Blogging A to Z Day 25: Video Games

If I’d discovered a way to get paid for playing video games when I was in my late teens, I would be one of the wealthiest people you would ever meet right now. For years, I spent most of my non-writing computer time playing video games. I haven’t been into gaming in years now because work, a grandson, and blogging doesn’t leave any time for them.

Here are the games I spent more time playing than the rest when I was a hardcore gamer.

  1. Morrowind – My favorite game ever.
  2. The early games in the Fallout franchise – Especially Fallout 2.
  3. Civilization Games – My favorites were Civ II and Civ IV.

Morrowind is one of those games you either love or hate. It’s the third installment of the Elder Scrolls series and the only one I ever played. It was released in 2002 and I picked it up year later at the used game shop. Fell in love with it immediately, and it’s pretty much the last game I ever played.

Several things make Morrowind special. It’s set on a island so huge and detailed it takes a single player months to explore. It has a linear storyline and quests, but you don’t have to actually complete any quests or the storyline to enjoy the game. And the game doesn’t end once you finish the main quest. It’s basically a huge sandbox that allows you to do pretty much anything you want.

It has an excellent system for creating custom spells, crafting magic items, and making potions. And it’s one of the easiest games to modify that I have ever encountered. The modding community gave this game a lot more longevity than it would otherwise have had. Want a huge palace or a companion to travel with you? There are mods for that, and for just about anything else you can think of.

Fallout is set on a post-apocalyptic earth which was laid waste by nuclear war in the 1950s. The first game begins 100 years after the war. The player character has grown up in an underground vault, is given a quest which requires him to venture above ground, which is now a wasteland peopled by bandits, mutants, and paramilitaries.

The Fallout wasteland is one of my favorite settings ever. This series is distinctive for its striking iconography and darkly humorous storylines. The first Fallout was simple, and too short, but I remember thinking at the time (1988) it came out that I’d never seen anything quite like it. Here’s the intro to Fallout 2, voiced by Ron Perlman, to give you a sense of what this world is like.

The Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise has probably gotten more of my time than any other. I played these games off-and-on from 1991, when the first one was released, until about four years ago when I stopped gaming. These are turn-based strategy games in which you build cities, use them to produce units to defend your civilization and build more cities. The game begins at the 4000 BC and runs to 2050 in most versions.

You can win civilization in several ways: by sending a spaceship to Alpha Centauri, by total military conquest, by domination — which means ruling a certain percentage of the world’s population and territory — or by being ahead in points when the game ends at 2050. You can play on randomly generated maps of various sizes, and choose the number of opponents to play against. My favorite thing to do was upload a pre-generated map of the actual earth and play with as many opponents as possible, because that makes for a long, interesting game of shifting alliances.

I could go on and on about civilization, but I’m already over my word count for an A to Z posts. So, what about you? Ever been into gaming? What are some of your favorites?

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14 thoughts on “Blogging A to Z Day 25: Video Games

  1. yip, We used to play those little arcade games like Super Mario when we where kids.

    Then I also enjoyed playing Age of Empires (which is like Civilization) but I never really got to an end. And of-cause The Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines is my ultimate favorite game. I’d still play it if I had free time to do so and did not know the game so well. 🙂

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    • I played that vampire game. Still got a copy of it somewhere. And arcade games, oh my goodness. It would take a whole other post to explain the warm-and-fuzzies I get when someone brings those up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love video games so much, I ostensibly devoted my blog to them.

    At the moment I am mostly playing Titanfall on my Xbox One, working on reaching the final Generation 10. I did that last year on the PC version. I’m planning to play it over again on my Xbox 360.

    I too was a huge Civilization fan. I think I started with Civ II or III. Favorite genres are strategies and RTSs.

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  3. N J is a huge player of Skyrim. She’s played it from the start at least four times already, and spends a great deal of time exploring the worlds, choosing different endings to quests, etc. I’m more of a one play-through gamer, though I appreciate games that let me plug in and continue even after I’ve defeated the final boss. I do like watching games, though. Shadow of Colossus was really fun to watch, because it felt like a movie.

    Skyrim is really cool for a game, but I just can’t get into the darker-than-necessary graphics that make it hard to see in caves, and the genuinely disturbing lines of story, like “kill this dude. Just because, if you want to get this weapon.” I’ve always been more of a Final Fantasy player, but even that lost its appeal over time (due to stagnant story lines).

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  4. Today I mostly help my son play all the Lego games on X-Box, but my husband and I played video games for HOURS! X-Box and on the PC. I started on the Atari (now you know how old I am) and I’ve been playing ever since. I would play more now if I only had the time.
    Heather M. Gardner
    Co-host: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    Blog: The Waiting is the Hardest Part [http://hmgardner.blogspot.com/]

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started on an Atari, too (a neighbor’s). My parents refused to buy a time-wasting console in those days (they’d softened up by the time my siblings and the Nintendo came along).

      Fortunately, I had an awesome uncle who convinced them that computers were the coming thing, and we got a TI-99 back in the day when games were loaded from cassette tapes and computer monitors were 15-inch TVs.

      Ahhh, nostalgia!

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  5. My first computer games were on my Apple II and I keyed several in by hand and saved them to cassette tape 🙂 I love all the Civ games and Morrowind, but probably my favorite was original Bard’s Tale and Loderunner 🙂

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  6. Pingback: Ten Bloggers. 26 Blogging A to Z Posts. All on One Blog. | Sourcerer

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