Switching It Up – Personal Gaming History

Editor’s note: I know the author of this blog (he is not me), and I can assure
you that he has confided in me (I am not him), that this is indeed real
(we both know what is real).

Seriously though this is a truthful account as best as I can remember. Also it
helps if you do the Law & Order “DUN DUN” thing in your head before each section.

YEAR: 1982
AGE: 10
LOCATION: Best friends living room
RESOURCES: Atari 2600; Yars’ Revenge cartridge; milk refills
ATTIRE: Horizontal striped turtleneck, matching light blue Toughskins cords
MISSION: Beat Yars’ Revenge
RESULT: Mission failed; friendship maintained; blisters
NOTES: Yar can suck it
YEAR: 1983
AGE: 11
LOCATION: Strip mall arcade
RESOURCES: 5 dollar bill; half pack Big League Chew
ATTIRE: Horizontal striped turtleneck; matching light blue Toughskins cords
MISSION: Spend wad; win games; look cool; avoid inevitable dork move
RESULT: Mission failed; wad spent; games lost; coolness unachievable; dork move successful
NOTES: Got on the leader board of Food Fight once
YEAR: 1985
AGE: 13
LOCATION: Spare room
RESOURCES: Atari 800XL; BASIC cartridge and manual; limited patience
ATTIRE: Over-sized black button down; bright red cuffed pants; knock-off Air Jordans
MISSION: Create my own game
RESULT: Mission failed; rendered single line in 4 hours; high level cursing; surrender
NOTES: If only I had stuck with it
YEAR: 1991
AGE: 19
LOCATION: University of Massachusetts Amherst
RESOURCES: NES; Legend of Zelda cartridge; bong
ATTIRE: LL Bean rugby shirt; kakis
MISSION: Complete Zelda
RESULT: Mission accomplished; classes avoided; bad tone set for future
NOTES: On completion the game reset with new locations, then crashed and wiped
YEAR: 2001
AGE: 29
LOCATION: Trailer home living room
RESOURCES: Playstation; Final Fantasy 7 CD; cats
ATTIRE: Least dirty option
MISSION: Do all the things in FF7
RESULT: Mission accomplished; laundry undone; deep satisfaction
NOTES: Love me some Chocobo racing more than clean underwear
YEAR: 2005
AGE: 33
LOCATION: Trailer home kitchen
RESOURCES: Compaq Presario; Windows 98; wheat beer
ATTIRE: T-Shirt; cargo shorts
MISSION: Collect MAME ROMs of my favorite games
RESULT: Mission accomplished; laws broken
NOTES: Not proud and not sorry
YEAR: 2009
AGE: 37
LOCATION: Basement apartment
RESOURCES: Dell laptop; external monitor; ramen
ATTIRE: Same t-Shirt; same cargo shorts
MISSION: Run Quake3 at acceptable frame rate on Linux
RESULT: Mission accomplished; rail gun expertise gained
NOTES: Still have the Q3 tin box
YEAR: 2014
AGE: 42
LOCATION: Shop behind garage
RESOURCES: Caanoo portable gaming device; PC; misc cables; processed meat sticks
ATTIRE: T-shirt; shorts optional
MISSION: Load and run MAME ROMs
RESULT: Mission accomplished; accidentally smashed unrepairable screen 1 month later
NOTES: Loved this thing; I’m a moron
YEAR: 2015
AGE: 43
LOCATION: Living room
RESOURCES: PS4; Diablo 3; wife; couple kid-free hours
ATTIRE: Jammies
MISSION: Hook my wife on Diablo 3
RESULT: Mission accomplished; excess paragon levels achieved
NOTES: Good couch co-op games are awesome fun
YEAR: 2017
AGE: 45
LOCATION: Living room
RESOURCES: PS4; Rocket League; wife; ability to ignore kid
ATTIRE: Jammies
MISSION: Hook my wife on Rocket League
RESULT: Mission accomplished; still playing
NOTES: Good couch co-op games are awesome fun
YEAR: 2018
AGE: 46
LOCATION: Anywhere
RESOURCES: Nintendo Switch; life savings; wife’s blessing
ATTIRE: T-shirt; not even pretending to wear pants anymore
MISSION: Enjoy cool portable gaming system
RESULT: Mission accomplished; can’t stop playing Zelda
NOTES: The switch is awesome. I have a PS4 so not really looking for
a console but it rocks as a portable and the ability to use as a console is cool.


Even More Multiple Monitor Gaming On Linux

It’s been a while since I rehashed this idea as a sad attempt to drive eyeballs to my blog, which these days mainly serves to shill for my Open Source webmail project Cypht (pronounced “sift”). Not, sure, you, have, heard, of, it. You should go check it out, download it, install it, send me questions because the install is hard, really dig it once you get it working, then give me money for a security audit. Or whatever it’s no big.

I haven’t played a lot of these games extensively, many just for a few minutes to test compatibility. Mainly because one of the games in this group is consuming all my “free” time. I’m going to make you read the whole list to find out which. Just kidding, it’s called Rocket League. You should stop reading this post now and play it. Come back later and thank me.

Back already? You’re welcome! Let’s get on with the list

Wasteland 2 Directors cut

Steam tells me I have played 4 hours of this game. Having just dusted it off after a year I’m a bit concerned about my memory, because I have no idea what’s going on. It is cool though. Pretty standard point and click RPG to move your group of weirdos, examine stuff, and pick up strange I-don’t-know-how-I-will-use-that items. Fights are turned based on a hex grid with the ability to move/attack within some limitations I don’t remember.

Universe Sandbox

Not a game really, but works on my rig and is included for the following reasons:

  1. It’s called Universe Sandbox, which is rad.
  2. Science is awesome, astronomy especially so.
  3. You can do really neat stuff most of which I have only seen on the menus but I did zoom into Saturn and check out the ring rotation.

Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball

Retro first person “shooter” except it’s dodgeball. The roller derby part basically means you can’t stop moving when you want. I think there are power-ups and leveling up and you can even catch a ball thrown at you. The court has ramps and platforms, and one time I made it to the upper level before a bot nailed me instantly. I have not played it much but it’s pretty fun as far as retro disco dodgeball games go.


Everyone knows you have to get up to get down. This game is all about getting down. Seriously. It’s a sim where you have to furiously procreate to survive, hopefully passing on some worthwhile chromosomes. My crude description not withstanding, this is actually a really interesting (and educational) turn based game. It’s also safe for work so to speak, but you really should not be playing games at work.

Martial Law

You are alone in a seemingly abandoned and desolate photo-realistic landscape. Minutes after venturing out into a field, you are near starving. When you approach any potential resources, you are gunned down from unseen locations. This basically sums up my experience.


Sort of like Twisted Metal meets Mario Cart. Flashy graphics, simple physics, and easy controls. Like many others on the list, I downloaded, I configured, I played – but then moved on. I’m not sure if it’s because the game itself was lackluster or if I just did not give it a chance because I rushed through it to play Rocket League.


Another racer with nice graphics and a futuristic beat-the-track/clock type of game play. Like Madout the driving physics are pretty easy to get the hang of, on early levels anyway. Probably has lots of other features I could not be bothered to dig into during my short revisit. I did notice giant pumpkins strewn about the level that slow you down when you plow through them, so there is that.

Divinity Original Sin Advanced Edition

Another point-click-to-move RPG with nice graphics and sort of a Diablo feel to it. I have a vague recollection that I enjoyed the 30 minutes I played months ago. I’m putting this one on the get back to it later list for sure.


This is a unique game. Each level requires you to build a war machine that you let loose to destroy enemies or fortresses. There is a huge variety of components to build your machine with. Watching my creation fall apart in seconds because of my comically poor structural engineering skills is hilarious. 100% recommend this one, it’s a gem.

Rocket League

Many of the games I like tend to be complicated, and increase in complexity as you level up and gain new abilities. Rocket League is one of those rare games with a simple concept, simple controls, playable right away, with endless room to improve. The premise is soccer (as well as other game modes) with a giant ball that you smash into with a car to move down the field. Calling it demolition derby soccer doesn’t really do it justice, but it’s accurate.

The real fun (and frustration), is combining the simple controls to blast your car into the air for “arial” hits. Trying to accurately hit the ball in the air is like trying to get 10 meters in QWOP – surprisingly difficult. You can play with bots offline, or against human opponents online (as well couch co-op with split screen). Be warned – the online community can be iffy (but you can mute the chat thank god). Another online warning – a surprising number of players are seriously good, like stupid good. Of course It’s also possible I’m just stupid bad.