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What Games Have Actually Affected You? 1557

FortKnox asks: "What games have affected you simply by playing them? What games immersed you so well into its environment that you actually felt different after playing it? For me, I'd have to go with System Shock 2. Basically the predecessor to Deus Ex, it was the only game that made me so afraid that the minute I heard a matron mother, I turned the other way and ran. What game scared you to death, or made you think after playing it?"
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What Games Have Actually Affected You?

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  • Hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by afree87 ( 102803 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:31PM (#5875337) Journal
    I'd have to say the game that most affected me is Global Thermonuclear War.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gudlyf ( 544445 ) <gudlyf.realistek@com> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:41PM (#5875438) Homepage Journal
      Actually, that's not as "funny" as it seems. Back about a year after War Games was released and my personal computer was an Apple //e, a strange package came in the mail for me form a company I had never heard of. Inside was just a commercial-labled floppy with the title "Global Termonuclear War". So of course, being the geek I was/am, and having seen War Games a few times already, I plopped it in and loaded 'er up. I must say my friends and I were pretty freaked out at the realism at the time of this game -- I recall one friend checking to make sure our modem connection was disconnected in case this floppy wasn't so innocent.

      Of course, now I look back and am embarassed at our reaction, but it did freak us out at the time. Not so sure it affected me forever or anything.

      • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bedouin ( 248624 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:58PM (#5875610)
        Inside was just a commercial-labled floppy with the title "Global Termonuclear War".

        Anyone happen to know if there's a disk image of this floating around on the Internet somewhere? Would love to check it out.
      • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

        by realdpk ( 116490 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:54PM (#5876531) Homepage Journal
        Ah yes, those innocent times of the past, when you received strange packages from unfamiliar places and all you had to worry about was what video game was inside.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:01PM (#5876103)
      I think mine would be "Lemonade Stand" on my Apple II+. I nearly pee'd my pants when I had allocated most of my money to inventory, and not only did it rain the next day, but there was construction on my street, diverting traffic. Being a cool day, the construction workers were not interested in Lemonade. I went bankrupt. That is probably the pivotal moment of my life.

      I did better in Quake I, though... ;-)
  • Half Life (Score:5, Funny)

    by HunterZero ( 102709 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:32PM (#5875347) Homepage
    I swear, I'll never play that game in the dark again. Damned headcrabs scared the hell out of me, jumping out of dark corners and attacking me in air ducts.

    Afterwards I hard a hard time getting to sleep since there was a storm outside and it sounded like the headcrabs were coming to get me.
    • by phyrestang ( 638793 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:50PM (#5875532) Homepage
      Have you ever played the "They Hunger" mod for half-life? It's sort of a horror/zombie thing. The first time I played it was in a dark room at 2am, and I had just set up my surround sound. To this day I still don't know how the hell that zombie made it out of my room before I turned around to look at him.
    • by shroudedmoon ( 533918 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:00PM (#5877979)
      I remember one of the first times I was playing Half-Life. Ok, here's a strange combo, but it had me ripping off my headphones and running for the light switch.

      I'm stalking through dark corridors (2 am, of course), when there's this haunting "chanting" coming from everywhere in the game. I couldn't make out what it was saying, or where it was coming from. FREAKED the crap out of me. The alien game had suddenly gone all haunted and spooky... Scared me to death... All I heard were disembodied children giggling and singing.

      Turns out what had happened was that my son had left his Reader Rabbit Toddler CD in the drive, and when HL went to fetch music, it pulled the audio tracks off of there. The in game music volume was low enough that I couldn't make out the words... Just the rhythm :)

    • Zork (Score:4, Funny)

      by wass ( 72082 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:34PM (#5878114)
      I swear, I'll never play that game in the dark again.

      Zork taught me never to wander about in the dark, period. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

  • by Second_Derivative ( 257815 ) * on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:33PM (#5875349)
    ...has always been a favourite of mine. I mean, the series has gone through 12 iterations now and it's still going strong; maybe not the most cutting-edge graphics, but the attention to storyline and soundtrack has certainly made it very popular (Square games seem to have by far the most fanfics written for them, if that's any metric of the storyline).

    On an unrelated note... AAARGH!! MY EYES!! MY FRIGGIN EYES!!!!!! (if you can't tell I'm really not a fan of this colour scheme)
    • I used to be a huge fan of Final Fantasy, but recently Square has just run out of ideas. FFX was the first decent FF game in a while and even it wasn't all that great. FFXI is just another EverQuest clone, and supposedly not a very good one at that (which is why Square was in no rush to bring it out over here.) I'm looking forward to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the first Tactics was one of if not the best Final Fantasy game ever. Oh well, I guess video games will never be as cool as I remember. Least I s
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @07:23PM (#5877481)
      "but the attention to storyline"

      Ignoring the first, are we? Hell, the story to the original Dragon Quest/Warrior was more coherent than the three or four paradoxes that one caused...
      1. If I killed Garland in the beginning of the game, who got sent back in time?
      2. If I killed the Four Fiends, who sends Garland back in time?
      3. If I go back in time and kill Garland then, who spawns the Four Fiends?
      4. If I killed the Four Fiends in the past on my way to killing Garland for the second (first?) time, how come they manage to make it to the present unscathed?
      Square: Um... uh... Hey, look! There's a hidden tile game in it!
  • Duke3D (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Verteiron ( 224042 ) * on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:33PM (#5875359) Homepage
    The first time I encountered one of those floating brain things in Duke Nukem 3D I nearly peed myself. Those things made the creepiest noises, did massive damage, and completely freaked me out the first time I saw one (after it snuck up behind me, underwater).

    As for a game that affected me emotionally, I'd have to say Final Fantasy 4 (2 in the US). The storyline was so deep that, even with the terrible translation that Square inflicted on it, the pain of the characters showed through.
    • Re:Duke3D (Score:3, Funny)

      by Epistax ( 544591 )
      DUDE! I was playing Duke3D for the first time, and I was just about to end the first level, when my Weird Al CD playing (which had "ended" quite a while ago), played a bonus 10 second snippet of weird al screaming and a lot of weird sounds going on.
      Scared the shit out of me.
    • by MORTAR_COMBAT! ( 589963 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:48PM (#5875508)
      Talk about nearly peeing yourself.
      • Yeah, but that didn't hold a candle to the original CW on the Apple ][, for me anyway, probably because by the time Wolf 3D came out, I already understood the way video games all work. Wolfenstein on the Apple // was sufficiently different than other games - being held up at gunpoint or being able to hold them up at gunpoint, having to find a uniform, a bulletproof vest, etc. When the SS got on your trail (after having shot some poor sod) you were in for some scary moments. It was the only game that really
  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot AT stango DOT org> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:34PM (#5875362) Homepage Journal
    There are times now in traffic when I get that unimistakable urge to just pull into the oncoming lane to pass some slow moron in front of me, or to pull the guy who cut me off out of his car at the next red light and lay a beating on his ass.

    I don't do it, of course, but one can dream... and I know I'm not alone, because I've seen other posts on here from people similarly afflicted.
    • Re:GTA3, for one... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ByteMangler_242 ( 618623 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:54PM (#5875574)
      I have had the same urge, also the "empty intersection but it's red" syndrome.
      But what really made me back off was an incident involving a cop car. I was returning a video to the store, and the cop car is outside, running to keep it warm in the January cold. First bad thought: Does the cop have two sets of keys? Second bad thought: If he has only one set, the door is unlocked, and he can't see the car from his angle inside. Third bad thought: Hit Triangle button in real life.
      I could deal with the red light running instinct, the pedestrian hitting fantasies, but cop-car jacking was a bit much to handle. I play Vice City in small bursts now, but no marathon sessions.
    • by po8 ( 187055 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:13PM (#5875734)

      Heh. Back in the day, I spent about 8 hours playing multiplayer air combat with acm [] on an SGI Onyx system (a predecessor of the Onyx 3000 []), with its incredibly-realistic-for-the-time 3D rendering and physics.

      On the drive home, I found myself needing to cross 4 lanes of traffic to make a light. Without thinking, I spotted a small opening, stepped on the gas, and floored it, squeezing through quite nicely. Then I realized what I had done.

      Resolved: remember that I don't have bonus lives.

    • by fbg111 ( 529550 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:39PM (#5875933)
      Second that. GTA3 & VC have trained my subconscious to hit pedestrians, sucker-punch policemen with brass knuckles, and ram cars that cut me off till they burst into flames and explode. If only they made games that trained me how to invest like Warren Buffet, instead of behave like a fucking maniac, I'd be set.
  • M.U.L.E. (Score:3, Funny)

    by E. T. Alveron ( 617765 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:34PM (#5875369)
    Yeah it was 1983...yeah it was on the Commodore, but who needs more than 64k anyway?
  • Doom (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geeber ( 520231 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:34PM (#5875371)
    Doom. Definately Doom. First truly immersive 3d shooter. Those dark areas and shuffling noises scared the bejesus out of me.

    And there was nothing worse than turning a corner and confronting a demon unexpectedly
    • Re:Doom (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oever ( 233119 )
      I built my house in doom and played until deep inthe night with roommates. Even away from the computer and walking around in the real house, the slightest sound would keep me alert for attackers.
  • Civilisation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jim the Bad ( 192095 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:34PM (#5875373) Homepage
    ...for giving me an interest in history and geography.
    • Re:Civilisation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sgt_sloth ( 638201 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:01PM (#5875631)
      I second that, and also want to say that some of the game mechanics influenced my thoughts about history and technological development. For example, starting off geographically isolated (i.e. on a small island) with no other civs to trade technologies with is a sure fire recipe for falling behind.

      If you look at actual history, though, you can use this game mechanic to explain why certain real-world civilizations were also technologically primitive without resorting to un-PC speculation about inherent cultural/intellectual inferiority. For example, both New World Indians (no wheel, no metallurgy) and sub-Saharan Africans (no writing) were technologically backwards b/c they were isolated from the technology swapping that was going on between the various Eurasian civilizations.

  • Warcraft II (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fapestniegd ( 34586 ) <james.jameswhite@org> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:35PM (#5875377) Homepage
    I played it for 72 hours straight and got severely dehydrated. If I hadn't looked at the clock I, might have died.
  • Unreal Tournament.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:35PM (#5875379) Homepage
    This game came very close to making me fail Fluid Dynamics A.

    As it was the game stopped working due to a Direct X foobar a week before my finals and I didn't have the inclination to reinstall. So, thank you Gates/Balmer for my 81%!

    OTOH as far as great games goes, I think Dungeon Keeper wins every time. I played that one for about 60 hours straight until I fell asleep at my desk. Ahh, what great days.
  • The game that affected me the most was Wolfenstein 3D. I was 7 at the time, and somehow it had appeared on my computer (I guess my dad went out, bought it, and installed it). I figured out the directory where it was stored and played it (this was back on my 386). Never has a game scared me so much. I wasn't even allowed to see PG movies, let alone Nazis and guard dogs and mutants spewing crimson gore! I was mightily afraid of the game, but at the same time, couldn't stop playing it. It taught me an interest in the Nazis and World War II that I would never have acquired otherwise. And I had nightmares for years on end ... walking through hallways armed only with a pistol ... and then I turn around and a Nazi with a machine gun is shooting at me!! Newer FPS's with more realistic graphics don't scare me as much ... for me, the one and only horror game will always be Wolfenstein 3D.
  • by mgmartin ( 580921 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:36PM (#5875384)
    Playing Halo late at night by myself with the surround cranked up had me seeing the invisible monsters in my dreams.
    • Definitely MGS for the PS1. That game was so cinematic... every character was really cool. The part that the guy has the heart attack, and I could feel the heart beating in the controller. Mantis, reading my memory card... that was impressive. Finally, the torture... it really felt like a torture to me. My arm was in pain after surving the torture, and Snake said his was too! And then on the codec "I'm going to activate the nanomachines to give you a massage". Talk about interactive!
  • by friedegg ( 96310 ) <bryan.wrestlingdb@com> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:36PM (#5875389) Homepage
    After I played Tetris for a while, I just couldn't stop thinking about the block shapes and the combinations I could use to create complete lines. I haven't played in a while, but I can still clearly picture a game in my head.
    • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:11PM (#5875713) Homepage
      I had it worse.

      For a few weeks i was stuck in a rather remote location with a Compaq II as company.
      It had this 'Tetris' game on it and I started playing it but found it rather impossible, the 'highest scores' showed several hundreds of points by some unknown predecessor and I could not even reach 100...
      I figured they had 'edited' the list.

      After about 10 days of playing I scored in the 10's of thousands and went loopy, even ordinary daily problems seemed like a bunch of falling blocks that only needed organising before hitting the floor.

      Scary, I laid off of the game for more than a year before I tried again.
      But I had several calls of collegues if it was me that had got to these high Tetris scores on that field computer...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:44PM (#5875960)
        Jesus ! for all this years i thougt it was just me !

        I remember having recurring nightmares in which i was playing an impossible level, every piece was falling fast and when at last i was downing the pile. Suddenly a bright blue sphere apeared falling.. slow, very slow. And then I started to think desperately.. where the f*ck can i put the sphere ! where ! and every time i woke up sweating with my heart sounding as a train..

        After some nights like this i quit playing tetris, i loved it, but it was too dangerous.. i was't playing it, it was the game who was playing with my mind.

        True Story

    • I remember flying into New York city, playing Tetris on my Gameboy (Marina Sirtis played Tetris on her Gameboy back then, and we'd play head to head. Sadly, I was too young to suggest strip Tetris at the time) on my way to a Star Trek convention.

      As the plane passed by the skyline of Manhattan, I looked out the window at the buildings, and visualized how many blocks I could 'drop in' to make a solid line across the top.
    • by Doktor Memory ( 237313 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:11PM (#5876668) Journal
      About ten years ago, I was home from college during the summer, and making a little extra cash by being a receptionist at an insurance company office.

      Being the middle of summer, half of the adjusters were on vacation, and the rest of them were taking as many personal days as they could manage. There was nothing to do except answer the phone when it rang twice a day... ...and play Tetris on the 386 running Windows 3.1 on my desk. So I played it a lot. For hours on end, day in and day out: racking up some pretty impressive scores, and spending almost entire days in the Tetris Zone.

      This went on for about three weeks, until one afternoon I had to put a particularly intense game on hold to go answer the call of nature. I ambled into the bathroom, sat down in one of the stalls and was all set to do my business, until I made a fatal mistake: I looked the floor made out of thousands and thousands of 1.5" white square tiles.

      I swear to god the entire room tilted sideways, and if I hadn't been sitting down, I would have fallen. I could feel the parts of my brain that had been doing nothing but tetris pattern recognition for the previous four hours having a near-meltdown as they looked at this solid mass of blocks and tried to map tetris shapes onto each of them. For about 15 seconds, it was like watching a thousand games of tetris played at once, transparently overlaid on each other. I imagine that the sensation was a little bit like what epileptics feel: a firestorm of neurons triggering all at once.

      As drug experiences go, it had a lot to recommend it, but I have never really wanted to play Tetris since. Just say no.
  • Myst (Score:5, Funny)

    by neurostar ( 578917 ) <{moc.novirp} {ta} {ratsoruen}> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:36PM (#5875391)

    I always got scared playing that... it was too quiet... I was always expecting someone to come out from around a corner shooting...
    The worst part was that my brothers would always come in and scare the shit out of me. :o

    But I guess I'm just a pussy... :\

    • Re:Myst (Score:3, Funny)

      by kingkade ( 584184 )
      But I guess I'm just a pussy...

      Christ, thanks for leaving me with nothing to reply. Trolls need to feel needed too ;-)
  • by Bedevere ( 631336 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:36PM (#5875393)
    Once I was talking to someone about the benefits of recycling and solar power and then I realized I was basing my entire discussion on what I had learned from playing Sim City 4.
  • Thief (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kwil ( 53679 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:37PM (#5875396)
    I still haven't finished the damned thing. I get myself so tense trying to sneak through the places that I find I can't play for longer than an hour or so.. it's exhausting.
    • Re:Thief (Score:4, Interesting)

      by A Pearl Before Swine ( 445132 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:42PM (#5876883)
      Definitely a great game. It managed to combine the action of a first person shooter with a strong and compelling story-line. But what I liked most about it was the ambiance and atmosphere. You could just feel the decadence of the noblemen's mansions, the emptiness of long forgotten ruins, and the malice lurking in ancient tombs. Many of the levels were very frightening, and games don't scare me easily.

      It was also nice in that there was almost always more than one way to surmount any obstacle or best any foe you came across -- stealth, speed, distraction, evasion, brute force, etc. And brute force was usually the worst option to choose.

      All in all, Thief and Thief 2 have to be my favorite single player games. There are a couple of examples of bad level design in them, but then there are plenty of good levels that more than make up for the bad ones. Worth buying if you've never played them before, especially since they're more than old enough to be in the bargain bin.

      I think I occasionally spent way too much staying up at night playing the game, and becoming sleep deprived. The next day I would have an embarrassing, almost unconscious urge to walk close to walls and seek out shadows, :)

      Isn't Thief 3 supposed to be coming out sometime, or has that been cancelled? I wonder if it will be any good. I wonder if any of the same people that created Thief are working on it, given that Looking Glass went under long ago.

  • by SpanishInquisition ( 127269 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:38PM (#5875405) Homepage Journal
    If Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
  • for me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GoatPigSheep ( 525460 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:38PM (#5875410) Homepage Journal
    Quake would be one. It was one of the first real 3d first person shooters. The lighting, combined with Trent Reznor's twisted soundtrack, made this a real experience. While games like doom or wolfenstein were great, they still had that "video-game" feel to it. Quake was the first game that really gave me that sense of claustophobia and panic.

    Another notable example would be Starcraft, which affected me greatly as I lost my tan and my social life because I spent so many years playing it online!
  • Scorched Earth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roachmotel3 ( 543872 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:39PM (#5875419)
    Scorched Earth, and it's descendants such as Pocket Tanks. We still play it fanatically at work now. In fact, we're gonna have pocket tanks brackets set up this week for a quick tourney.

    It's deceptively easy, only angle and power adjustments, but the weapon choices add an intense degree of strategy, and the simpleness of the game makes it available to everyone.

    Easily one of my biggest time hogs ever ;)
  • by dupper ( 470576 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:40PM (#5875431) Journal
    When I started playing it, it switched my allegiance from strongly Star Trek to strongly Star Wars. I've since acheived a comfortable geequalibrium between Star Trek, Star Wars and Tolkien.
  • Minesweeper (Score:5, Funny)

    by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:42PM (#5875449) Journal
    Its really the simple games that get me the most. To really play minesweeper well, you have to commit complex patterns to instinct and then defocus your eyes a little so that you see and comprehend all of the field at one time. Then you sort of make your world one with the field and shut out everything else. After a few hours of minesweeper, I'm a very dangerous driver because turning off that pattern matching logic is difficult. I tend to find myself instinctively relating the cars to the cells of the field and wondering which are the bombs.
  • The countdown... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:42PM (#5875451) Journal
    Well not a countdown. Just a list.

    1) DOOM. Nightmares after playing it for 11 hour straight, the day the shareware images were first released. The dark images, the flickering lights in the station, the SOUNDS!

    2) DOOM II. Driving out of town for a holiday in the mountains, I saw a sign advertising a "Sale today on chainsaws!" Instantly I thought, "Damn, I've been looking for a chainsaw for days. Should I..." and then realised that I'd been looking for a chainsaw in the game.

    3) System Shock. The updated original, on CD, with voices. Shodan was NEVER so scary! Oh man, the nights I lay awake, wired on adrenaline and fear. That changed my life, because it nearly cost me my job.

    4) Grim Fandango. Never have I been so wrapped up in the characters in a game. Never. Ever. I just about cried in at least three different spots.
  • Nethack (Score:5, Funny)

    by weston ( 16146 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:42PM (#5875456) Homepage
    Nothing else comes close. Several months ago my machine crashed and I had to reformat my hard drive. By this time I was already having dreams ascii dungeons, monsters, and a 'd' following me around hoping for '%'. I decided maybe it was best if I didn't reinstall nethack. Though there's still those darn public nethack machines....

    I don't know if I'm the best example, though. I've spent tortured nights dreaming of physics problems, one or two particularly bad nights dreaming of C++, and even come up with a Pascal algorithm or two in my sleep.

    Of course, I have also come upon the secret of life once or twice in my sleep, but can never seem to remember it when I wake up...
  • Deus Ex, by far... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by metatruk ( 315048 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:42PM (#5875458)
    I have to say that I am a *huge* fan of the game Deus Ex. That game includes some incredible storytelling. I can play the game over and over again, and each time I do, I find something new. The creators of that game really spent a lot of time paying attention to detail. Truly an incredible game.

    Hopefully the Invisible War will be out soon. I will buy it as soon as it does :-)
    And if that game doesn't run on WineX like Deus Ex does, I will even go so far as to install Windows on my machine. Yes, that is how much this means to me...
  • X-Wing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tuxlove ( 316502 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:43PM (#5875462)
    Ever since I was a kid, I wanted my own X-Wing. Apparently the makers of Lucas Arts' X-Wing did too. They made me my very own X-Wing, and I couldn't stop flying it. When I first sat down to play the game, I had butterflies in my stomach, because I didn't believe they'd get it right. When I realized they did, I couldn't stop laughing with joy. It was a true nerd experience. All of the subsequent games, like Tie Fighter and so on, were even better.

    Games nowadays are vastly superior from a technical standpoint, but none of them approach the inspiration behind this game. Though I have to say, Jedi Outcast is a close second. An incredibly cool game. I've also wanted a light saber since I was a kid, and JO is a good substitute.
  • by thadeusPawlickiROX ( 656505 ) * on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:43PM (#5875463)
    I can't tell you how many times I've broken my hand by jumping up and trying to break blocks... And I've gotten sick a few times trying to eat magic mushrooms to make me big too!

    I think I'll stay away from those fire flowers, I can't imagine what those would do to me.

  • Star Control 2 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Orcspit ( 600792 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:44PM (#5875468)
    I have never been so engrossed in a game since. This was all I played for months, and also probably one of the hardest games I have ever played. To this day I still use little refrences from this game in my daily life. *Enjoy the Sauce!* 0rcspit
  • by YOU ARE SO FIRED! ( 635925 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:44PM (#5875470) Journal
    It introduced me to sleeping with hookers. I've never felt so diseased!
  • Morrowind (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dupper ( 470576 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:45PM (#5875477) Journal
    Prior to Morrowind, I had serious contempt for anything and everything involved with RPGs or RPG elements. But I fucking loved Morrowind, I wasted my whole winter break playing it non-stop (to the rather severe detriment of my health). I still don't understand the appeal of pencil and paper RPGs, but they don't seem to understand the appeal of NetHack (my next, after Morrowind, and current RPG indulgence), either. Still, it did significantly shange my worldview, though.
  • Pong (Score:5, Funny)

    by GordoSlasher ( 243738 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:45PM (#5875480)
    When I heard the sound of that little white square hitting that white line, knowing that the little white square was now headed toward my white line, I was so frightened I turned and ran.
  • Slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:45PM (#5875483) Journal
    But then they stopped keeping score.
  • by sudog ( 101964 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:45PM (#5875489) Homepage
    ...superior horror experience, scary enough that I only know a single individual who managed to play the whole thing through.
  • by euxneks ( 516538 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:50PM (#5875530)
    It's got to be Ico. That game just totally set the bar for emotion. I can't even play it I'm so afraid of losing the princess to the shadow beasts. It's a gorgeous game with great atmosphere. Another one would have to be the first Tomb Raider. When you first meet those wolves and the music gets all fast paced and energized, it really gets your blood pumping.
    • Ico is, without question, the single greatest gaming experience I have had. Says David Smith in his review [] for []:

      Ico is a bit of a difficult study. Well, honestly, why beat around the bush? This is the damnedest game to come down the pike in a long while, and not just in the Buchigire Kongou/Drum Mania "ain't that goofy?" sense. In gameplay terms, it is an extremely simple piece of work. On the most basic level, the challenge is just to move from point A to point B, overcoming the inanimate obsta

  • Simple puzzle game (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blonde rser ( 253047 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:50PM (#5875531) Homepage
    Just this simple puzzle [] that I found online. Maybe this doesn't qualify as a video game but it is cool because it seems like just a simple picture but if you stare at it long enough you realize there is something wrong with it. And once you realize what is wrong you're left thinking about it for a long time. As interesting as a lot of video games.
  • by grahams ( 5366 ) * on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:50PM (#5875535) Homepage
    If it wasn't for Leisure Suit Larry, I wouldn't know that failing to take a condom off after sex results in terrible disease.

    Thanks Al!
  • by karmawarrior ( 311177 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:51PM (#5875537) Journal
    I think in some way all the computer games I've ever played have affected me in some way. It was Space Invaders that got me into programming, I wanted to know how it worked. Ironically, I never did.

    Computer games can affect people on many different levels. There's the meta-effect, where a person sees something occur in a computer programmer and thinks "What the blazes?" and is inspired to work out how it works, how it can be replicated, how the technique can be used in other applications. There's the deliberate effect, where a game can promote a point of view or a a view of the world that makes someone's mind click and say "I understand that". The great strategy games, with Sid Meyer standing proudly in the center, have influenced me there, but other, more ordinary games, can often influence in much the same way. Games can also mentally challenge - Lemmings taught us to solve puzzles in real time, adventures did similarly, and the games that have followed Doom and forerunners like Hired Guns have provided us with a new level of real time problem solving.

    The mind is exercised by those flashes of light on screen. Like a lightbulb appearing over one's head, computer games can illuminate the dark crevises of the mind, putting them to work for all of us. Unfortunately, not everyone sees the world that way. Efforts are often made to discredit computer gamery as a mind device. Attacks from procensorship groups are common, and while the games industry is not yet as heavily regulated (voluntarily or otherwise) as, say, the movie industry, it's merely a matter of time. Already computer games are typically more regulated than the music industry, and without an RIAA like organization to defend computer game manufacturers, that trend is likely to get worse. Indeed, whereas the RIAA, and Hilary Rosen, has done an astronishingly successful job of countering lobbying to censor music through a combination of token solutions ("Parental Advisory" labels and such) and aggressive pro-speech counter lobbying, the ASPA and ESPA and other similar groups have gone far beyond even the MPAA on self-labelling and have done little to promote the notion that games, like music, films, and literature, are a form of speech; indeed that you cannot "censor" without there being speech to censor.

    The games industry lacks an affective defender, and without one, attacks on "violence" and sex in computer games will continue until a legislative disnification of games becomes inevitable. The choice between Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will become a fight where only the names are different.

    This quagmire of games becoming censored in the absense of an affective lobbying organization which becomes more unlikely to be effective as games become more and more censored will not disappear by itself. Unless people are prepared to act, not just talk about it on Slashdot, nothing will ever get done. Apathy is not an option.

    You can help by getting off your rear and writing to your congressman [] or senator []. Tell them that computer games are a form of speech, that they impart ideas and ways of thinking, and that they inspire people to do things they'd otherwise never do. Tell them that you appreciate the work of groups like the ASPA and ESPA to combat attempts at censorship by the imposition of voluntary ratings but that if groups like these continue to fail to focus on the speech aspects inherent in computer games, and as such games merely become more and more neutered, you will be forced to use less and less secure and intelligently designed alternatives. Tell them that you believe the world would be a better place with more groups following the lead of successful free speech lobbyests like the RIAA. Let them know that SMP may make or break whether you can efficiently deploy OpenBSD on your workstations and servers. Explain the concerns you have about freedom, openness, and choice, and how censorship everywhere, in computer games a

  • Not long after the DOOM phenomenon began, I had to sleep in my basement during the period after I gutted my bedroom and before my new furniture for it arrived. The basement [] has wood-paneled walls, and a lot of stuff hanging on them. One night as I was sleeping down there, one corner of a "frameless" picture frame decided to let go of the nail upon which it was hanging at about 3am one morning. It began swinging back and forth on the remaining nail, scraping against the paneling. It made a noise that was practically indistinguishable from the tearing noise you heard when one of the baddies in DOOM (the guy on the right side in this screenshot) [] got too close to you and started inflicting damage by clawing at you.

    That noise immediately triggered said DOOM character's appearance in a dream, and about 10 seconds later I bolted upright, wide awake and feeling around for my gun, any gun-- what woke me up was the feeling panic that I was taking damage from that guy, and I couldn't see where he was to shoot him. Then I realized it was a dream. THEN I realized I still heard the sound, even though I was awake. Finally, I noticed the swinging picture frame, laughed sheepishly and pulled it off the wall before going back to sleep.
  • The Ultima Series (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:53PM (#5875561)

    From it's loose concept of "virtues" to it's world simulation, most of the Ultimas have been worlds apart from the fictions most games take place in.

    Ultima IV was an amazing concept for it's time, and remains revolutionary as far as a game plot goes. There is no big "Foozle" to kill, you just have the archtypical midieval land to fight through... but the goal is to make a respectable character out of yourself. Sure, you could cheat the system like anything else (See Doug the Eagles page for many examples in the Ultima series []), but it actually offered a somewhat meaningful system of judgements about your actions in the game. Sure, you could steal and cheat others in deals, but you would not be walking the path to Avatarhood... it was a pretty large impact in an age when games were so private an experience on home computers.

    The later games left a VERY minor aspect of such karma in the game, but the effect lingered, as gamers continued to think of themselves as the Avatar. In a sense, the lack of judgement improved later games. Having concepts like Humility being important, not for religious reasons, but because you are role-playing a character who went to such pains to represend himself one way... 'tis a very unique thing.

    Of course, beyond Virtues, the Ultime series is as historic as a game series can get. Ultima Underworld was pretty much the first fully-fleshed out first person simulation game out there - from the deep interaction of objects in the world, to many factions of creatures in the Underworld... when it all came into existence BEFORE Wolfenstein 3d... it was truly an awesome thing to behold. And still to this day, the mixture of plot and characters (after you get past the kidnapped-princess thing) makes the game worth re-playing just for the entertainment of the writing.

    And of course, on the same lines, Ultima 5 through 7 revolutionized games in ways that have yet to be matched even in other RPGs. The deeply pervasive NPC schedules, the complex mixture of dialogues and plots, the wide variety of dynamic object interactions, and of course the humor and the unique technicalities that come from exploring the absolutely huge acts of creation that went into these games... it's truly amazing. ...Just a ending note: If you're thinking of playing the Ultima Series though, I'd definetly suggest you ignore 1-3, and 8 and ESPECIALLY 9. Each of them, while not absolutely bad games (alright, 9 is just bad), are pretty much just average games, dramatically separate in quality from the others. Other than that, find them where you can, check them out, and have fun!

    Ryan Fenton
  • by ashitaka ( 27544 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:54PM (#5875569) Homepage
    Read all the comments.

    Scared, confused, upset. Only one that had a positive effect.

    Maybe the question should have been phrased to specifically include positive affects.

    Granted, most games are designed to appeal to the basest human instincts.

    Humans are Easily Scared but Hard to Please.(tm)

    Who can design the game that makes people say "Wow, after playing I wanted to go out and make the world a better place!"

    Let the sarcasm begin.

  • Grim Fandango (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:54PM (#5875573) Journal
    I've never cared about characters half as much as in that game. About once every six months, I replay the game just like rereading a favorite book. It's inspired me to go out and read up on Mexican religion and mythology.

    The Tex Murphy games (Under a Killing Moon, etc.) were in the same category, although not quite so honest as GF.
  • by ( 471768 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:56PM (#5875582)
    I threw up once after playing descent, from motion sickness.

    Outlaws I got vertigo on one of the levels. It is strange that none of the newer games affect me quite like the old 2.5d games did.
  • by blackmonday ( 607916 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:56PM (#5875585) Homepage
    Might have been responsible for me and my roomate dropping out if college. My old roomate to this day claims he "became Darth Vader".

  • by The Unabageler ( 669502 ) <josh.3io@com> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:57PM (#5875598) Homepage
    king's quest, space quest, hero's quest (and quest for glory), and police quest. Nothing beat that part in space quest where you had to type 'shoot robot' before you walked across the screen so you wouldn't get shot while trying to destroy the reactor. All those point-and-click fancy graphics leave nothing to the imagination. Hell, I still enjoy firing up zork or the old hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy game.
  • FF7 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Transcendent ( 204992 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:02PM (#5875637)
    Although I have never played the final fantasy games prior, I have to say that FF7 definately changed my opinion of gaming in general.

    At first glance, I thought that the entire game would revolve around cloud taggin along with avelanche and blowing up the reactors.... eventually taking down the evil shinra. This made it seem like any other boring game that i've played without a real plot. But... the dynamics that ensued in the story line as i played along captivated me for the 40+ hours it took me to finish the game (and the multiple times I've played it all the way through as well) held me through the battles to find and against Sepiroth, Jenova, and all the other bosses throughout the game untill the final encounter... and I only wanted more...

    Although some people dislike it, others love it, FF7 opened my eyes into a whole new line of story telling and interactive gaming. From it's subtle love story, dynamic plot twists, countless side games, hidden pasts of every character... I could pick it up right now and be fully entertained and satisfied from the first cinematic sequence to the very end and back again.
    • Re:FF7 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wumarkus420 ( 548138 )
      FF7 was definitely good, but Xenogears was also released by Square around that time, and it was without a doubt the best storyline of any RPG I've ever played. It had the guts to discuss real issues like the existence of god, creationism, the morality of genetic experimentation, and all sorts of other good stuff. It presented it in a way that was thoughtful and mature - more than I can say for the last handful of FF games. It made the annoyances of the game completely ignorable with it's perfect storyline.
    • Re:FF7 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:04PM (#5876120) Homepage Journal
      What I think really made FF7 was the breadth of what they were doing, and the fact that they pulled it off. The only people I can think of that could have pulled off the game engine so smoothly would be Sonic Team, on the saturn, but that platform had no transparency so certain visual effects would have had to have been altered. I guess most of the time when they use transparency there's not much going on, so you could do it in software; Sonic Team has actually done this, as have other saturn developers. I am of course talking about Final Fantasy VII's Playstation launch. The PC release was pretty sloppy, which I guess is to be expected. PC Gaming was in a pretty fragmentary state at the time and the game made heavy use of Microsoft technologies.

      So, back to the engine, since I scarcely think I need to mention the plot. Anyone who's played it all the way through can attest to its quality. Think of all the neat little touches in the game, the chocobos (and chocobo racing), the various hidden characters, the chase scenes (motorcycle and truck)... The game is amazing! How many games have that much going on in them now?

      FFVII's plot was fantastic, but older final fantasy games had great plot, they were just really damned annoying to play. You suffered through the use of this complicated interface and pathetically featureless and ugly engine (Even final fantasy games on SNES look like crap compared to the legend of zelda, which of course is a completely different kind of game) in order to experience the fantastic plot. FFVII really has the experience as well as the plot.

  • by sgtsanity ( 568914 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5875657)

    Deus Ex was an unbelievably good game. And it affected me a lot, some in good ways, some in bad. Suprisingly enough, it helped exercise my problem solving skills a lot. I also now unconsciously look for ventilation ducts everywhere I go.

    It also raises some interesting questions about how much power a government should have. It includes a government that has imposed strict military control after a terrorist organization called the NSF played out a series of terrorist attacks. I don't want to spoil it by saying what's revealed past the first mission, but regardless, it scarily predicted a lot of the government's response to the terrorist attacks on New York.

    The only people who I've met that haven't liked Deus Ex either haven't played past the first mission (which is IMHO the worst in the entire game) or haven't found a playing style that suits them yet (I personally became a Trinity/stealth-ninja/sniper).

  • Planescape: Torment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Thunderhead ( 32297 ) <.ten.emohtfos. .ta. .daehrednuht.> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5875688)
    "What can change the nature of a man?"

    That's the fundamental question behind Planescape: Torment, and the clue that most ties the game together. And the game doesn't let you take the easy answers (love, hate, death). The REAL answer is chilling and unexpected and will leave you thinking for days.

    The game's narrative is mindbending in a number of ways. To begin with, you play an immortal amnesiac who is following the trail of breadcrumbs he left for himself in case he should die and lose his memory, again. You meet people who know you and know things about you (which neither the player or the character know or remember), you live in a place where belief affects reality and everyone keeps secrets, some of which are revealed in the most inopportune moments....

    There's one riddle/story that has stuck in my head from the game. Paraphrasing:

    "You come to your senses, sitting on a sidewalk under a bright noon sun. You can't remember how you got here or what you should be doing. Looking around, everything seems as it should.... but you have a nagging feeling that it shouldn't be that way. Then you see me, smiling, holding out a hand.

    Then I say, That was your second wish."
  • by CrazyJim0 ( 324487 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:10PM (#5875701)
    When you had to rail a car RIGHT on to get it to do a 360.

    The announcer yells,"Threeeeee SIXTEEEEEE!"

    Its awesome... So I'm driving home after 6 hours, and see someone pulling out of his driveway.

    Now since the timing in the game is like under a second which way you need to aim, you don't really have much time to think about your actions.

    I almost deliberately turned into the back of this person coming out of their driveway because I was in an almost hypnotic state, thinking of the game.

    So to get people suggestive:
    #1: Use lots of loud and cool noises in your game to reward people for doing cool things.

    #2: Have the cool thing be something very similar and realistic to real life.

    #3: Leave the window for the action to be under a second, so conscious thought can not control a reflex action.

    Then guaranteed at least 1 or 2 people out there would do the shit in real life.
  • by Daniel Baumgarten ( 645894 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:10PM (#5875703) Homepage
    ...or at least its introductiory sequence. When something unexpected happens, I now say "what happen?" by force of habit. Toaplan hath set me up the bomb.
  • by jpsowin ( 325530 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:13PM (#5875726) Homepage
    For some reason I've always enjoyed playing (even to this day) Chronotrigger and Final Fantasy 3. The music is incredible (especially for SNES!), and the story lines are well-thought out. I still have Snes9x so I can play Chronotrigger. It's great for reliving stress and just to get away sometimes. You don't find those kind of games anymore (IMHO).
  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time is probably the most flawless game ever created.

    I have a theory. When motion pictures first came out, they were dismissed as gimicky and for entertainment only. Only years later did they become recognized as a legitimate ART form.

    I truly believe that this will one day happen to videogames, like movies. Most will still be just entertainment (which, like many movies, is perfectly fine), but some, like Zelda, with it's mixture of gorgeous visuals, enchanting music, wonderful storyline, fantastic gameplay and engulfing characters will one day get the recognition it deserves as a work of Art.
  • civiii (Score:5, Interesting)

    civilization iii

    completely immersive obsessive compulsive gameplay.

    the "just one more round" effect is frightening in its power.

    there is nothing quite like staying up like 36 hours straight, completely forgetting your real life, micromanaging a little empire.

    then you try to sleep, and you find yourself dreaming in geography and little combat units.

  • Super Mario 64 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BTWR ( 540147 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:24PM (#5875811) Homepage Journal
    It may be just a personal reaction....

    But when I saw Super Mario 3 on NES, I thought "Wow! What a great improvement on the original SMB!"

    When I saw SMB4 (Super Mario World on SNES) I thought "Wow! This is like Mario 3... supercharged!"

    But the first time I saw Super Mario 64, it simpl BLEW me away. Total 3-d environment. it was not "the next step" in the mario games. it was an entirely new experience.

    SM64 is a game that both singlehandidly defined the 3-d platform genre AND got it perfect the first time around!
  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:26PM (#5875820) Homepage
    I'll never forget after one all night Doom session, leaving work down a hallway when the elevator door opened. I literally jumped to the side of it before realizing that I was no longer playing.
  • The short list... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dswensen ( 252552 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:31PM (#5875861) Homepage
    Most of the games that really get under my skin are in the 3d shooter category (some spoilers):

    Quake -- I thought it was just another 3rd person shooter, albeit with better graphics. Then the Fiend leaped at me for the first time, and I yelped and nearly threw my mouse across the room. I got killed -- but it was worth it for the adrenaline rush.

    Thief -- During the haunted monastery episode, while I was watching an in-game "cut scene," one of the undead Hammers snuck up behind me. Just by coincidence I happened to turn around just in time to see a six-foot skeleton swinging his weapon at my head. I nearly had a heart attack and spent the rest of the game deathly afraid of those things. When the sequel came out, and I found myself trapped in a basement with one of those things, I said "forget it," and just stopped playing.

    System Shock (the original) -- still one of the most cinematic games in history, IMHO. Best scene in any game ever: I finally set the station to self-destruct, and fought my way to the escape pod... then, just as the countdown is about to reach 0 to launch and I am breathing easy... the countdown stops and Shodan appears on the screen. "You're not leaving!" Oh, hell. I didn't know whether to laugh or scream -- as I recall, I did both.

    Half-Life - though the game is excellent throughout, I think it has the best opening in video game history. Walking through the Black Mesa installation, causing the "resonance cascade scenario," then running back through the same installation, except this time it's trashed and all the scientists and security guards you were talking to are dead... fantastic. That, and the huge monster running after you through the parking garage, tipping over SUVs as it charges... breathtaking. There are so many great moments in that game. I can't wait for the sequel.

    Alien DOOM Full Conversion -- Much older, and many years before the AvP video game, but so scary I could never stand to play it for long. Especially when you had to go into the tunnels full of facehuggers. Screw that.

    Omikron - Not a perfect game, but very underrated IMHO. You enter a parallel world where you possess the bodies of other people and are stalked by invisible demons that only you can see. A great adventure game with a great plot; not without its flaws, but original enough to be very compelling. It was all I could think about for days after playing it.

    I'm sure there are more, but these are the games that come to mind immediately...
  • Marathon. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:15PM (#5876228) Homepage
    For showing that a game can have a more complex plot than "There are 5 billion demons trying to kill you". There's more going on in those games than a lot of novels.
  • MUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kingpin ( 40003 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:43PM (#5876447) Homepage

    Oh man.. I wish I'd never tried. I managed to get my degree, but I've also seen multiple friends drop out because of simple text based MUDs.

    Oh yeah, and Nurse Edna in Maniac Mansion literally made me yell out loud in panic the very first time I encountered her in the kitchen. What a great game :)

  • Battlezone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Col. Panic ( 90528 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @06:23PM (#5877135) Homepage Journal
    Not the sequel; the original. Never has there been such realistic gameplay. I actually played so much one weekend that when I raced up to a stoplight the next day I had the urge to jump out through the sunroof and snipe another driver.
  • by vrmlguy ( 120854 ) <(samwyse) (at) (> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @08:07PM (#5877718) Homepage Journal
    In the late 1970's, I got a mainframe FORTRAN version [], loaded it up on the IBM 370 at work, and played it over a 300 baud dial-up line every night for several weeks. Early on, my girl friend was looking over my shoulder as I tried to get past the snake. After several failed attempts, she said, "You know, some types of _____ kill snakes." It worked, and we got married soon thereafter.

    The first time that I (unexpectedly) entered the " twisty little maze with passages all alike", it was like getting sucker punched. I had to get up and walk around to collect my thoughts before continuing. Fortunately, moving the opposite direction let me get back out before I had a chance to get lost.

    I also still remember the first time I found the volcano view. It was visually (and yes, I know it's a TEXT adventure!) stunning, more so than anything I've seen in the years since. Years before Infocom, it proved that your imagination is better than any graphics hardware.

    And yes, like so many others have posted, I did have dreams about the game.

  • by Mac Degger ( 576336 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @08:32PM (#5877839) Journal
    Homeworld. Especially the beginning of the 'gardens of Kadesh' level. First time round I just sat back and watched the drones spiral in and let the battle evolve.
    Coupled with the music and overal atmosphere...damn near Art.

    Others I haven't seen: Leasure Suit Larry 8P, Conan (first platformer I'd ever played (apple ][), with others like Montezuma, elevator action and other classics).

    And of course there's a whole host of other games which showed off, wowed and changed my thinking about what computers can, could or would do with different aspects of their gameplay.
  • by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:01PM (#5877982) Homepage
    Legend of Mana is basically repackaged, Japanese Michael Ende. (His wife was Japanese.) I tried to play that game 3 times after I got it, but it never "worked" for me. I couldn't get into it. A couple years later, I was really angry with a lot of people around me. For some reason, I was drawn to the game and started playing it. It made me really rethink through some ideas about how I live, and how I think about and treat others. It also inspired a love of gardening, and got me working on some free software projects again.

    Final Fantasy affected me way back, during high school. The world around me was so depressing, and the people in it were (justifiably) very cynical. The Final Fantasy series, however, gave me hope and values that I needed to get through high school, and introduced me to the complexities of the world. It also helped introduce me to metaphysical notions of Love and Spirit.

    Secret of Mana has changed me in ways that I don't understand, and thus can't articulate.

    Non-Square games include Starflight, and Robot Oddysey.

    Due to Robot Oddysey, I got to snooze through a month of CS classes and breeze through homework, having learned binary logic when I was 10 years old fooling around on the computer. It wasn't that I am smart, it's just that the game is incredibly good at introducing binarly logic and circuitry.

    F*ck that f*cking "game" (cheat-fest is more like it). No game has ever made me so angry. Deleting it from my drive was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

    And yah, not everyone cheats - but nobody follows the "spirit" of the game (team-based? HAH!) What a joke.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller