Computer games burn time bigtime

24 December 2011
It has been a long time (at least 5 years) since I last played computer games, but with a lot of time with not much to do and some new hardware to try it, I decided to fire up a few classics. A week just disappeared. I had long forgotten how much time computer games absorb, and now see why so many students fail their degrees due to playing games all the time.

So what games, then?

Although Doom was first released in 1994, and hence most current students would lump it in the same category as Pong, it is precisely the game I spent most of the time playing. The specific version of Doom I wasted half of Christmas playing was Final Doom, which is a Doom2 mission pack released circa 1995-1996. Also, since the Doom source code has been released, people out there have updated it to take advantage of modern hardware. So rather than mid-1990's highly pixellated 320x240 software-rendered graphics, I am playing Doomsday at OpenGL-rendered 1280x1024. To top it off, throw in user-created 3D model and music packs, and you actually have a game that still looks & sounds good compared to more modern ones.

For various reasons (though mostly due to being too lazy to reboot to Windows), I did not really play any other games. A lot of the time I had Doom running in a window rather than full-screen, so I could do things like chat on Skype/MSN at the same time. One of the joys of having a fairly high-resolution display and a GTX 580 (any more powerful, and you are looking at the £1000+ range) driving it.

Newly re-found hobby?

Hope not. I would barely have time to finish off games such as Vice City, let alone catch up with a whole 5+ years of non-playing of games. Worst part is how easily one can play these games, then realise it is already 4am..