Gaming elicits a number of reactions. In my life alone, I’ve seen it derided, dismissed as childishness and (occasionally) held up as the Root of all Evil. Thing is, though, it’s a world of near-unlimited possibilities to me. There’s a certain kind of joy you find when plunging headlong off the beaten path, such as throwing a fridge at someone’s head in the original Deus Ex or finding John Romero’s head in Doom II or wandering through the Secret Cow Level or…the list is endless. Throw another person into the mix, and gaming can be a very very special experience indeed.
Over on Kotaku, Kate Cox has written a piece that pretty much sums this up. Go read it. And then, go play a game. Have fun. Be a White Scarf to somebody. Griefing will never go away, but that choice – and a million others – is yours to make.
(Oh, and if you haven’t already, play Journey.)
This is a bit of a departure from Friendly Fire’s usual fare, but I urge you to check out this blog post:
It was written by Michael Abrash. I’m prepared to admit that that name didn’t mean anything to me when I started reading the article; and I’ll also admit that, when I was done, I was rather ashamed of myself.
Monsieur Abrash worked at id Software, where he and John Carmack double-handedly (technically, I suppose, that could be construed as quad-handage) programmed Quake. Then, Mike Harrington and Gabe Newell asked him on their way out of Microsoft if he wanted to be the third founder of this company they were putting together, tentatively titled ‘Valve’. He said ‘nah, not really’ and went back to walking on water or whatever he was doing; along the way, though, he managed to contribute to what would eventually become Half-Life. Eventually, he gave in to Valve’s persistent wooing and joined them sometime last year.This post talks about part of the journey that landed him at Valve, but mostly about Valve itself. It’s pretty fascinating to be given this peek behind the curtains of one of the biggest companies in the gaming industry.
Thanks for the opportunity, Mr. Abrash. I’d wish you all the best for your new career at Valve; but, based on the above paragraph, I don’t think you really need it.
PS : You had me at ‘Snow Crash’. Why, oh why haven’t more people read Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk masterpiece?