20081121

Escaping the Upgrade Cycle

Gaming has been a huge part of my life for years. My career, social life, moments of leisure, and financial priorities have been and will continue to be shaped by gaming, games, and gamers. To start with I had a dinky wee Pentium with a second generation 3d card (ooooh! flash!), and I played Quakeworld. I had to take 'Sealegs' for the motion sickness to start with, and I couldn't play for long at a time, but man, I got a rush from the gibs.

Then I upgraded to a Pentium II and Quake 2 came out. Ugh! It was nasty. I never could get into Quake 2. I sat on QW until Quake ]|[ Arena came out and blew a huge wad on buying a 'new' gaming rig hand-me-down from a much wealthier gamer buddy, who was a complete upgrade addict.

Time and time again after that I blew large amounts of cash on faster, better, hotter, and noisier gaming machines and components. Video cards was the worst element of the upgrade war. Every hardware generation there was the budgetary battle, and video cards cost more then than entire machines do now. It was insane.

When Q3A had waned and been replaced with Battlefield my husband and I decided it was time to hang up our Radeons and retire into Consoleville. We always had every console gaming platform in our home in any case, and we'd save a bomb on hardware if we stuck with machines that only rolled over every four to six years.

So that was it. chiQ gave away the gaming mice, custom KB configuration files, rocket jumping, and strafe-jumping, and moved to the couch with her controllers.

It's a bit sad really. I was at my gaming peak when I was playing competitive Q3, always proudly bearing my clan tag on the public servers, getting sad if I wasn't getting up there on the scoreboard at the end of each map, feeling utterly elated if I topped the table for even one map, and always knowing almost everyone on the servers I used. I loved it. I miss it.

That said, I can't spend all my spare money on hardware any more. I've got other stuff that I need to pay for, and lets face it, I am an old hack: I have yet to find a single recent game that pushes any of the buttons QW and Q3 pushed for me.

So, I've escaped the upgrade cycle. Every so often a new console will come out, and one of our old ones will go into a cupboard, but the frenzy of 'keeping up with the pwnz0rs' has ended. I'm getting old.

2 comments:

Si said...

Seems a lot of us oldies end up ditching the PC for a console. I still have the PC at this point but other than a couple of upcoming Blizzard games which may be PC only, and the very occasional LAN (yeah, we still play Quake3), I can't see myself doing upgrade for gaming *sniff*

milla said...

I still have my bigarse old gaming notebook, but at present its main purpose seems to be as the thing my wee Macbook sits on :)