Dateline: Game Developers Conference, March 9, 2005 – Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA. I’m sitting in the Grand Ballroom, waiting for the Microsoft keynote, titled “The HD Era”. J. Allard looked tragically hip, with his suited hoodie and preaching the MS game gospel. I, being a corporate droid, fell hook line and sinker for the endless possibilities of micro-payments and downloadable content and the this and the that and the other.
Then, J shows us Forza Motorsport. For the unwashed, this was the moment when Microsoft gave away 1000 HD TVs to anyone wearing the badge colored the same as the winning car. I had blue, Mrs. G had yellow. Or was it the other way around?
Another year, another apartment. “A small, cramped basement apartment.” to quote Tyler Durden.
This lan was all over my huge computer desk, and the fourth machine was in the kitchen counter. For some reason, all I remember doing here was playing Quake II Coop, and the Holy Wars mod.
There was a good reason for this…
Somewehere along the way I had met the girly who is now my wife. She was a lawyer at the time, and had coped with law school by playing Doom instead of studying. I thought that was pretty cool.
I finally got out of the hotel and moved into an apartment building. I’d made friends at work, so of course, it was time for a Lan party.
This was a great time for hardware. My company was switching over to Windows 95, and was ditching tons of old stuff. I was making a decent salary and had no expenses, so I could spend freely on the parts I couldn’t scrounge. There were lots of demos floating around, and the games that were out were free with licensing on Lan games. (Contrast that with today… almost every game requires a unique CD key, even for Lan gaming!)
At some point in late 1996, the company I was working for was bought, and I was shipped out to the East Coast. I lived in a hotel across from work for seven months while they tried to figure out what to do with me.
So, I had a truck full of computers and crap, with not many options other than to just set them up. The room was a suite, so I had a weird little kitchen area with a table (to put two computers on) and a third computer on the dresser. Unfortunately, I didn’t have too many guests, being the weirdo new guy.
Thinking back, I still don’t know how I could afford it. In fact, it probably stayed on my credit card until 2001. Somehow though, I managed to buy parts for 4 486-DX2-66′s. You young whippersnappers probably don’t know that “modding” options for pc cases were limited to switching the Mhz display on the front from 33 to 66. My clever thing was to have the LED’s spell MW when viewed sideways.
Anyway, those were the days of Doom, followed by Doom II, then Descent and Rise of the Triad. As I’m typing this, I’m remembering so much dead tech… DOS, Pharlap, QEMM. Loading network drivers from boot disks. Playing Descent on Kali (My Kali ID is less than 1000, but I can’t find it!)