So you’ve stumbled into the first edition of “Radeon Roundtable”. What is it, exactly?
As the title implies, it’s a new series on Radeon.com, a recurring roundtable of discussions. Various RTG staff members come together and discuss topics, debates, and fun questions related to gaming. After all, we are all gamers—so why not have a bit of fun talking about them?
Sometimes these roundtables will take form of sharing our gaming stories. At other times we may get into some heated debates. Whatever the case, we’re here to talk games.
Topic: The game that got you into gaming
Part 1: The 80’s Games
Stella Lee, Marketing and Communications Manager
I was introduced to gaming on the original NES, not with a single game in particular, but with three: Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt and World Class Track Meet. Soon after I was born, my dad brought the original NES home, along with these three titles. When my mom asked him why he’d bought it, his response was “It’s for the baby”. Classic.
Several years later, when I was actually old enough to play these games, I remember spending many hours in the basement with my younger brother, on an endless search for Princess Peach (we never managed to beat it) in Super Mario Bros., cursing the giggling dog as we shot down the ducks in Duck Hunt, and exerting ourselves running with all of our might on the Power Pad, even resorting to using our hands to “run” when we got too tired playing World Class Track Meet.
Even though games and graphics have evolved tremendously over the years, the original NES system and these three games will always bring back fond memories of my childhood, as a gateway into the vast world of gaming.
Peter Ross, Sr. Marketing Manager, Gaming Strategy
My first gaming “PC” was an Apple IIe – does that count? Zaxon was awesome back then. They did the Commodore green screen downgrade, and then bought the ubiquitous white box 386 from a mom & pop PC shop in Markham… which I upgraded to a AMD 486 some time later in order to play X-Wing better. Sound Blaster cards with .bat file editing requirements were horrid but oh the sound of blat blat blat on my dorm stereo chasing Tie-fighters for hours. Yes, loading actual floppies, the floppy kind, was epic fun.
Thank goodness they upgraded to hard floppies, with way more capacity – only 10+ instead of 30? Good times.
Jason Evangelho, Sr. Technical Marketing Specialist
When you consider the first networked multiplayer games on a home PC, I bet the original DOOM from 1993 springs to mind. Apple fans of a certain age may remember 1991’s Spectre. Let’s get a bit more obscure. How about 1987’s MIDI Maze for the Atari ST, which actually enabled multiplayer through a MIDI interface? Well, my first PC gaming experience happened 3 years earlier, and it’s a little slice of history.
The year is 1984, and the very concept of a LAN (local area network) is in its infancy. Despite that, my stepfather – being some kind of computer tech genius – had wired up three IBM model 5160 PCs (the one with the beefy 10MB hard drive) across 3 rooms in our house, to play a DOS game called Snipes. In Snipes you used your keyboard’s arrow keys to navigate a randomly generated maze, firing with WASD to eliminate sniper nests and other players.
Back then, I had no clue that Snipes would go on to officially inspire a little game called NetWars. Nor did I know a company called Novell, Inc. was working on a program to “easily” link two computers to operate together, and that Snipes was the software created to test its capabilities. Nor did I realize I was probably playing the world’s first “deathmatch.” I just remember our family playing it for hours on end, and it single-handedly leading to a lifelong obsession with computers and video games, a solid year before the NES was released in the United States (we’ll save that for a separate feature!)
Chris Mikesell, Technical Marketing Demo Expert
In 1986 I was told I could get a Nintendo Entertainment System if I saved up $99.99. My only source of income was $0.10 a chore and the yearly birthday card from my grandparents with $5. It took a year of cleaning and doing anything my parents would consider a chore to earn those precious dimes. One fateful day in 1987, I went to my parents with my piggy bank filled with exactly $99.99. They took pity on me, as I didn’t understand taxes, and paid the extra $8.25.
The NES sustained me until 1992. A friend brought his desktop computer to the school science fair and he had a copy of Wolfenstein 3D on his computer. From there, consoles fell by the wayside and my reason for living became owning a computer to play these technologically astounding games: Wolf3D, Doom, Heretic, Redneck Rampage, Rise of the Triad. Cut to 1997: I went to my first LAN party and those 48 hours of playing Doom and Quake (QTF) had me hooked.
I credit PC Gamer Magazine for my career in tech. Rooting around the demo discs, editing himem.sys, EMS memory, and manually installing graphics drivers taught me everything I needed to know about DOS and eventually Windows and Linux. #thanksgames
Click here for part 2, where we go into the games from the 90’s…