Friday, June 17, 2011

DOS Games

I'm fortunate to be part of a generation that grew up with video games. Many young gamers today have the same opportunity only with much more advanced games and consoles. In an industry that's really only been around for 30 years, there has been significant leaps in the technology--especially within the past decade. Here's an example of how gaming has evolved: Back in the 80s and early 90s computers were run on an operating system called DOS (disk operating system). From here you could run all of your computer's programs, including games. Games, as well as other programs, were on floppy disks which you could insert into the computer's modem and access. Now-a-days on either computers or on gaming consoles, video games are available in a variety of medium--the main two being disks in the form of CD, DVD, or BluRay format; or in a purely digital capacity. As a comparison to the memory taken up by games, Space Quest (a well-known DOS game) takes up 688 Kilobytes of memory or 688,000 bytes; whereas Infamous for the PS3 takes up 7 Gigabytes or roughly 7,000,000 bytes of information. And there is roughly a 20 year gap between the games. Ergo, within the last 2 decades the size of the average video game has exponentially grown tenfold. The popularity of gaming has also been on the rise since the turn of the millenium. This can be attributed to the increased availablity of games and their consoles. Everyone can be a gamer: grandparents, adults, teens, even young children. It is a fantastic world to live in.
But I'm rambling. When I was younger I was introduced to gaming through DOS. I would play Oregon Trail at school, Lemmings in my summer computer camp, and others at home or with friends. Of course this was long before the boon in gaming that came with the mid 90s--when the console wars began; and I didn't truly become (what I would call) a gamer until after Sony released the PlayStation. But I still have my roots in DOS computer games. Recently I've been pouring over the internet searching for programs and peripherals to download and play some of the old DOS games that began my interest in games. Finally my search has come to fruition and I have been granted access to many titles including but not limited to: The Elder Scrolls, the (in)famous Sierra games like the Space Quest and King's Quest series, and one of my favorite DOS games of all time--Scorched Earth. Having complete access to these games has given me a thought bubble--"I can do DOS Let's Plays now!" And I have every intention to follow through with that. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to have them as part of the Power On series or just as their own entity, but they will get done. Games that are not practical to do LPs of, I will still try to play and get footage to use for review purposes. I am excited about this. So be on the look out for the first DOS Let's Play (hopefully soon) when Beanie Plays: Space Quest!

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