A Life In PC Gaming: My Shame

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?


  1. Avish says:

    – The first time I downloaded a mod for a game, was for tomb raider.
    Guess what it did? :D

    – When I was 12 or maybe 13, I spend the night at a friends house to play Leisure suit Larry. We were quite excited when Larry died because he didn’t use a condom when having sex with a hooker, even though we had no idea why…

    – I’m almost 38 years old, I have a career, a wife and two kids, and I’m seriously thinking about faking a flu, so I can stay home and play Skyrim.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      If you phone in with ‘dee and vee’ an employer will have to let you have the day off for Health and Safety reasons, apparently. :)

      Or that’s what I’ve heard anyway.

  2. rawtheory says:

    I bought AvP 2010, Crysis 2, and COD Black OPS….Damn mine eyes.

  3. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I don’t know if this counts or not, but I once turned on my old Athlon 1800+ and some fire came out of the back of it.

    It then booted normally, and so I just sat and played Thief for a couple of hours before turning it off and investigating the cause.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Why would you be ashamed of something so completely awesome?

    • MrEvind says:

      I love this man. I blew a psu once… I figured that it was no harm in trying to see if it worked still. It didn’t.

  4. Baf says:

    I killed a man in a fit of videogame-fueled rage and violence-desensitization.

    Also I bought SiN twice by mistake.

  5. MrEvind says:

    Had a Star Wars game on the gameboy 1 where I didn’t even manage to find a single mission. Just drove my speeder forever around in the desert….

  6. LintMan says:

    I had a very similar experience with my Voodoo 2 card. I bought one as my first venture into hardware accelerated 3D, and within a few months Half-Life came out. But for me, HL would only only run once, and then after that it would insist my drivers were bad and I needed to reinstall. Then on reinstall it would work once again before repeating the process over and over.

    Turns out, it was some sort of weird insistance by the game on having video driver WHQL certification that my Matrox video card lacked. So I immediately went out and bought one of those new-fangled all-in-one video cards (Riva TNT). I was ashamed of buying new hardware just to play one game, but in the end it was worth it because I was playing HL and its mods for years afterwards.

  7. James G says:

    I love this post and the associated comments. For a moment they made me feel relieved, as I mistakenly thought I had never been responsible for frying hardware, but I was forgetting.

    Our C64 died and we took it to be repaired. We were told that something had failed in the PSU, but that due to its sealed nature there wasn’t possible to repair. The C64 PSU was external though, yet for some reason it never occurred to my parents or myself (although I was six at the time) that we might be able to procure a replacement PSU. Instead we got a second hand Spectrum as a replacement. (My early gaming was firmly rooted in the car boot sale.

    Got out first PC in 1995 or ’96 and it came with an onboard SiS6205 graphics card. The pre-installed drivers were not Direct X compatible, and many Direct X games would display and a jumbled jumpy mess of lines. Despite multiple calls to tech support, and downloading driver updates using my Uncles internet connection (transported home on floppy disk) it was an embarrassing length of time, 18 months or so, before I worked out how to update the graphics drivers.

    I fried an HP scanner by accidentally plugging in the power supply for an HP printer. I’m not quite sure how I managed that one, as I did make sure to check the voltage/polarity before plugging the cord in. Unfortunately a last minute brain fart resulted in me plugging in the wrong cord.

  8. TheMrSolaris says:

    A few actually.

    Leaving EVE and started to play WoW, only for a few years… ;(
    Buying a PS3 because it is a competent bluray player, but oddly enough I ended up with more games than actual movies and such. And I never use it for either.
    Being tricked by a buddy of mine from a game of infamous internet spaceships to play Star Trek Online… Shame on you, Winterblink!
    Being tricked by the same guy to play Rift… Shame on me!
    Buying Resident Evil 4 on PC.

  9. The Magic says:

    I screwed a new fan into my computer without any elctrical protection or whatever. The entire thing would short out each time. In trying to fix it, i snapped the fan’s plastic frame, and still tried to return it. Nobody knows, i wont tell them, and i refuse to buy another fan, even if I do have to leave the case open to breathe.

  10. Synesthesia says:

    i’ve never won doom 2 without cheats.

  11. Net_Bastard says:

    My first graphics card was a GTX 550 Ti. I knew nothing about computer parts and I thought that the VRAM mattered the most in a graphics card. After I tried to max out each and every game thinking that my computer could beast through it I realized my mistake. I now have a 570 and I’m enjoying it.

  12. Net_Bastard says:

    Also, I used to pirate all my games. The only reason I stopped was because I got 2 ISP warnings. I’m now enjoying buying my games legitimately on Steam.

  13. Shortwave says:

    In 1989 my grandfather who was a University Professor gave me an Macintosh. (Making me 3-4)
    I pretty easily grasped the idea of commands and had a good number of games he’d given me.
    Frogger, Q-Bert, Chopper and some words games. There was also this weird test program that had a bio about Dr. Sues and all these document type files with addresses and such. I legitimately came to the conclusion that I had tapped into top secret documents and found information about Dr. Sues somehow and would come request everyone come see what I had done.. O.o Haha.. Pretty funny.

    Recently in life while trying to help a friend with a newly bought inoperable computer I was required to flash bios. So as always I put the jumper over.. Let it sit for thirty seconds.. AND FORGET DUE TO CONVERSATION WITH SAID FRIEND. Turn on the computer.. Weird loud click and NOTHING. Then the horrible realization that I had left the jumper over and that I had no idea what the hell I might of just done or what kind of effect it would have on all the other hardware if any.. I didn’t want to tell her I just fried her computer without being sure.. So I ninja put the jumper back over and pretended to shuffle some cables around. When I tried to start it again, nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. (Keep in mind it wasn’t working before because half of the power cables were not plugged in…. LOL..) So I thought.. “Okay, it’s not worked since she received it.. So I can just say nothing and she’ll get it RMA’d and everything will be okay..” BUT THE GUILT WAS KILLING ME LATER ON.. So I went to go message her and just as I did that she was sent “IT WORKS NOW.” Apparently she just tried to turn it on again at her house and BING. It worked beautifully and has since.. I just sat there with a dumb look on my face.. Haha.

  14. Shooop says:

    I never got a legitimate copy of Solider of Fortune 2. By the time I remembered I wanted it all copies of it had been replaced by torrents.

  15. TheBigBookOfTerror says:

    I got married and moved out. Didn’t take my extensive and very old collection of games. Came back to collect them. Whole lot had gone to charity shop. Including Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. In it’s box. Complete with the beautiful manual. I wake up some nights, screaming.

  16. kud13 says:

    I when I first got hold of the internet (in 1999, after I moved to Canada), one of the first things I did was learn the cheats for Warcraft II-beyond the Dark Portal, so that I could learn the campaign story.

  17. TheBigBookOfTerror says:

    Oh and it took me ten years to complete Space Quest 3 because it never occurred to me to GO BACK AND TRY AND PICK UP THE REACTOR AGAIN after the mutant rat mugged me, 15 minutes into the game. Once I figured that out… Ok once I finally looked up a solution using the magical Internet, I was able, without a guide to finally finish it in one evening.

  18. microcystin says:

    I broke into my neighbors house to play Wolfenstein 3D and didn’t notice they had come home early untill they asked what I was doing there.

  19. Code_wizard says:

    I pre-orderd the founders edition ($200) of… . . .. .. . . . . . . Hellgate: London. One of the perks was a lifetime membership…. yeah, that worked out great.

  20. Teddy Leach says:

    I don’t like Half Life 2.

  21. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Oh how my PC owning and Doom playing ‘mates’ laughed at my beloved Amiga 1200’s gaming abilities.
    Then ‘Gloom’ came out. ‘Amiga Computing’ assured me this was Doom for a better machine so I issued invites for a game and prepared to gloat.
    They’re still laughing now.

    This prompted my second shameful act. I spent the best part of two grand on a Packard Bell P75 at PC World. It played Doom but I felt dirty. I suppose the lifetime of self building from this point on has earned me a living but it was a harsh lesson.

    Finally….Stalker and Bioshock are boring. Ha! I said it and don’t feel ashamed any more.

  22. freakoftheuniverse says:

    I never finished Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight or Mysteries of the Sith without Cheats. Because I was 12 and afraid.

  23. pagad says:

    I bought Perimeter, excited by the excellent score given it by PCGamer, and then couldn’t figure out how to pass the first level over and over again until I uninstalled it in a fit of frustration.

  24. Navagon says:

    I chucked out a lot of big boxes for my older games and sold some of the real classics that I thought I wouldn’t be interested in again.

  25. AdamK117 says:

    Slamming the voodoo 2, I’m reading IGN from now on ;)

    Consequently my shame was convincing my parents I’d rather have a V2 for Quake2 than a bike when I was young (~13). 3dfxGlide as a video driver option rather than DX was exciting (although I learn’t the hard way about compatability around Half-Life’s release.

  26. Discopanda says:

    I bought Fallen Earth because I was starved for a Fallout game after Fallout 3. Still regret it.

  27. dogsolitude_uk says:

    Actually, come to think of it a few things do spring to mind now, both from when I came back to computer games in 2000-and-something. I’d stopped playing games when I had an old Amiga in 1994, and only started again in 2001 (IIRC) after buying a PC to write a CV on, and picked up Thief for something to do over the weekend.

    I recall struggling for days in Deus Ex, and kept running out of ammo, until one fortuitous afternoon I eventually discovered you could take it off of dead people as you went.

    I’d never played an RPG before and didn’t bother finding out how they worked. As a result I got really annoyed with Morrowind because sometimes lockpicking worked and sometimes it didn’t, unlike in Thief where it just took a bit of time. After being killed by a stupid worm-thing for the billionth time, I went downstairs and swore to my housemate that I would rid Morrowind of every singly bl00dy worm-thing, rat and cliffracer I could find. He gave me a knowing look and said ‘OK, let me know how you get on’. After doing this for a couple of days solidly I discovered that the game started to get easier for some peculiar reason that I didn’t really comprehend. Also, what was all that weird stuff with numbers again?

    A few months later I was at this party with a bunch of LARPers, and after a few drinks confessed my woes with this weird, unpredictable Morrowind game. After a few sniggers, one of them patiently explained about skills and levels and all that arcane stuff, and gave me a wonderful bit of advice: “revenge is a dish best served ten levels later”

    After that I didn’t bother with anything approaching an RPG for years, simply because they seemed like too much bother. That is, until I met my current g/f, who suggested LANning my two PCs so we could play Neverwinter Nights together.

    Am currently downloading Planescape:Torment off GOG’s sale :)

  28. outoffeelinsobad says:

    I purchased and completed Shadow Warrior.

  29. TulipWaltz says:

    All of these are quite recent, surprisingly;

    -Payed for a 3 month subscription of RIFT, of which I only spent roughly 24 hours playing… Probably should have tried the free trial first.

    -I pre-ordered both Stronghold 3 AND Sword of the Stars II…

    – I just purchased 9 games from GOGs Holiday Sale. Addiing them to my library of 32, bringing the total up to 41… All remain unplayed…

  30. Carra says:

    I added a year to my college education because of my WoW addiction, didn’t do much more than playing WoW all day.

  31. dahiro says:

    playing fifa for 6 months without a glance in the handbook and then learning from my 12 yo cousin that i can use the right stick on my controller for dribblings….and getting beaten soo bad by him.

  32. Aids40k says:

    Bought Supreme Commander 2, release day, thinking it would be popular for LAN’ing fests like Forged Alliance turned out to be.

    6GB download required for install. No internet for 2 weeks. No refund. I cried.

    Oh and it was awful.

  33. Inglourious Badger says:

    Steam stats:

    Football Manager 2010 = 208 hours
    Football Manager 2011 = 115 hours

    More than all Valve, Bethesda and EA games put together :(

    Worse than that, I don’t have the stats for Football Manager 2004 but it was similar, if not worse, and bear in mind that2004 was the second year of my Uni (after wisely leaving the PC at home for most of year 1). Suffice to say, I never did graduate. That’s kind of beyond shame into outright regret. Sigh.

  34. Orontes says:

    Bought Final Fantasy 8 for the PC and completed it, with the help of a walkthrough. Liked it as well, long summons and all.
    Also bought Resident Evil 4 for the PC.

  35. Bob says:

    I’ve got about 6 games from the 2010 Steam sales unplayed. I did buy and play MoH coz I got caught up in the hype. *embarrased face*

  36. FKD says:

    On the topic of the first 3D card you bought, mine was when I got Force Commander (that weird Star Wars RTS-ish thing from the late 90s). On the way home I eagerly read over every bit of the box and manual, and it was only then that I noticed it said “3D capable video card required”. Well what the heck did that mean? Surely my dad’s computer could handle that I mean heck, this bad boy had a Pentium TWO no less! AND a fancy 6 GIGABYTES (!!!) HD. Long story short, a few weeks later I went to a store to see what they had, and bought my first 32mb 3D card, which was probably a “no-name” version as far as I recall.

    I also fell into the trap of “well the number is still big so it must be similar” and ended up going from a 9800GTX that died and was the largest video card I had ever seen, to a 9500 or some such which looked like something from the early 2000s.

    As far as games go, I put off MechWarrior 3 because I got tired of the annoying voices and only many years later went back to find that it was extremely enjoyable and I wish that I had played it sooner!

    I have pirated several games and am not proud of it. I ended up stopping when I played a d/led version of Max Payne. I ended up loving the game so much that I could not stop until I had beaten it. I then immediately ran out and bought the special edition of it and promptly played through a second time. Since then I have tried to urge my friends that mention pirating games to buy them instead.

    And this is not PC related, but it took me 13 years to beat Zelda. To clarify, the majority of that time was spent playing a little, getting annoyed, and quitting. Then maybe a month or two later I would pick it up again and quit. Finally I sat down and decided to atleast finish the dungeon I was on and it was only then that I discovered that probably 98% of that time I had been on the last dungeon, with it all explored except for maybe one or two rooms including Ganon’s lair!

  37. kud13 says:

    ooh, I remember one about computer-frying!

    when I was…. 15, I think?, my parents went to their friend’s place for dinner or something, and I was playing around with our old Compaq Presario (which was a used PC we got for like 200 bucks when we first came to Canada. We’ve already had a better PC at the time, but the Compaq ran some of the older DOS games much more smoothly). so, long story short, being ancient, and having the kind of CD-ROM where you just slide the disk into the crack, and then when you eject it, it spits it out (not having a proper disk tray), the CD I used to install games from (a compilation CD of somehting like 400 games my grandfather bought me–back home, all games sold were pirated. we didn’t really know that untill we came to the West) got stuck. So, being an enterprising 15 year old who fancied himself a techie, I decided to take the computer tower apart withj a screwdriver to get the CD back!

    I don’t remember the details, but at some point, I’ve loosened the power cable slot, and tehn turned the tower on, while it was plugged in, to try to get the CD out…. and I ended up cutting the power to the entire house. The highlight of it all was when my parents came home and yelled at me for potentially electrocuting myself, my defence was “but I wore insulating rubber gloves!” The gloves were actually the latex kind doctors use (my mom works in a hospital)

    another moment of shame is with relation to one of my favourite game of all times: Blood Omen Legacy of Kain. about an hour into the game, i’d encounter a cave, where Kain would pick up wolf form and then end up trapped, necessitating the use of the wolf form. This required I press the spacebar.

    I left the game alone for years, coming back to it to show one of my far more game-savvy-friends, who figured it out in 30s. :(

    the first game i’ve ever played to completion was X-Com . when I was 16. I don’t play many games to completion.

  38. Premium User Badge

    bsplines says:

    First game I got on a PC was Star Wars:Rogue Squadron. Anyway, when you get to the 4th mission an AT-AT (those big walkers) appears and you basically have to tie its legs to defeat it. I probably spent 3 or 4 months there (longest time I ‘ve been stumped in a game) until I finally found that the snowspeeder had a harpoon as a secondary weapon. Turns out I should ‘ve watched the movies after all…

    At some point around Christmas several years ago, I bought a Haf-life pack (1,2 and episode 1). Both the box and the seller warned me that they required an Internet connection to run. Turns out they meant more than the flimsy 56k I had. I managed to play the games at the end though…next Christmas. Yeah, my first experience with Steam wasn’t exactly the best.

    I could never get into Warcraft. Or Starcraft. Or Diablo. Only Blizzard game I ever played a lot of? Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing. On the Super Nintendo.

    I have never played a Thief game. Or an Ultima game. Or The Longest Journey (I did play Dreamfall). Or a King’s Quest game apart from VIII which I both finished and enjoyed.

  39. Premium User Badge

    zapatapon says:

    I must have been 13 and was in admiration of the Gollop brothers’ already fantastic pre X-com games on my 8-bit machine (rebelstar, laser squad, lords of chaos). I decided to write a letter to their then company/publisher, Mythos. Except I didn’t know squat about the english language. I always wonder what they thought when receiving a letter of incomprehensible gibberish, proudly signed “a french freak” (I though freak meant fan)

  40. Pointless Puppies says:

    When I was 14/15 I had a strange fetish for business/sim-type games. I bought a game called Monopoly Tycoon solely because it said “From the creators of RollerCoaster Tycoon!” on the box (which was as good as an insta-buy for me), and oddly enough it was actually kinda fun, but in the short future afterwards that game did more harm than good because it justified a flurry of shitty games I bought just by looking at the box. Hey, it worked once, right?

    My little escapade with shitty business-sim games abruptly ended when I got my mum to buy a copy of an abortion of a game called Big Biz Tycoon. Worst piece of shit I’ve ever owned for PC hands down. It’s awful in every way, from the shit music to the shit UI to the shit Engrish to the shit graphics to the shit gameplay to every single miserable aspect of that pathetic waste of plastic on the disc.

    I have some kind of tendency to feel deep guilt for random things, to the point where I realized I was wasting my mum’s money and just stopped the sim-game fetish completely. Such is my shame.

    Here’s another short one, after I graduated high school but before I got into college I had a bad combination of nothing to do and no money, so I was sitting on my aging computer practically every day, downloading shitty Free-to-Play MMOs because hey, game content for free, right? Complete and utter waste of time. Felt like a $2 hooker scraping the bottom of the dumpster in an alley at the red light district for change. A complete and shameless lack of standards. Another shame.

    • adammtlx says:

      “Felt like a $2 hooker scraping the bottom of the dumpster in an alley at the red light district for change. A complete and shameless lack of standards. Another shame.”

      Haha. That’s how I’ve always felt about those trashy F2P MMOGs. Like licking up the last remnants of spilled heroin that’s been cut with plaster.

  41. ukpanik says:

    I stole £5 from my aunts handbag so I could buy a new c64 game.
    I bought ‘The Forest of Doom’.

  42. spleendamage says:

    Well, for the purposes of posterity here is my shame:

    Used to go to my friend’s house to play video games on his 386SX/33. I would stay and play on it until long after he had gone to bed and sometimes not leave until he was getting back up to go to work.

    I once pleaded for my friend not to take my city only a few turns from completing a battleship in a hot-seat game of Empire: Deluxe. I promised that I would not use it to attack him, I’d only attack our other friend. But he did, and I sacrificed every unit I made for the rest of game to make sure he would not win. What can I say, video games bring out the best in me.

    My friend and I used to both play Dungeon Master at the same time. Yes, it’s a single player game… I would navigate us through the dungeon and he would do all of the attacking parts. It actually worked pretty well. Playing by myself always ended disastrously.

    I decided not to move with my long-term college girlfriend when she went off to grad school in Long Island, instead I got a house in New Hampshire with three of my friends so that we could set up a LAN for multi-player Command and Conquer. The good news is I still get to game with my friends.

    I once played Everquest for over 48 hours straight in one session. I remember reading an article about someone who had died in an internet cafe in China or Korea after spending more than 24 hours at a computer there and thinking, “what a lightweight.”

    I used to drag my full tower and 24″ CRT to LAN parties. I’d need, like, a whole table.

  43. JagRoss says:

    I paid for a 560 ti, then took a 560 from the shelf.

  44. donmilliken says:

    I remember buying my first ever 3D Card, also a Voodoo, to play Escape From Monkey Island. I was (still am, of course) a huge fan of the franchise and was convinced it would be brilliant. That’s not my shame though, my shame was in trying to justify the purchase, made with money I really shouldn’t have spent (or at least not spent on that) to my mother.

    I remember loading up King’s Quest: Mask of Eternity and showing her the 3D accelerated and non 3D accelerated versions (It was the only game I had I knew I could do that with.) and going, “See? See? Totally worth it!” To which she sensibly responded, “I don’t see any difference,” prompting me to shout at her that she must be blind or stupid not to see how different the game looked with, “true 3D graphics.”

    I didn’t see much difference either, but I was damned if I was going to admit that.

  45. JagRoss says:

    Also I didn’t buy the THQ pack, because I only wanted about 5 games, a couple of days later I added up all the money I paid, total cost?
    Cost of pack with another 5-6 games?

  46. LazyNecromancer says:

    A butterfingered incident whilst installing a new hard drive causing me to fry my motherboard and my shiney new 9800 GT

  47. BattleXer says:

    – I sold my C64 with games and joysticks to a friend for 600DM (German Marks) after the Amiga was released. I told him that both computers were pretty much on par performance-wise, and he shouldn’t worry about getting an Amiga (even though he was contemplating it). He believed me, payed and I went and bought an Amiga the next day for myself (for around 800DM).

    – I played warcraft 1&2 and starcraft on a mac – for years – well there was nothing else…

    – Due to having a Mac for long years I missed out on so many legendary PC titles:
    Mech Warrior, X-Com, Quake, System Shock, Half Life, Deus Ex, KotOR – and no doubt many more. And now I can’t bring myself to play them because they just look too dated…

    – I bought a Panasonic 3DO console for 1000DM instead of a playstation (1) or a PC. Games were rare as hens teeth and just as expensive – but I had them all.

    – I won a gaming rig at an internet competition, but it arrived with the video card DOA. I think it was a geforce 6400. I complained until they sent a replacement: a brand spanking new GeForce 6800 Ultra.

    – That card died a few years down the track from overheating, because I had never cleaned it – ever.

  48. 13tales says:

    I bought Master of Orion 3.

    I have never (honestly) finished the following games: Dooms 1&2, Quakes 1&2, Diablo, System Shocks 1&2, the Witcher, DXHR, and many, many more…

    Also, not PC gaming, but I used to beat the intellectually sub-par (but more skilled than me) kid from across the road at fighting games by pretending I knew a secret super-move and authoritatively mashing a complex sequence on the D-pad. I’d then beat him silly while he incapacitated himself with paranoia over what the effects would be. Actually, I’m kind of proud of that one.

    • jezcentral says:

      MOO3? So did I, and it ground to a halt as the turns went on. My PC was taking an hour between turns at one point, before I gave up. Now playing to that point takes a) dedication,. and b) utter stupidity.

  49. jezcentral says:

    I only got into LAN party weekends last year.

    What an idiot. How did I not do this earlier? It’s fantastic! (Living in the UK’s South East doesn’t help, though. They are few and far between when it costs more than tuppence, three-farthing to hire a hall.)

  50. Ovno says:

    I’ve tried to play all of Frictional’s horror games and have never managed it because I was too scared.

    On one of the penumbra’s I never left the first or second room, there was something behind the door and I just couldn’t bring myself to open it.

    I tried the Portal 2 DLC on Amnesia and almost managed to do by following a walk through and having all of the lights on in the middle of the day, but still I failed, I got to the last door but was shaking too much to turn the wheel and close it…

    Oh and I almost beat my missus to death with an xbox controller when she snuck up on me, with amazing skill, while I was playing dead space in the dark and did a perfect impression of one of those horrible gribblies that grab your legs, she did it so perfectly I looked round in the game first and then went, “AHHHGHGGHHHH its in the room!!!!!!!!!”

    And no I’m not very good with horror games…

    • Njam says:

      Hey, it’s no shame to be scared of Frictional’s games. FEAR on the other hand… Yeah, i used to be scared of that.