Friday, June 23, 2006

Quake is 10, and once more I feel old

Slashdot points out that ten years ago yesterday the original version of Quake appeared on download servers at I was already familiar with the FPS genre in the form of Castle Wolfenstein, DOOM, and Duke Nukem, but Quake was the game that began my habit of playing online late at night. I used to deathmatch against my friends at work and in the computer lab, and I remember downloading Quake at the office at Georgetown and playing it in the "War Room" (the closet-like workspace I shared with my boss and our student assistant) during lunch. When I bought my first home PC six months later I loaded Quake onto it and would play online into the wee hours against whoever was out there. I had to play at night so I wouldn't tie up the phone line during the day. And when I got my first 3D-capable video card, well, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I still play FPS games online occasionally, but I don't have much of a tolerance for other gamers anymore, so now when I play games it's mostly offline. Still, I can hardly believe it's been ten years. I keep a copy of the original Quake handy for the occasional road trip when I get really bored. It will actually play on the laptops I get from work, and it's still fun to frag computer-controlled monsters once in a while.

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