The last cupcake


Today is the last day for my most beloved MMO, Wildstar. I’ll be there tonight when the servers go down. It’s the least I can do, to stay in that amazing world until the last possible second.

Wildstar’s demise wasn’t really a shock to anyone, but that doesn’t make it any less sad. I spent last night wandering around the world, checking in on all of my characters, and watching the players chat with each other for possibly the last time. I was reminded that Wildstar has more character than any other MMO I can think of, and certainly more than my next 2 most-played MMOs put together.


Thayd was party central right up until death rained down upon us

I still remember the beta for this game, and how much fun we had as those servers shut down in preparation for launch. The shutdown tonight will be a bittersweet echo of that  event. I met a bunch of amazing folks while playing, and made a lot of fantastic memories. This blog wouldn’t even exist if I hadn’t gotten so excited and wanted to share my love of Wildstar with the world. Some of my favorite MMO memories are of building my housing in this game, or participating in its huge, complicated, telegraph-tastic raids.

Did you ever play Wildstar? What are some of your favorite memories? Will you be there tonight when it goes dark?

Friends and ponies


What do you do when a dear friend has an extremely bad day? You help chase their troubles away with nostalgia. We went to ICC for fashion and fun, but lo and behold this beauty dropped. I’ve run ICC so many times I was starting to believe Invincible didn’t really exist, but there it was. Personal loot actually awarded it to me, and on any other day I would have squealed loudly and kept it without question. But since I was only there in the first place because of my buddy, I opted to roll for it. He won fair and square, and I handed it over gladly. It was such a ridiculously lucky find and I hope it really helped him feel better. I don’t get to keep those particular pixels, but I do get to keep the awesome memory of hanging out, having fun, and laughing about this stroke of luck.

Blaugust: Get to know each other!

blaugustrebornlogo2018Belghast has kicked off this week of Blaugust by reminding us that it is “get to know each other week” and sharing a bit about himself and his childhood. I don’t usually share a lot of personal information about myself here because I prefer to focus on the gaming. Today I’ll make an exception so I can join in the Blaugust fun and games.

I talked a bit already about my earliest introduction to games with my uncle’s Atari. I never had a console of my own until much later, when I saved up my allowance and got a Nintendo (NES). In between, however, we had something that fundamentally set me up for both my favorite hobby and my eventual career. It was a well-loved, hand-me-down Commodore 64.

I don’t really know how my parents got interested enough to obtain it. I certainly didn’t have anything to do with that. My mom did a lot of typing for newsletters and things. She had a nice typewriter and eventually a word processor, so maybe she wanted the computer so she could use it for writing. Or maybe my dad just wanted it to mess around and see what all the fuss was about. It is my dad that I remember using it the most. He taught himself BASIC so he could program a simple hockey game on it.

That silly little game was a revelation to me. I played lots of games on that old C64, either shareware passed along by my many cousins, or ones bought from the clearance bin from the computer store in the mall. Seeing my dad make his own game made me realize that was something people could do. Games didn’t just appear fully formed on a floppy disk; somebody made them up and wrote all the code that made them work.

I learned how to program from my dad and by copying code from computer magazines. I never made anything very complicated, but the process opened up a path for me that I’ve followed the rest of my life. Today I leave making games to somebody else, but I do still use my coding skills. I’m lucky enough to get to do science using a ridiculously powerful supercomputer for a living, all thanks to that humble C64 and a dad who unknowingly helped me get started on my true path.

Childhood games

Atari-2600-Wood-4Sw-SetI’m stealing one of my own topic ideas here, and talking about how games left an impression on me from my earliest childhood.

I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember, really. My uncle bought an Atari and kept it at my grandmother’s house for all his nieces and nephews to play when they came to visit. I was quite young at the time, and my favorite game was the Smurfs. My fond memories of that console are tied up with family: The smell of my grandmother’s cooking, the sound of my uncles and aunts telling stories, the burning desire to be as cool as my older cousins. Even though I can barely remember the games themselves, the nostalgia I feel from just looking at this photo is strong.