My Introduction to Games
I started playing video games back in 1983 or 1984; all remember is that I was 3 and that I had a commodore 64. My dad had a friend who did not want it anymore, and thus my dad brought it home. He showed me how to work it and after that, I was the only one that ever played on the system. I had Pong, Space Invaders, and Pac-man. Pac-man was my all time favorite, spending hours playing that game.
Fast forward to the 90s, I did not really play video games, except occasionally on the displays in the stores. At some point my younger brother got a Super NES, which I would sometimes play Super Mario Brothers on, though most of my time was spent learning my way around our new IBM PC, which ran windows 3.0.
Later my brother upgraded to a Sega Genesis. I remember playing Sonic the hedgehog for hours. We also had Mortal Combat, I liked the fact that I could beat up all my younger siblings (while playing against them in the game) and not get in trouble.
Around the same time in elementary school, we had a computer room that we visited once a week. They had Apple II computers and a little game called Oregon Trail. I loved that game. In this role-playing game, your family is taking a journey by covered wagon across 2000 miles of plains, rivers, and mountains. The player had to make choices on how to get there, you even had to make purchases and keep track of your supplies. This educational game was very heavily text based, but nonetheless I loved it.
When my bother got the first-generation PlayStation, I remember playing the House of Dead; I think it was, you could use this special gun attachment to shoot the zombies.
Throughout the 90’s my parents would buy us these Tiger handheld Disney games. I had a whole collection, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and the Lion King. They only played the single game, had only about two or three levels and worked like a digital clock. Where the background was a static screen and the character would move (jump to location) as you pressed the controller. Although primitive, I loved playing these games while on road trips.
In 1995, we bought an HP computer with Windows 95. I ended up buying Star Wars Rebel Assault for the PC and even got a Joystick. This same year, I had won a family pass to see a sneak peak at Toy Story, and it hit me. I had been writing stories since kindergarten and always wanted to be a writer, but I also loved computers and art, now I could be it all. I could write and create 3D animations.
In 1996, my brother got another new system, the Nintendo 64. With that, he got the latest edition of Donkey Kong, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The graphics were nice, and it had fun colors and music.
My Return to Games
By 1998, my focus was building websites, having thought myself HTML. In my spear time, I was also playing computer games like solitary and Minesweeper. At this time, I was attending college for Computer Aided Drafting and 3D Molding, which kept me busy.
I did not get back into game until I started dating my husband in 2001. He had me play Medal of Honor with him, later he introduced me to World of Warcraft (WOW). I was all about WOW and would sometimes play for eight hours straight. About this same time, I was learning how to make games with Adobe Flash using ActionScript.
In 2005, I ended up taking a position at the Oklahoma Community College where I would be teaching course in their new game design program. Later I would end up teaching at Pittsburg State University in Kansas where I taught web development and design, though I always found a way to including a little bit of game design into our projects. In 2017 I took on the role of Instructor of Computer Simulation and Gaming at the University of Tulsa.
Passion for Games
Currently I spend a lot of my gaming time playing with my VR headset. I enjoy playing a wide range of games and can’t wait to get a hold of the Half-Life: Alyx game. In the meantime, I’ve been playing a few different games and even recently purchased a remastered copy of Star Wars Rebel Assault, ah the nostalgia.
To me, games are more than just something to keep kids busy. Games are a way to connect with friends and family. I also believe that games can provide us with new thoughts and ideas, allow us to understand ourselves a little better by placing us in situations that we would probably never be in in real life, and with VR even experience things we might otherwise have never had the opportunity to.
My passion has always been in storytelling and graphics; however, I have also grown to appreciate object ordinated programming languages such as Java and C#. These skills provide me with the ability to develop games. While I may never work for a triple A gaming company my ultimate goal is to provide the skills and resources to students in my courses so that one day, they will produce not just a game, but an experience that one has not even imagined yet.