November 22, 2002

I Owe My Life to

I Owe My Life to Video Games

For those of you out there who believe video games are a one way ticket to nowhere, with a left turn toward geekdom, let me just tell you, I owe my life to video games.

No, I don't mean video games saved my life in some sort of freakish scenario where, if I hadn't been playing video games at 4 a.m. that one night, I never would have smelled the smoke and evacuated the apartment complex before it burned to the ground, although that would really be sweet.

Rather, I owe my current state in life, complete with technical writer geek work, to my love for video games. I started out as most people my age did, with hazy memories of playing Pong at a relative's house. I didn't understand everything involved, but I knew I was controlling the action on a television set, and that in itself was pretty amazing. From Pong I graduated to Atari, and from Atari to my neighbor's Texas Instruments computer that played a hokey game called "Buck Rogers." It was the first computer I had ever seen. It looked like a TV, but not quite. I was intrigued.

I then went through the transition from Nintendo, to Sega, to Sega Saturn, but it wasn't until I saw "Command and Conquer: Red Alert" being played in college that I fully started to understand how important computers were if I was to continue killing time in a high tech way. So, I traded in my Macintosh Performa 305, a machine that was primarily only good for word processing, for a Compaq Presario with a 200 MGhz processor, considered screaming fast at the time.

So, if it weren't for Red Alert, I wouldn't have explored Windows-based PCs, and I wouldn't have learned all the nuances of the maddening operating system, and I wouldn't have picked up all the required skills that allowed me to waltz into my last two jobs. So, here I am at IBM, writing technical articles for a geeky magazine, installing software occasionally for my co-workers, marveling at the strange back-door method by which I was able to turn a journalism major into a potentially lucrative career.

So you see, I owe my life to video games. I just really wish I was playing one right now.

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Posted by Ryan at November 22, 2002 10:33 AM
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