Let me sit down for a while, be the old geezer I am, and tell you about the olden days; when games were uncool and no girls wanted us at school just because we were gamers; the days before Grand Theft Auto and Total War, the days when Sid Meier was still the King and when an RPG was more about numbers and statistics than huge boobs and plastic Japanese armour.
I am a veteran gamer. I was born in 1976, and experienced the first wave of home computers as well as the games that followed them. My first contact with computer games came in the early 80's and it was primitive games for the Vic 20 and later also the Commodore 64 that I remember. In 1987 I got my first own C64 and started collecting games and establishing my gamer style. I loved strategy games, but also played flight simulations and action games. Back then there wasn't much of a choice, but games by Microprose held high quality and I collected and played many of the games they produced. I especially remember Pirates! by Sid Meier; I owned a copy of it, Sid's first game to carry his name on the box. It was an excellent game. He later went on to produce shitty so-called games for Facebook (CivWorld), like the fading, forgotten old rockstar he is, but back then he was a fucking god.
The first RPG I played was Times of Lore. It's a good game even by today's standards, a top-down, open world simple adventure type RPG which was addictive and fun and also kept your imagination working. It's a classic and I fell in love with RPG's through it. I continued with more advanced RPG's, such as the Ultima series, where I played and loved Ultima 4, 5 and 6.
Later came the Amiga. This was a superior computer to the crappy PC and it was an excellent games machine. I played several games on my trusty old Amiga; mostly I remember Civilization 1, but also a little-known real classic called Hunter, which was a really early attempt at creating a 3D action game. Today it seems like a good precursor to The Elder Scrolls or the Grand Theft Auto games in my opinion. I also kept playing strategy games; like Fields of Glory (again by Microprose), which was one of the very first RTS games, actually. Another classic I played to death on the Amiga was Settlers 1 and that series also went on to become really big. A sadly forgotten game I loved was Elite 2 Frontier, by genius David Braben, a 3D space trading shooter game which was so huge that it was absolutely astonishing for its time. The Elite series could have gone the way of the Elder Scrolls if they had worked on it and not lost pace.
The Amiga had some great games that became forgotten classics. Frontier Elite 2 and Hunter both received undeservedly little attention. Frontier was released for the PC too, but wasn't a major hit like its predecessor Elite 1. Hunter was Amiga only but was the GTA of its time!
I stuck with the Amiga system for long, too long. Commodore, who made the Amiga machine, were in serious trouble, while the PC was on the rise. I bought my first own PC in 1996, and it was a monster machine by those days' standards. Ah, I worshipped the the late 90's; The X-Files on telly, Clinton's blowjob, Boris Yeltsin's boozing, hating the Spice Girls and loving Lara Croft's boobs. Those were good days. I started collecting games for the PC too and the action was hot on the market! I played the first Tomb Raider and the first Grand Theft Auto, the demo of the latter was actually the first thing I ever downloaded off the internet; it was a whopping five megabytes large and took ages to download! At first I specialized in strategy games and bought a lot of Battlefield Series games created by a now dead company called Talonsoft. Napoleon in Russia was my favourite. These were really detailed - and dull - turn-based strategy games. I tired of them though, and stuck to good old Civilization 2, which I still today think is the second best instalment in the series after Civ 4.
The first Tomb Raider was a 3D masterpiece without comparison. It was considered graphically super impressive as well as well-designed and provided really great gaming. Hell, I sweated a lot over this game as well as Lara's feminine forms. They should never have released Tomb Raider 2, because all the games after this first one are pretty crap in comparison.
In 1997 I also discovered Daggerfall. This was the second game in the Elder Scrolls Series, and since then I've been a huge fan of ES. I also continued playing my old favourites from ten years past, since new versions of Pirates and other games were released. Pirates Gold was actually the first game I ever modded. In those days it wasn't called modding, but in reality that was what I was doing. I was disgusted by the ugly pictures in-game, so I simply applied new images to my own copy - and - poof - I had become a modder. The year 2000 came and went and the world didn't end just because of that although the religious fanatic pricks told us that our computers would blow up the world on new years eve.
Daggerfall and Civilization 1 were my introduction into two game series that I've modded and loved. Unfortunately the latter went on to become a shitty Facebook game, but there is hope in the former, since it is about to reach new heights of greatness with the fifth instalment coming out later 2011 - Skyrim.
With Morrowind in the Elder Scrolls saga, I started modding for real. My first mod was actually released upon an unsuspecting audience in 2005 and it contained a house full of drunks added to Morrowind! It's still online and has had a couple of hundred downloads (The Alcoholics' Guild). I then created a much larger mod for Morrowind called Tel Nechim, which added a whole town with quests and shit. Entering the present decade, my modding has really taken off, and during 2010 I modded Civilization 4 and released a large mod called Fairy Tale which also became quite a success. During 2011 I've been keeping busy with creating an entirely new continent for Oblivion called Dibella's Watch. It's my grandest project ever and something of that detail and size has rarely been done by one single bloke for Oblivion ever.
Computer games have come a long way since I first pushed the tape into the cassette player on my Commodore 64 and loaded up Pirates! for the first time. Today my favourite games are these great 3D masterpieces like Oblivion, Grand Theft Auto 4 and The Sims 3 (don't laugh), that are so detailed and so realistic and so magnificent in their artistry that they leave you in awe, but it's the same awe that I experienced when sitting there with Settlers 1 trying to figure out how the hell they got all those little fuckers actually working on-screen at once without the old Amiga burning up. Geez! What will stuff look like in ten years? You can be sure, I'll be there to play the games of tomorrow too. And hopefully mod them.