A Life In PC Gaming: My Shame

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 1:28 pm.

I have, at least, never broken a monitor

I’ve been playing games on computers for the vast bulk of my life. From BBC Micro to Spectrum to 486 to assorted Athlons to the quad-cored radiator I used today, I’ve rarely been far from a keyboard. I have seen much, I have played much, I have learned much. But learning so often comes from failure. There have been many, many failures: these are but a few.

  • I spent what was then my life savings on a Voodoo 2 card – my first ever 3D card – specifically to play Half-Life. Excitedly fitting the card and installing the game, I was depressed by how poorly it performed, how the game would only run in software mode, and how any sequences that involved swimming were impossible because the entire screen turned flat, soup-thick grey. I should have bought an ATI Rage, I thought. I didn’t play many games for a while, because they either didn’t run or looked hideous. PC gaming wasn’t me for me, I decided – too expensive, too inconsistent, too mysterious. It was a full year before, when opening up my PC to fit a new hard drive, I realised the Voodoo was only resting lightly on the edge of its slot. A little gentle finger pressure later, a whole new world awaited.
  • Having breezed my way through Quake 1 on easy with only a few hundred deaths, I confidently accepted the challenge of an older acquintance to hook our PCs together with a serial cable and engage in dramatic deathmatch. I’d absolutely murder him, I was sure of it – and I told him so. I think I even bet him a Mars Bar or something. Of course, he knew what strafing was. I didn’t. And I was playing on cursor keys with left and right set to slowly turn rather than sidestep. And I wasn’t using a mouse. I believe, to this day, that this was the formative moment that made me primarily a singleplayer gamer, often nervous to the point of terror about stepping onto a server in case that dread childhood humiliation is repeated.
  • A little later, after my Voodoo 2-inspired sabbatical, the release of Aliens vs Predator led to my deciding to build a new PC from scratch. I’d never done this before, but I had upgraded pretty much every common component at some point or another. What could go wrong? Blazing, humiliating rows with the impatient manager of a PC hardware shop in Swansea coloured a full month of my student life, with him stubbornly refusing to refund what I’d paid for a motherboard that clearly did not work. I can’t remember how we worked out that I’d bolted the board directly onto the PC case – no static-blocking separators or washers or the like, just screwed straight onto the bare metal. The first time I turned the new build on, the motherboard and everything attached to it was instantly fried. So I never did get my refund from that angry Welshman. But I did send the motherboard back to its manufacturer, plead ignorance and somehow wangle a replacement.
  • I was convinced Thief was a jolly cartoon PlayStation platformer until around 2001. I have no idea what I was actually thinking of.
  • The first time I played it, I couldn’t complete Doom II without cheating. From the second level onward.
  • I managed to hack some ancient, incredibly basic but undeniably entertaining DOS game about trying to catch fish that fell from the sky with a basket so that the introductory screen declared I had written it. This copy of the game somehow made it all the way over school, most every pupil with access to the computer room spending their lunchtimes playing it. Normally something of an invisible man to my peers, for a short time I was approached with something like reverence. “Did you really make that fish game?” I’d smile smugly and say something like “oh, y’know, piece of piss.” My invisible status returned all too swiftly when another pupil wandered in one day with an elderly boxed retail copy of the Spectrum version of the game in question, whose manual declared a rather different author.
  • As a young boy impatiently wanting to access to my family’s PC so I could play more X-COM, I would occasionally sneak out to the garage and flip the electricity breaker switch to interrupt my mother’s word processing (she was studying for an Open University history course) in the hope she’d give up. “Another power cut?” I’d wonder innocently as she fumed. “This probably wouldn’t happen so much if we didn’t live in the middle of nowhere.”
  • In my initial forays into World of Warcraft – on its original beta – I had no idea whatsoever of MMO lingo. Playing primarly solo as a Night Elf priest, I fought what I believed to be a titanic battle against a pack of gnolls (about three), somehow surviving by a whisker. Another player had wandered up to watch me and my eventual victory, and as I self-adoringly wrote in a magazine preview of my experiences a little later, he uttered “way to go” in awe at my actions. Because I was amazing – he knew it, I knew it and the reading public of PC Format magazine should know it. Of course, what he’d actually said was ‘WTG’ as he’d spotted how cackhandedly I was fighting and thought I needed a hand, but I didn’t know the abbreviation for Want To Group? back then. Thank the lord not too many people were still reading PC magazines by that point.
  • I critically mis-described the Witcher 1 combat controls in a magazine review, which was then used as incontrovertible evidence by a small but very loud and utterly fearsome contingent of outraged Witcher fans as to why my 68% score for the game was because I was an idiot, rather than because I didn’t like it that much. I will, I suspect, never escape that shadow. (It was a lousy review in many other ways, in fairness – I’d been given way too short a deadline for a massive game, and did a horrid rush job. Lesson learned: I always take/ask for more time if I need it now, or pass the game onto someone else if I can’t/aren’t allowed to give it the hours required.) I still shudder.
  • I’ve said this before I know, but I was humiliated in front of my entire history class for drawing dozens crude Dune 2 Ornithopters on my exercise book when the teacher noted my lack of attention and asked me who Churchill was.
  • Believing it to be my likely big break, I sent a reader review of Deus Ex into PC Zone. It was 90% ranting some crazy grievance about ladders I can’t even fully recall now, and said nothing of the game’s achievements. Suffice to say they didn’t publish it, but I live in fear it still exists in someone’s inbox and could be unearthed.
  • I bought the PC version of Street Fighter II.

This is my shame. What is yours?

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376 Comments »

  1. tiret says:

    I refused to complete Morrowind, because cliff racers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CefvQSKps2Q&feature=BFa&list=PL651FB8153AA39F89&lf=mh_lolz) scared me.

    • Llewyn says:

      Pretty much the first thing I did with the Morrowind CS was make cliff racers passive. I might have felt bad about it if they were actually a threat, but they were firmly in the “How can we make our game more irritating?” camp.

  2. edit says:

    When I first tried Minecraft survival mode I didn’t even realize you had to hold the mouse button to break blocks. I figured you had to find some tools before you could dig anything, so I spent more than a few game days exploring, and hiding atop hills on sheepswool platforms at night, before I realized I had completely misunderstood the primary mechanic of the game. It was still fun.

    Most shamefully, I accidentally knocked over a friend’s external hard-drive, causing it to ‘click of death’. This was all the more awful considering I had had basically the same thing happen to me a few weeks earlier. Educational experiences, though. Nowadays I basically treat anything without a redundant backup (internals are raid-1 pairs) as asking to be lost.

  3. Uglycat says:

    I bought a Cyrix…

  4. thekeats1999 says:

    I, and this was only a few months ago, bought a 560 ti and fitted it myself. Never even thought to check the PSU. It wasn’t up tO the job. It destroyed the card. Fortunately enough Amazon didn’t check to much into my ‘I got it like that, honest’ excuse when requesting a replacment.

    Prior to that i had built several of my own PC’s without incident.

    You live and learn.

  5. Apples says:

    I bought the collector’s edition of Oblivion, and a new graphics card to play it, after raving about how great it would be for months. I’ve never been more disappointed. (This memory was what made me cancel my preorder of the platinum edition of SR3 just in time, thank God.)

    I hated Deus Ex, based on the first level which I must have tried to complete twenty times as a kid, up until this year. I would always end up shot in the legs, crawling hopelessly forwards until a guard put me out of my misery – and that’s if I could manage to get past the patrolling robot outside.

    I always play online games under names I never use elsewhere, and quit immediately out of sweat-inducing shame if I mess something up (or even if I don’t, often).

    I never finished Ocarina of Time, have never caught all the Pokemon in any of the games, and I don’t like any Mario games.

    I cheated through the entirety of Unreal 1 multiple times using god mode and noclip and never played it properly, and my sister would have to play the opening of Tomb Raider for me because I was too scared of the bats right as you enter. Also never played any adventure game properly as a kid, walkthrough’d through every Lucasarts game and never enjoyed them any less for it.

  6. thegooseking says:

    For years I thought WTG meant “way to go” because I believed what some joker wrote in a PC magazine once.

  7. Bluerps says:

    That thing with the motherboard – I did almost the same. I don’t remember precisely how I attached the board to the case, but it was kind of wobbly. The PC would turn on, but the moment someone touched the case it would short out. Remarkably, the board and everything attached to it actually survived that (repeatedly, until someone who knew what he was doing saw what was wrong). In fact, I used that PC for years and replaced it only because it was heavily outdated.

    Also, I played through Day of the Tentacle with a walkthrough – the entire game. I don’t know if I even solved one puzzle by myself. It took me more or less one evening.

    I buy too many games. Especially a Steam sales, but also in general. I think I already have enough unplayed games to last me a decade, unless I quit my job and begin playing full-time.

  8. Garret says:

    I played World of Warcraft for four years on dial-up. I was also on my parent’s computer, which could only run the game at 20fps or so in areas that were more occupied than the Barrens.

    When my friend helped me build my first computer, he assured me that he had watched his dad build several before. We ended up making the same mistake Alec did, and screwed the motherboard straight on the case. We also put the power supply in upside-down. Thankfully, modern motherboards are a bit more robust, because it didn’t fry itself, it just shut itself off repeatedly.

  9. iARDAs says:

    I watch porn daily, and even used to be a subscriber to naughtyamerica.com and brazzers.com…

    Used to spend 60 US dollars per month. I could have bought tons of games from Steam Sales.

    I am ashamed.

    • Jockie says:

      Verging on TMI, but I laughed.

    • Bluerps says:

      Don’t be. It’s just porn.

      (Though that has not really something to do with game related shame)

    • Kdansky says:

      The porn industry should make ads against piracy, which runs just as rampant as with games, if not more so, because people don’t want to give their credit card numbers to porn sites. If you think about it, the amount of pirated porn must be obscene, even compared to music and games.

    • iARDAs says:

      I agree with Kdansky… Porn companies, music companies and game companies should gather together and fight against piracy. I will always hate people whom are over 18 and can afford to buy games to pirate it.

      I also strongly believe that HD and 3D porn is the future.

    • Cryo says:

      the amount of … porn … obscene
      True that.

  10. Eldiran says:

    I once named my orc in Ultima Online “Girlub” in an attempt to combine two guttural sounds, without realizing that it made every other orc assume I was a girl.

  11. ynamite says:

    Wow, where to begin.

    I bought the Lawnmower Man PC game because the box art claimed it was “the best PC game ever”.

    The first cd-rom drive I bought (a single speed drive) I couldn’t fit into my computer (it was an internal drive but there just wasn’t any space in my mini tower), so I pulled the cables through the slits of the pc case cover and let the drive rest on my desk. Needless to say, it had a very short life.

    I ordered Oblivion and GTA IV twice, but each copy from a different store, just to make sure I’d have it on release day. My name is Yves and I’m an addict.

    Ultima 8 and 9 were my first two Ultima games.

    I only ever played Syndicate with cheats. I, to this day, don’t understand how anybody could play this game any other way.

    man, and so many other things …

    • aleander says:

      Pfft. I used what was effectively a caseless PC for a year or so. Now, it was a few years ago, but I vaguely remember shorting the reset button connector with a knife. Didn’t really have to fiddle with the power button, because I set it up to turn on after getting power.

  12. Leandro says:

    1 – I had my school call my mom because I was feeling sick. She had to leave her job to pick me up and take me home. Turns out I was fine, just couldn’t wait 5 hours to play King’s Quest on the brand new computer (green monochrome monitor and all).

    2 – Got into a fight with my cousin because I thought he didn’t want me to play the rest of that Monkey Island game. Turns out I was yet to grasp the concept of a demo.

    3 – WWII lesson at school, teacher mentions Hitler and I say “he’s not too bad, I killed the bastard yesterday”. It was one of those moments when everybody suddenly goes silent and you say something just a bit too loud. Everybody looks at me confused, teacher not impressed. “It’s this game I’ve been playing… nevermind”.

  13. Thany says:

    I’ve bought 2x Voodoo 2 thinking I could do a SLI with them, but at the time I was a PC noob and I didnt know I would need an SLI cabel for them to actually work. Neither did the PC shop from where I bought the whole PC. I still had no internetz at the time so I could altavista or yahoo it then.

    It ended with selling one of them to my cousin.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      Did SLI even exist back then? I thought they were AGP cards…

    • thegooseking says:

      Did SLI even exist back then? I thought they were AGP cards…

      Different SLI. Modern SLI stands for “Scalable Link Interface”. The SLI the Voodoo2 had was Scan-Line Interleave. But it did involve using two cards. Actually the Voodoo2 was the first card to have it.

  14. Sheng-ji says:

    I walked up to the counter of Computer Exchange with a stack of games so big that the customers flocked round to pick out the best for themselves and the man at the till went to get the manager (They has to do that if they were handing out more than £100 cash).

    I was buying

  15. Nallen says:

    I have won 850+ games of Starcraft II and I’m still in Silver.

  16. Danny252 says:

    I once kicked the computer out of anger.

    It didn’t turn back on after that – and it was my Dad’s computer. He was always rather confused as to what exactly had caused it to die…

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I got so frustrated by my mum’s Packard Bell P60 (our first ever computer of any stripe) when it crashed and destroyed my GCSE coursework that I repeatedly hammered on the side of the case with my fist. It started making the most godawful noise; my eyes went wide and my stomach bolted for the nearest exit.

      So what could I do? I hit it again, and again, and again, until it shut up. Worked fine for years after. Or at least as fine as Packard Hell machines ever could. I think it was just the case fan being bounced out of its bracket and hitting something, but the FEAR…

      Oh, and I killed an HDD by hard resetting out of frustration at the slowness of loading a CS map, but that was my machine, not mum’s.

    • Nallen says:

      I also punted my computer following a blue screen.

  17. magnus says:

    For a week I was convinced I had a key-logger on my PC because every so often my E-Mail password wasn’t accepted, a few days later I noticed sometimes when I put my password in I nudged the Caps-lock button.

  18. thebluemonkey81 says:

    I killed my first gameboy when the batteries ran out and I thought I’d plug it into the mains….. directly into the mains.

    I killed the second one when I decided to “make my own charger” using an old scalextrics charger.

    After that I got my parents to just buy me a shit load of batteries.

    I was 9

    • iniudan says:

      That something to be proud of, not shameful, you killed a freaking immortal, for Gameboy can survive nuclear explosion. =p

  19. Sic says:

    I too bought the PC version of Street Fighter 2.

    Needless to say, I wasn’t a big fan of the series until I tried the third iteration years later.

  20. Sidewinder says:

    “It was a full year before, when opening up my PC…”
    Is your real secret shame that you haven’t used your time machine to find out the truth about these Half-Life 3 rumors, Alec?

  21. applecup says:

    I paid for Fable 3.

  22. Ross Angus says:

    I’ve played all the Tomb Raider games up to Angel of Darkness (which I couldn’t finish, due to a boss fight). I’d pre-ordered Angel of Darkness. I’ve finished Legend since.

    This was despite also playing the Thief games, Half Life and Deus Ex.

    • Mman says:

      I’m not sure how “I played some good games until the point any good was gone” is a confession, so here’s an actual shameful confession:

      About a year or two ago I sought out and finished Angel of Darkness just so I could say I’ve played through every mainline game in the series.

  23. Jarol says:

    Hmm PC gaming for me has been around for as long as I can remember. I remember my dad downloading Doom for the first time through BBS boards and playing Doom 2 in co-op as a kid.

    But those were the good memories. The bad ones are forever blotted out. Time to share em!

    First one goes to when I had my first ever built machine. I had played around with my old HP machine enough to know the ins and outs of the machine. I bought a Voodoo2 video card for it too (still have it too). It was a long and quirky card that required that you plug a cord from the VGA out of your primary video card into your voodoo2 which in turn you plug your monitor into. It worked, I got things to play fine and I was happy. For my old HP it was fine, but the machine was not mine.

    So I stepped it up, got me an Athlon processor with 384MB of ram (128+256 single sticks), on board video and sound, ~2GB HDD (could barely fit all of Diablo 2 on the drive with windows and that was 1.5Gb), and a very flimsy case that you can punch a hole into (I think I spent like $200 for it all… forget). My now aged Voodoo2 barely fit in the case and yet I could still play Half-life and Deus Ex fine. Only one problem. I never actually put enough thermal grease on the CPU. So I rigged up a heavy 120mm fan to the side of it. Now remember this is like 2001 or so. This fan was industrial strength. It had its own power cord for the wall and revved up fast enough to sound like a jet engine (in fact its just as loud as a car on idle). In LAN parties I played on this zombie of a machine with very little specs until I had enough money to buy an even better machine which lasted me until last year.

    One other story I’ll share is a story of a run on joke I had in LAN parties that involved me in Unreal Tournament. I could not fathom the thought of someone being better than I in a FPS. In Quake 3 I dominate nearly all the time, I was good enough to win local tournaments and such. Then I moved to Cali where my new bunch of friends were into playing Unreal Tourney. So we played a few rounds with bots as we all were somewhat new the the game. Eventually we turned the bots off and were playing against each other for real. Only I didn’t know that. See one of my friends was playing with the username Tanelor. The name was so random to me I believed that it was a bot the entire time on the hardest setting. So I was yelling every time I died to him asking if that was a bot, to which they would reply that it was; all the while knowing that it was one of the guys there. It wasn’t until the end of the LAN did I check over to his screen to see that he was character, and that I was having my ass handed to him every time. I was too embarrassed to acknowledge my utter defeat. I’ve learned to never under estimate others again.

  24. Fitzmogwai says:

    Way back in the mists of time, I bought a copy of The Boggit to play on my Amstrad 6128. I suppose I was about… 13 or 14. My younger sister and I sat round the computer and nether of us had any idea of what we were doing, or even how to play a text adventure.

    What resulted was a fortnight of phone calls to the offices of Delta 4, and many, many daft questions to Fergus McNeill (a man of infinite patience). I still remember that one puzzle depended on knowing that the word linking soap flakes and traffic lights was “Lux”.

    If there’s one thing that the internet was created for, it’s gamefaqs.

  25. apocraphyn says:

    My shame? Reading this article.

    …*ahem*. My shame would be, back when I was a wee child, crossing the names off of games on Amiga disks and writing the names of other games upon them, in the hope that they would suddenly become the new game.

    Unfortunately, this technique never worked.

  26. Guvornator says:

    Punching a hole in my bedroom ceiling when my previously invincible Celtic side lost to Cowenbeath in the Scottish Cup. Thanks a lot Championship Manager ’97/98…

    • Jockie says:

      I know someone whose done that, except it was a wall, rather than a ceiling. He also once took the CM CD out of the drive, snapped it in half and threw it out of the window (before purchasing another copy).

  27. mmalove says:

    I was once so intently focused on a game of DDR Max (that “dancing” game with the arrows), my wife and her best friend decided to flash me. I completely missed it.

  28. ItalianPodge says:

    The first time I saw someone put a password into a PC I told them that 6 asterisks was too easy to guess. ******

    Oh how silly I felt when I then put in a password for myself.

  29. Bozzley says:

    I tried to replace the fan on the processor of my girlfriend’s PC using 1) a keyring in the shape of a dolphin, and then 2) the handle of a teaspoon. The second one ended going straight through the motherboard.

    (and I’ve also detonated a PC by flipping the 110v switch as mentioned elsewhere here)

  30. ashhenderson says:

    My first Windows PC (inherited from my grandfather, of all people) had only 16 colors. I desperately wanted the Star Trek: Generations game and, when I checked the specs and saw that it required 16-bit color, I assumed they were one and the same. Needless to say, it didn’t work.

    I had to cheat to finish the first Deus Ex.

    I don’t like multiplayer games.

    • thegooseking says:

      Deus Ex was one of the first games I didn’t cheat to finish.

    • Apples says:

      I played DX on realistic mode and didn’t cheat. Well, blowing up all the bosses with GEP rockets before they could deliver their “I’ll get you JC!” spiel and activate any augs/pull out any guns isn’t cheating, right?

    • thegooseking says:

      Well, it did have that inverse difficulty curve thing going on. The first level was the hardest, so I can understand the temptation to cheat.

  31. Max.I.Candy says:

    i also had a similar experience installing my first motherboard to a new case.

    i completely ignored the risers that came with the case and screwed th MB directly to the metal chassis.
    …looking at it tho something just didnt feel right that metal soldering should come in contact with a metal case so i read the instructions and quickly added the risers befor switching on.

    in the early days of my upgrading history spending way to much money and time and effort on unnecessary extra fans for cooling problems that didnt exist, is something i feel stupid for now.
    (actually, spending too much money on unnecassary things in general would be more honest)

  32. DethonRells says:

    My PC Shame:

    - I have a PC that can play Skyrim on the highest settings, but cannot run Minecraft because of a memory leak that I am unable to fix.

    - I built my first PC a year ago and after I had “finished” I spent nearly 45 minutes figuring out why the damn thing wouldn’t post. I had forgotten to take the RAM out of the packaging and actually install them…

    - I have never played Morrowind.

    - I HAVE NEVER MANAGED TO SOLVE THAT FUCKING SOUP CAN/PANTRY PUZZLE IN THE 7TH GUEST.

    - I never figured out how to kill the last boss in Quake. It was a giant, white worm thingy that wouldn’t die no matter how many times I shot it.

    • Inzimus says:

      fixing Minecraft – http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/350344-allocating-more-memory-to-java-windows/
      Quake 1 last boss, you need to teleport into it through the little “star” that’s floating around
      as soon as the “star” is inside Shub-Niggurath (I think the boss is called), use the teleporter

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      I beat Quake 1 on easy difficulty many, many years ago. Shub-Niggurath was quite an enigma to me, mainly because back then I couldn’t figure out WHEN to enter the teleporter, and wasn’t able to notice that I was teleporting to the spiky flying thing.

      So i just saved the game, entered the teleporter, and hoped that I didn’t melt my face in burning lava.

    • Skabooga says:

      Quake 1 Shub-Nigrauth-what-er-name was such an insidious boss because it was essentially a puzzle in an FPS. Sure, there are lots of secrets which require some lateral thinking and close attention to detail, but I’m too daft to notice those things: I turn off that part of my brain when approaching a shooter. It was not until I unloaded all my ammo and spent 5 minutes hacking at Shub with my axe that I began to think maybe I wasn’t approaching the problem correctly.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      Having never played Morrowind is the greatest shame I’ve seen on any of these comments.

      Buy it. Play it. Save yourself from ignorance. :P

  33. Gary W says:

    I infiltrated the dictator’s compound in JA2 by edging my way around various heavily-fortified maps, quicksaving whenever I managed to advance a single step without setting off a mine. A few protracted gunfights later, I killed the dictator and her henchman Elliot.

    After that, the islanders arrived to congratulate me, but the ending sequence didn’t appear, so I quit the game and watched it on YouTube.

    Perhaps I had to kill all those sci-fi worms or something, but at that point I’d been playing for two weeks and I couldn’t be bothered to continue. I’ve kept the savegame ever since.

  34. Nom says:

    When I first bought Oblivion my geforce fx 5200 couldn’t run the game on anything bar 800×600, with the shortest view distance possible, with all of the graphics down to minimum. I completed most of the game like this before we got a new PC…..

    I once ordered an AGP gpu thinking it would fit into a PCI slot…

    During my first complete build I didn’t apply the TIM properly; after overclocking it I let the CPU temp get to 99+ degrees C before thinking something was wrong. To this day I don’t know if I damaged it…

    During any game with multiple conversation choices… I always quicksave and go through ALL of them before finally deciding which one I want to go with.

  35. ChaosSmurf says:

    I heard an amazing story once of a guy who bought a new graphics card, I think it was around the geforce 8800 generation. He couldn’t get it to work so attempted some manual DIY before posting on a forum: “Had some troubles getting it in the slot which I’ve now fixed. Fits fine with the golden bits chopped off, but doesn’t seem to be recognised by the computer?”

    Personally: I never finished…

  36. Outright Villainy says:

    Until embarrassingly recently I forgot there was a difference between Mb and MB. I always wondered why every internet connection I ever used was around a factor of ten slower that I expected…

  37. Drake Sigar says:

    I have 300+ PC games in a locked bookcase behind me and fly off the wall if anyone touches them. Seriously. Don’t touch them. I will totally shank you.

  38. F4T C4T says:

    When Carmageddon 2 came out, not only was I under-age but the family PC’s graphics card wasn’t good enough to run it. My Dad had not long had a new computer for work purposes which could though and we were forbidden to use it. I was so desperate to play the demo that I secretly installed it and would sneak onto his computer when everyone was out to play it. I did everything I knowingly could at the time to hide it too, renaming folders and deleting menu shortcuts. Ha!

    It was totally worth it, I loved that game so much at the time but I always felt pretty bad for going against his word and getting away with it.

  39. davidAlpha says:

    - In OMF (one must fall) i didnt know how to pick a different bot. So i decided thats how the game worked.

    - I managed to get TIM 2 to work on my dos machine. But i could only move the mouse a few centimenters at a time because of some weird IRQ/driver problem or the whole thing would freeze. I played like this for at least a year.

    - for some reason I pronounced the game title Torin’s Passage (kinda dodgy name now that i think about it) as Torin’s pass-sage. Its an excellent game btw

  40. Kieron Gillen says:

    The hacking of the DOS game. ALEC!!!

    KG

  41. thekeats1999 says:

    I have visited 4chan.

    And gone back.

  42. Zeewolf says:

    When I bought my Voodoo 2 I thought it would magically make my crappy IBM Aptiva PC better at most 3D games. After installing the quite expensive piece of kit I realized that it only worked with certain games, and that most of the games it did work with demanded more processor power than my PC had in the first place, so they still ran like crap. Only in a higher definition.

  43. Auspex says:

    - I fried my motherboard by dropping a yoghurt filled spoon into an open case (which lay on the floor directly beneath my desk)

    - When I completed BG1 I did it on normal difficulty even after my brother explained that was effectively easy mode.

    - I rented Lost: Via Domas and played it to completion, even getting all the achievements.

    - I like those Telltale CSI games.

    - I became so furious playing Driv3r that the neighbours actually complained. This also happened with a Spiderman game and every single Football/Championship manager.

  44. muut says:

    I once won a much-publicised-amongst-my-circle-of-friends Quake deathmatch challenge against a colleague, by surreptitiously modding his game to reduce the effect of health / armor / ammo / quad damage pickups for players using his name. He had absolutely no clue that there was anything amiss, and lost horribly.

    I did later suffer a conscience attack and fess up, and everyone found it hilarious, but I also noticed my access rights to people’s hard drives at LAN parties tighten up somewhat thereafter..

  45. Mman says:

    One of the games I got with my first computer was Total Annihilation. At that point the only RTS I had played was some C&C playstation ports (and I think it was only the demos at that), which I thought was just some strange one-off thing, so I didn’t even realise you could build stuff, and I made it through the first few levels without that and just thought it was some sort of super challenging game when I couldn’t get further. Then at some point (I’m not sure if it was luck or reading something about it) I suddenly realised my main guy could be used to build stuff and a new genre was opened to me.

    When I got Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business I couldn’t get sound working whatever settings I tried (it was DOS game and therefore used the now infamously awkward IRQ, DMA etc stuff), so as it was really cheap I ended up getting about four copies of it because of thinking it was some issue with my copy of the game, when it turned out to just be my sound card drivers. I didn’t have the internet at the time so that would be a big problem anyway, but if I had the slightest knowledge about it I could probably have sent off for the right drivers anyway.

    I didn’t work out the proper standard FPS control configuration (back, forward, strafe left, strafe right) until I played Unreal which had it set up by default, and so made it suddenly click when I tried it. Before that point I played all FPS (including Quake 2 and Half-Life) with back, forward, turn left, and turn right, which is obviously completely redundant with mouse control.

  46. datom says:

    - Despite every time I promise I won’t, I still RAGEQUIT Football Manager whenever I lose a game I think I shouldn’t. In fact, just yesterday, I ragequitted four times until my Lincoln side finally beat bottom of the table Hereford 2-1. I hate myself for this, but have an excellent record because of this.

    - I only ever start as a Lower League manager in Football Manager, but render that redundant by cheating (ragequit, reload) or cheesing (taking international management jobs to raise reputation easily in older versions) my way to the top league as quickly as possible. So it’s like a completely false impression of struggling to the top.

    - I’m so scared of spiders I’ve stopped playing pretty much all RPGs. Unfortuanetly, I’ve also found myself deathly scared of Morrowind grubs, rulling that one out too.

    - My wife doesn’t know I play computer games. I have to play them when she’s ‘doing something else’ or is asleep. This is tricky to manage.

    - I tut and shake my head at people who play AAA games instead of indie and classics. Then two weeks ago I signed up to OnLive and have sunk 30+ hours into Arkham Asylum and Alpha Protocol.

    • adammtlx says:

      “My wife doesn’t know I play computer games. I have to play them when she’s ‘doing something else’ or is asleep. This is tricky to manage.”

      How the.. I don’t even…

  47. Bluerps says:

    I once replaced my Pentium 166 CPU with a Pentium 166MMX CPU. For some reason, I believed that these three letters could work miracles…

  48. obvioustroll says:

    I couldn’t get off the roof in the very first level of Duke Nukem 3D, how was I supposed to know you’re meant to shoot the gas canisters :(

  49. Unaco says:

    I had a Knightmare game, on my Amstrad CPC. It was based on the TV show, and was a puzzler… visuals, and textual input. I never managed to get out of the 1st room.

    I had another game on my Amstrad CPC, Heathrow International Air Traffic Control. I spent a lot time learning how to play the game, but only so I could crash Jumbo Jets into each other.

  50. brulleks says:

    I had a damning reader review of Gothic 2 printed in PC Gamer. A few years later, I rebought the game having played the first one and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I’m sorry Piranha Bytes. I love you really. Although I’m still not forgiving you for the last chapter of Risen.

    Oh, and I can’t stop playing Manager Mode on FIFA 11, despite being thoroughly aware of the game’s appalling, glaring weaknesses and EA Sport’s obvious lack of effort in its development. (E.g. I have two Rochdales in my current league, one of which is rooted to the bottom of the table despite having the same points tally as its counterpart).

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