2, Issue 2
November 19, 1999
Birth of a Gamer
want to call todays column, Birth of a Gamer,
because it fits in more way than one, but I think Heather
Haselkorn would lop my head off. She owns the rights to that
title here at loonygames and thats fine. You go, girl.
why I wanted to use the aforementioned name. My son Zachary is
a gamer. Hes been a gamer for over a year now. He plays
games such as Total Annihilation, StarCraft, Quake,
Quake II, the Unreal Tournament demo, and a host
of others that Ive dragged out of my archives for his enjoyment.
Now, hes not the greatest gamer in the world, and he has
more trouble with RTS games in general because of the high level
of concentration when it comes to resource management, but I think
he does dang fine for his age. Oh and by the way, hes a
little over 3.
the day when he sat down at the computer and with utter bewilderment,
made the astounding leap of intelligence and noticed that when
you move the mouse a little to the right, something on the screen
changed. Same thing when moved to the left. Then up. Then down.
I had been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Quake
II was loaded and he was sitting at the start of Base1. (Instinctively
I knew that the connection would occur faster if he were looking
at an environment that felt familiar). Next was the first mouse
key, which would fire that badass blaster in his virtual hands.
That was an easy one. When he got used to looking around the place
he was in, and shooting the blaster until all the walls, floor,
and ceiling were quite dead, I showed him the Up arrow key. He
never looked back. He was 2.
my story about Zachary is a true Birth of a Gamer story, in more
way than one.
found that Zachary wasnt fond of running around levels with
monsters (they scared him), but I got lucky when I showed him
Capture The Flag. Facing players just like himself didnt
seem to bother him at all, plus the maps were of simpler design.
And he loved being on a team. It took him a while to figure out
what it meant to capture the flag, and when he did, he almost
ignored the objective. Im not sure why. To save some grief
over connecting to the Internet every time he wanted to play (plus
dealing with the confusion of dealing with real people coming
and going), I downloaded the Eraser bot with the funky front-end
loader. I created a batch file that would load him up with q2ctf
and 6 bots per team. Zachary knew which desktop icon was Zachs
CTF, and after that I didnt even have to turn the
computer on for him. He could spend hours playing the game and
I wouldnt once have to check on him.
sure every parent is proud of their kids, and Zachs playing
Q2CTF may not seem all that special, so let me get to the real
point of this column. I consider myself old school because Ive
been around the community for a while. Anyone who says he played
First Person Shooters more than 8 years ago is yanking your nose.
So what am I talking about? The next generation of gamers, of
course. These are our kids that rise up learning everything we
teach them about games, and showing us what were doing wrong.
Because theyre confident? Egotistical? Heck no.