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6:51pm on Friday, 27th August, 2010:

Where I Work #19


Continuing the occasional series...

At the bottom of the rack of shelves to my left is the lower computer games shelf. Here's what it looks like:

This is where I keep all my games that are so old they didn't come in DVD cases but actual cardbard boxes. Many of them have floppies in instead of CDs. I did used to have a lot more such games, but I sold them to Cash Converters in about 2002. I kept the ones that were my favourites, or that had something else going for them (such as that Vikings: Fields of Conquest game that I bought at GenCon once which was real time almost literally — things happened so slowly it was hard to tell if anything was happening at all). This is why you'll find things there such as the Baldur's Gate games, Ultima IV (plus V and VI), Gangsters, Transport Tycoon Deluxe, The Patrician and Master of Orion and Master of Orion II, which was flawed by playable if you didn't exploit those flaws) (unlike Master of Orion II, which might as well have been a spreadsheet). The box on the floor in front of the shelf belongs to Darklands; it's open because I started playing a game while on holiday and wanted to check the saints list.

Some of the games I kept rather than sold are computer implementations of board games: Diplomacy, Kingmaker and Advanced Civilisation. The Diplomacy one has laughable artificial intelligence, the Kingmaker one cheats and the Advanced Civilisation has an AI so xenophobic that alliances are next to impossible and the only way you win is by luck.

I doubt many of these games would run on my PC nowadays; I know that the version of Daggerfall I bought on eBay doesn't, but I can hope. Some day, someone will write a workable Windows 95 emulator...

At the right end of the shelf are some boxes for mobile phones and things. There are also some old mobile phones, including a bricky-heavy analogue one that I'm hoping will be worth a fortune by the time I retire.

There's also a CAT5 ethernet cable down there in case I ever need to plug something into the router, plus a socket slab so I can run up to four things off the wall socket instead of one (I actually only use two of the sockets, though, one of which runs to another slab socket with four things plugged into it and the other of which runs to my uninterruptable power supply that stops my PC from dying when a kettle puts an end to our house's electricity or something).

With that, we finally reach the end of the wall to my left. Next time, we start with the wall facing me. I bet you can hardly wait...

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).