My gaming (his)story began sometime during the summer of 1988 when my father took me to work to show me something amazing. Back then Romania was still under Communist rule and my father worked at one of the few places in the country where a mainframes had been replaced by PCs. And my father, together with one of his friends, Augustin, taught me to play Prince of Persia. I was 5 and a love affair had begun which saw a few breakups but never really ended. I went back to my father’s workplace once or twice a week to play a racing game, Prince of Persia and others I really can’t remember at the moment.

In late 1989 Communist rule over Romania was overthrown and for a time videogames and computers were far from my mind. I did not have access to my father’s workplace and we could not afford a PC. I got, from a friend of the family, a CIP, a Romanian produced computer with very limited power that connected to the TV, was using BASIC and loaded pro grammes from cassettes and tapes. I played around with basic programming concepts and thought that information technology was great. I played a few games on the machine, but I can only remember scattered images related to them, a few themes (a karate corridor fighting game, a space sim) and a title, Fighter of the Future. Then the CIP broke down. And a Dark Age followed.

I again got hold of a computer sometime in 1995, on sort of a loan from my school. I was then 13 years old. The computer was 486 with limited memory and I only had it for about one year, during which I learned a bit of Pascal and played things like the original Doom, Heretic, the first Dune, Dune II, some adventure games and a lot of Pinball. And the original Colonization. And then for a while I again lacked any functioning computer while my gaming console (I believe it was a SEGA MegaDrive) allowed me to play only a bit of Super Mario and a lot of Duck Hunt. Both experiences felt limited after I had felt the joys of PC gaming.

When I was 14 years old and in my first year of high school my first personally owned computer arrived. A AMD K6-300, with (if I am not mistaken) 32 MB of RAM and video card with 2 MB of memory. I was a blast. I did not have an Internet connection at the time but I played the hell out of some games, like the original Baldur’s Gate, the first two GTA games, a lot of shooter, Icewind Dale, the original Half Life, Red Alert 1 and 2, Command & Conquer up to Tiberium Sun (I’ll add more when I remember them and if). I put up with that PC until it began to be unable to run the latest strategy releases. Then I implored my parents to buy me a new one.

A new rig arrived in the form of an Athlon powered machine with 512 MB of RAM which allowed me to game way while I prepared for my exams and for studying Political Sciences at University. The most important playing experience of that period has been Baldur’s Gate 2 and its Throne of Baal expansion. I had two other friends which were playing the game at the same time and besides sleep, eating, washing and school related stuff we used to game 6 hours a day and spent the rest drinking and talking about our Paladins, companions and adventures. I still have a Mage/Sword Saint dual character which I want to take through that game. Sadly time for this has eluded me in the last 6 years.

I also remember playing things like Civilization (all of them), Black & White, Populous, GTA, Unreal Tournament, the various Quakes and other I can’t remember right now. Then I moved to the capital of Romania, Bucharest and studied Political Sciences. I worked pretty hard, which meant less game, although I totally remember playing a huge amount of Civilization IV and the older Alpha Centauri.

After university I went through some jobs, now settling into the position of Games Editor for Softpedia. And I play, whenever I can find the time, between sleep, social life, food, personal hygiene, girlfriend, movies and books. I will be trying to articulate and opinionated on this blog and we’ll see how that goes.


One Response to “My Gaming History”

  1. […] interesting (oh, the pressure) to post that is really gaming related, anyone can go and read My Gaming History, in which I tell the story of my relationship with gaming, and a short About the Player/Writer. […]

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