for me, I remember that a friend of mine had an N64 game called GoldenEye, a very solid first person shooter game. When we bought our first PS2 at a Best Buy, we had the opportunity of selecting a free game of our choice. Out of all of the games (and there were a lot), I wanted to buy Grand Theft Auto because my cousin had the series at his house. When I grabbed the game, my dad went with it, until the Best Buy employee, who was helping us, told my dad about its gore filled content. When that decision went south, I had to choose a different game. Luckily, I saw that PS2 offered Bond video games, and so so I went with a first person shooter Bond game called Nightfire. Honestly, it was a better choice because to this very day my brother and I still play it sometimes on our PCs via its PC version. The game introduced us to co-opping, or multiplayer gaming, a mechanic that was missing in GTA. The option was a must whenever we were buying video games because we only had one console at the time in the early 2000’s. After our first PS2 broke in 2005, I ended up receiving a PS2 for my birthday in the same year, and likewise my brother received his own some time later.

    When I entered high school, I finally was able to buy Grand Theft Auto. At the store, I went with the newer version at the time: San Andreas, while my brother went with Vice City, because my cousin had the same game on his Xbox. We both finished our games (it was a lot more difficult than Vice Cit because I remember I had to use cheats, something I should not have been doing). Needless to say, I was hooked on shooting/action games, either first or third person shooter. When the new Bond game, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, came out, it basically became our final PS2 games. My brother and I played that game way too much because the mechanics were tough. We struggled to pass a mission because the game’s AI were strong, even on easy, and the game had booby trap after booby trap. It was a nightmare. Eventually, we gave up because we were spending way too much time on it and I know my brother stayed up late playing it.

    My mom threw away our consoles right before I became a junior in high school. The option to play board or card games were still there, of course. Our PS2 years disconnected us from our years of playing board/card games with the rest of the family. After his time with the PS2, my brother ended up finding and started to learn Texas Hold em poker online and eventually we started to play that with our dad after we bought a deck of cards and poker chips. After my time with the PS2, I discovered online gaming myself. My friend introduced me to Minecraft, which I play to this day. It is not exactly a shooting game, but it is a game to kill a lot, not some, time with. The switch from shooting games to a game about building your own towns is drastic, but it is a nice feeling to not worry about being timed on a mission or if someone is chasing after you. As I age, my whole attitude toward games is slowing down and I am sort of distancing myself away from video games as well, but I do not think I will remove video games entirely from my life.

  12. Garretkay Willis Bonner

    My name is Garretkay and I am a junior majoring in Cinema and Economics. As a kid the kinds of games that I liked to play were fairly diverse, as I used to play with things like toys and Lego’s to fuel my imagination. I did like to play board games such as Monopoly, Clue, and Operation, and when the situation called for it I was shown how to play some card games which I did enjoy such as 21, War and the classic Go Fish. How each of these were able to influence my personal growth and game play was to be able to keep an open mind for different types of games and to cooperate with other people.
    As far as teen years I was mainly into video and computer games whenever I had the time and that has carried on since then. The choice in games has not overall changed from when I was younger.
    Some of my choices in games mainly in video games can say about me is that I have always enjoyed the action/adventure or fantasy genre mostly because I personally was always able to enjoy the plot of the story while playing through it as without something to drive the game overall some only have half the fun unless it a simple and addictive game like so many that have filled the Internet. This can say something about me because I would like to be a writer and that I enjoy a good story.
    How much time I spend playing games can vary but overall it is not an awfully lot of time overall. As of now I would maybe say that I have spent about two to three hours a week playing something. As to how I feel about some of the other games that I have stopped playing for the most part I have not completely lost interest in them. I see them as the type of things that were put down and could be revisited at some point.

  13. Ryan Freels

    I am Ryan Todd Freels, and I am a senior majoring in Cinema Photography with emphasis in Cinema. My minor is art. While I like to indulge in a of media, from films by Yasujiro Ozu to Adventure Time, my particular focus thus far has been gender in animation.
    As a child, I was particularly interested in the more cartoonish games, particularly Nintendo. Donkey Kong was my favorite because I was a big King Kong fan and loved gorillas. Which to read into more, shows I was trying to indentify with the more powerful character at the time, so essentially he was the male power fantasy. I also loved Poke’mon Red and Silver because I enjoyed pets and the idea of them with super powers seemed awesome. However I had internal conflict with the morality of Ash/Red, being I was against animal abuse, and even questioned the fate of his eternal soul (I was a weird kid). I suppose controlling super-powered animals was another way to engage in a power fantasy. The power fantasy would be heavily echoed by my love of beating stuff up with DK in Super Smash Bros. Classic and Melee. Power fantasies aside, I seemed to like fun and colorful game worlds into which I could escape.
    In my early teen years I was very into the Megaman Legends series. Aside from Poke’mon, I wasn’t into RPG because of the lack of action control. But I loved stat control. With Megaman Legends I could find parts for weapons and build up the stats of the weapons. I could also pick and chooses missions as well as continue, or take a break from the main mission. So I suppose I still wanted escapism but also I enjoyed agency with in those environments. I wanted to feel I had choices.
    In my late teens I loved the Kingdom Hearts games and Resident Evil 4. Kingdom Hearts I loved I felt it merged my modern love for anime with my nostalgic love for Disney. Resident Evil 4 expressed my love for horrow. Both were forms of escapism during times of stress. Another game was Mario Kart Wii, which I played with family, thus being for the social engagement.
    In adulthood most of my gaming went in to Fallout 3, where I enjoyed the heavy amounts of exploration for my escapism and the character control for my agency. It also had a retro futuristic vibe and post-apocalyptic setting, both of which I enjoy. After that I became interested in the indie game scene, and thus more interested in games as artistic expression. The only indie game I played all the way was Braid, being interested in its nostalgic throwback to old platformers as well as its commentary on the damsel-in-distress, revealing the protagonist to be a controlling and objectifying stalker. Other than those games I have mostly watched media studying games rather than played them, such as Feminist Frequency and Indie Games the Movie. My nostalgia is also noticeable in the video game based media I look up, such as Pokemon fanart and Dorkly videos.
    The one other game I have played consistently throughout all these years are super hero games. When I was a child I loved the Activision Spider-Man games. As a teen I love the Spider-Man movie games. Once adulthood came, I got into the Batman: Arkham Asylum and City. This is because I am still to this day a superhero geek, particularly for Batman and Spider-Man.
    Overall, my choice in the past largely reflecta a desire for escapism and control. I liked being able to explore place beyond my small town, but I also liked being able to have control over my character and defining them. While this is still true, the old me is also interested in studying games as expression (Indie Games the Movie) as well as in terms of gender representation (Feminist Frequency). While its still fun, I also feel as and adult I have developed more control in life, so I can also enjoy more linear games with out complete and open control of the character or there path.

    1. Ryan Freels

      Outside of video games, as a child, I liked to play board and card games such as Sorry, Monopoly, Clue, Mille Bornes, Uno, and the Game of Life. These became my ideas of family bonding, being it was an activity I often partakes in with family. Nowadays it has been revived, except instead of Parker Bros. games we play games you would have to go to a game store to find. They include Smallworld, Carcassone, Forbidden Island, Cyclades, Domininion, Seven Wonders, etc. I am also getting into the card game Magic of the Gathering and and the miniatures game Warmachines as ways to hang out with friends. Aside from socializing, the customizable nature of my deck and miniatures gives me the same sense of agency that many of the video games i liked did.

  14. Gage Cascio

    Hello! My name is shown above and I am a Cinema major and a born gamer. I started playing games such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and even Metal Gear Solid before I could walk. While these games didn’t help my increasing attention deficit disorder they certainly aided my cognitive and reactionary functions as well as introduce me to a world of fun and adventure (I say that non-sarcastically)! As a kid I had an infinite amount of time and hardly any responsibilities or expectations beyond simple household chores so games were a very accepted means of entertainment. As I grew older, my tastes were more broadened and refined. In my teenage years, although they weren’t that long ago, I played a lot more as an endless and ever growing library of games and technology allowed more engrossing and emotional stories to be told in this generation. I grew through adolescence playing games like Halo and Mass Effect, delving into personal yet grand universes. As I played more I further respected the advances of the storytelling and character personalities in games like Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us. I look forward to discussing these advances with all of you in a learning setting!

    1. Gage Cascio

      Also, E3, the yearly press conference where videogame producers get together to reveal new titles and technologies in the gaming verse. Check it ooooooooooout! It is available to stream on .

  15. Aaron Miller

    Greetings, my name is Aaron Miller and I am a Senior in the Cinema program.

    To say I was an imaginative child growing up would be an understatement. Growing up on a farm with often just my two sisters to play with, we had to get creative in the games we would play. Oftentimes we recreated the film Titanic with our stuffed animals (the cute animals would live and the ugly usually died, we were judgmental children). We also enjoyed recreating the terrible made for TV movie titled “The Flood: Who Will Save Our Children?”, which for some reason we watched over and over again. We also played a make believe game we called “Little One”, which consisted of my middle sister being the mother while my oldest sister was her daughter named Michelle (she was obsessed with Full House so she was always Michelle).

    As a child we mostly focused on make believe play, it was not until my mother won a sweepstakes at the local grocery store that we got our first video game console. We won a SNES, which was the only video game system my family had for the next 10 years. I still believe that the SNES is the greatest game system, I am not sure if it is because of the nostalgic value I hold towards it, but I still enjoy a go at the Super Nintendo.

    We enjoyed getting frustrated at Donkey Kong Country 1-3, we loved playing the Disney games that came out in that era (I swear by my belief that The Lion King for SNES is the hardest video game of all time), and I still have the repetitive techno theme music for the racing game Top Gear in my head. We were not exposed much to other gaming systems, so for the longest time my siblings and I were content with playing our few games on the SNES.

    1. Aaron Miller

      Whoops, I posted that without finishing…

      Anyway, it was not until around 2003 that my family got our first computer. On the computer I began to get into the “Tycoon” series of games that came out around that time. I had anywhere from Roller Coaster Tycoon to Trailer Park Tycoon, so apparently I wanted to be some sort of a businessman at that time. But I realized how addictive gaming can be when the computer was introduced to my household.

      As a teenager my sister and I still kind of dabbled in a more sophisticated form of make believe play by creating a youtube series that featured us as a delusional A Capella Musical Comedy Duo who believed they were extremely famous. We still make those videos to this day, it is a great way to bond with my sister, have an outlet to perform and be creative, and it still engages the imagination that we had an abundance of as children.

      As far as gaming in my teenage and later life, I never really advanced farther than a Nintendo Gamecube. I enjoyed playing X-Men:Legends on the Gamecube as well as playing Donkey Konga, a Guitar Hero-esque game that let you play along with songs using a bongo controller. However, I did not really enjoy that console a whole lot, I like my games to be simplistic in graphics and controls, which is what I loved so much about the SNES games.

      As far as computer gaming goes, I strictly only play League of Legends. My boyfriend got me into playing the game about 6 months ago and I really enjoy it. It is a very repetitive game (it’s basically the same thing over and over again), however the outcomes always are different. I sometimes hate the fact that I like the game due to the sexist nature of the characters and their appearances, but I still enjoy it nonetheless.

      I think my choice in games says that I am someone who enjoys the simplicity in things. I have a really hard time playing first person shooter games and the like because it is just not as exciting to me as racing around a track, listening to terrible 90’s techno, with 2D graphics. My choice in games can also reflect the fact that I am a very nostalgic person who really does not enjoy modern technology or advancement, so I am content playing my old games and enjoying them time and time again. And lastly, I think that my gaming reflects my imagination, because I am able to make games that most people would think of as dated and make them entirely enjoyable. There is a beautiful simplicity (even though some of the games are challenging to this day) in the games I enjoyed in my childhood, and I would rather continue to enjoy them than spend $400 on a new game console that I would not enjoy as much. I just know it will be a sad day when my SNES breaks.

  16. Thomas Peppers

    As a child, the only board games I played were chess, Monopoly, and Risk. Chess was my favorite, and I took it seriously for several years. I did play football for a few years in elementary school. My card game experience was limited to Blackjack and Spades. The common thread that unites these early game experiences is conquest and war. Football, chess, and Risk seem overtly concerned with warfare and battle, and Monopoly, given its objective to monopolize the economic market of the board by forcing players to go bankrupt, also weaves its way as metaphorically concerned with warfare.

    Though I was exposed to video games early as a child, compared to others, I believe my exposure was less saturated. I played the classics on Ninetendo such as Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis, and 64’s James Bond: Golden Eye. What stands out about video games from this era in my life is the genre of video game (and cinema) concerned with environmental issues. Sonic the Hedgehog, like movies such as Fern Gulley, Once Upon a Forest, and The Fox and the Hound all speak to the destructive forces of unchecked human greed and aggression rooted in the false dichotomy of man and nature. Sonic the Hedgehog sensitized me to these issues early on. Most striking to me was the end sequence after defeating Dr. Robotnik at the end of each stage was how all of the animals (who had been metamorphosed by Dr. Robotnik into machine-henchmen) were released from an imprisoning capsule-pod to return to the forest.

    As a teenager, I played video games less and less, and instead, turned my attention to “real life games”. My study of Game Theory led me to understand that life can me understood as a game of imperfect and asymmetric knowledge as each of us are born not knowing what the rules are and what the history of “the game” is. This is why we require the study of history in my mind as an understanding of the game of life’s “history” is necessary for each “player” or child to have a fair opportunity at maximizing their pay offs.

    Though I have not played many games over the last few years, games that I have played outside of the casino include the videogames Halo, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Super Mario Galaxy.

    1. Colling Gallivan

      When I was a kid, board games would consist of Monopoly, Candyland, Crack the Safe, Vampire Hunter, Boggle, Chess, Checkers, and Life.
      Sports were a wide variation. I would always be getting into different hobbies and physical activities because that’s always been a huge part of my life. As a kid, I played basketball, baseball, soccer, and participated in shotokan karate. I started getting in to track and field during my middle school years. In high school, I was involved in track and field, football and volleyball. Today, I’m still a runner, but not competitively. I train myself in MMA, but only for personal gain.
      During the years of my childhood there have been many similarities and variations of preferences towards video games as time went on. I played a lot of video games as a kid. While I was still only allowed to play games that were rated E-T, I showed a huge interest in car-racing games (such as Need For Speed), the classic Nintendo games (like Super Mario (Smash Brothers) (64) (Kart) (Party)) and adventure games (ranging from Zelda to Tomb Raider). I never really showed a great amount of interest in the sports video games. I left that to physical activity. As I got older, I got into the first person shooters like Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, Halo, etc. After a long phase of nothing but first person shooter games, I felt the need for something else. I turned to my still-strong interest in the adventure genres and found a whole new variety of options. One of the reasons why I am a film major is that I love it when a good story is told, and because of that, rated M adventure and RPG games like the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry franchises are my preference of games. They hold so many twists in plot and they focus heavily on character build, while still allowing room within the story for the player to shape the character in any way the player desires.

  17. Zach Ehrat

    I’ve been playing video games since my early childhood, and don’t remember at time before I had started playing. My dad purchased a PS1 for himself and I remember sneaking out of my room at night to watch him play Metal Gear Solid, Tekken, Syphon Filter, and Tomb Raider, all of which were games my mother had deemed too violent. By day I poured countless hours into Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, and their respective sequels. I grew up predominantly on platformers such as these and others like Ape Escape, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly Cooper. My dad moved on to purchase a PS2, and by this time I had acquired handheld systems to feed my addiction when away from Sony’s loving arms. I played the original six Pokemon games for Gameboy, and racked up over 6,000 combined total on all five Pokemon games for Gamebody Advance, and I developed a desire to collect and catalog things that still inconveniences me to this day. I often find myself making an arbitrary purchase and then trying to figure out if there’s other things I need to go along with it to have a complete set or to ensure I’ve adequately wasted my money. I played PC games occasionally, and developed my first FPS addiction when I played the original Call of Duty in early junior high and I spent many nights staying up late developing back strain and managing theme parks on Roller Coaster Tycoon. My favorite part about Call of Duty was the representation of real historic weapons, which was something I hadn’t experienced with the fun but fictitious style of Ratchet and Clank. To this day I am very passionate about military history and firearm technology and operation, and I think it stems back to the first time I virtually held an M1 Carbine and emptied the magazine into a big, polygonal bullseye in boot camp. By the time I reached high school, my Pokemon-inspired collecting impulses drove me to get a job and pump all of the money into my video game collection. At the height of my irresponsible spending I had a Wii, a PS3, a PS2, an N64, a GameCube, and a PC. I’ve since sold the Wii, as the only games I enjoyed on it were the current installments of Zelda and Metroid, and sold a decent number of the games I owned across all systems. During my last year of high school I hand built a gaming PC that, upon completion, ranked 7.4/7.9 on the WEI, and currently ranks 7.7/7.9. In my humble opinion, I brought into existence one of the greatest gaming machines in the free world, and I call him BabyBlue. I have installed on BabyBlue functioning emulation software for PS1, PS2, Gamecube, N64, NES, SNES, DS, GBC, GBA, and Sega Genesis, a massive archive of ISO files obtained under questionable legal circumstances for each system, and of course Steam. On Steam I religiously play Fallout New Vegas and Elder Scrolls Skyrim, with all of their respective DLC because I have no self-control. Recently I wasted another 300 hours of my life playing the virtual stock market in GTA V and becoming a virtual billionaire who is still painfully broke in real life. I also kept up to date with all Pokemon releases up through the Nintendo DS, and even went as far as to order the special bonus disc for Pokemon Colosseum to obtain a Jirachi for GBA and transfer it to my DS, only to have the same Pokemon then be offered for free as DLC from Gamestop. When I realized just how much time I was spending trying to recapture the fun and fantasy of my first youthful Pokemon experiences, I stopped buying the new games and playing into the consumption cycle and just went back to playing the GBA games I loved as a kid. This is sort of how my entire opinion on gaming has evolved in recent years. The only new releases I play are adaptations of games I loved as a kid, and I don’t bother trying to branch out any more. If I know what I want and what I enjoy, I don’t see the need to step outside my comfort zone with something that’s just a hobby. I stick mainly to RPGs with an open world and leveling system, and FPSs with real weapons and military hardware. And MineCraft. Probably about 1000 of pirated MineCraft. Whenever possible, I pirate. If you don’t want me to steal your content, at least TRY and keep it from being so readily accessible.

    PS- I don’t know if this is going to show up in Central time or Pacific, but I’m currently out in CA and it’s not yet midnight. Just in case.

  18. Ashley Cradeur

    Hello! My name is Ashley Cradeur and I am a senior majoring in CP and RTD. As a child I really didn’t play many board games or video games. I grew up in Sacramento, California where the weather was primarily warm so I spent most of my childhood out doors. When I was indoors I spent most of my time watching the good ole boobtube (as my parents would call it). I am the oldest of four kids so I was the guinea pig of my family and at the time my parents felt that playing video games would enable me from being able to socialize with other people.

    My Mom ran a daycare service out of our house so there were always a lot of kids around. We would often play games outside such as Tag, Capture the Flag, Hot Lava (which was basically tag except for the ground was hot lava so if you weren’t it, you couldn’t touch the ground), Red Rover, Tetherball and Four Square. We also liked to race with our bikes, scooters, skateboards, on rollerblades or with anything we could find that had wheels. I remember playing a lot of “pretend” games too were we would all pretend to be a big family and had to escape from make believe “bad-guys” or we would all pretend that we were in school and that someone was the teacher (we weren’t really that creative at the time lol.) When we all got a little older I remember building a lot of forts on our swing-set and pretending that two people were king or queen from different lands and everyone else was a solider and we would have to destroy the other fort to win (much like the Community episode Pillows and Blankets). On the rare occasion when it was raining out or at night I liked to play board games such as Monopoly (which I would get so board with because it took so long), Sorry, Life, Trouble, Yatzy, Connect Four and my favorite Clue. When I got a little older I really enjoyed playing card games such as Gin Rummy, Uno, Old Maid and Solitaire. I was also very athletic and competitive as a child so I played a lot of team sports. I played soccer from ages 7-17, basketball from ages 7-14, volleyball for from ages 10-14. When I was 13 my family and I moved to Illinois. I didn’t have a lot of friends at first so I primarily hung out with my cousins who were around my age. They played a lot of video games and were the first people to really introduce me to video games and showed me how to play but my siblings and I just really had no interest in them. Consequently we never had any game counsels growing up. During my senior year of high school we got a Wii for Christmas but that’s about it.

    So why am I taking this class? Well I feel that I have missed out on the entire gaming movement. I am 22 years old and I feel that the generation I am apart of, if you will, was heavily influenced by video games even though I wasn’t. Although I never really played I have seen how the graphics and stories have improved and it is really fascinating to me how dedicated people are to specific games. My goal this summer is to start off playing the games that my peers first started playing with and work my way to playing the modern games that you all play today. I want to play as many games as possible and would love some recommendations of games to play! I will have access to a Nintendo 64, Game Cube, Gameboy Advanced (4, I believe) PS2, and Xbox 360. If anyone ever wants to do some gaming let me know! I just got back to Carbondale!

    P.S.- Sorry this is so late but better Late than never I suppose!

  19. Sam Lundberg

    Hi! This is a little late, since I joined the class late, but here goes. My name’s Sam Lundberg, by the way; I’m a new transfer to SIU.

    I was obsessed with video games as a kid – to the degree that I read walkthroughs and FAQs for games I couldn’t play before I actually had any consoles. At first we were stuck with the PC and things my parents found appropriate, so there was a lot of the JumpStart games, LEGO Island, and Myst. Of course, Myst being the one with any real aesthetic value, it’s the one I played the least of the three; I was too baffled and creeped out by the first area. Mostly, I just endlessly looped around LEGO Island, playing the same animations again and again. It was barely a game, and more a joke machine: you clicked on a thing and a joke happened. However, I watched video of someone playing it a month ago or so, and was incapacitated with a weird, choking nostalgia – it was a bizarre feeling. Every sound in that game is still lodged in my brain somewhere.

    In my teen years, I finally got, in order, a NES from an uncle, a Game Boy Color, and an Xbox. Neither of the first two really held my attention for long; we played a lot of the old Marios, but mostly for the nostalgia of those around the TV rather than for the games themselves, and Pokemon was the only really exciting thing on the GBC. The Xbox, though, opened up a whole new world of ignoring the outside. Not having any real standards, I even played hours and hours of the first Spiderman game (based on the movie), which is, I realize now, pretty terrible. I think Knights of the Old Republic is still the game I remember the best, and the one I would most readily make an argument for as legitimately great: It invented, before Fable, the modern good/evil moral choice system, which, while simplistic, was pretty crazy to me, and it had a story that, while rich and deep would be exaggerations, was more complex than I was used to in video games.

    Right now, I have a 360 with far too many games for productivity’s sake, but it’s on the other side of the state; I’m stuck with a laptop that has a heart attack just doing normal functions sometimes, let alone more intense gaming. My current plan is to stick, then, to emulated, pre-PS2 games, and play a lot of SCUMM-based PC adventure games, preparing for a game I’m working on in my spare time. When given free choice, I play basically everything – I even play sports games, despite my negative reaction to them in general.

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