Thursday, September 18, 2008

This is just a little shameless plug for a website I've been keeping my eyes on. I was lucky enough to learn about early and able to sign up for the Beta. GOG (which stands for Good Old Games) is an amazing site really. Their goal is to try to get as many, well, good old games on the site as possible. Right now it's mostly filled some classics from Interplay and Codemasters, but that does include the very hard to find Fallout games. And with Fallout 3 on the horizon, I can fully recommend that everyone should play the originals.

It's just like any other website you've bought things from. Make an account, get out your credit/debit card, and spend away. And after you purchase the game, you are not required to download some application like Steam. You simply click on the "My Account" tab on the site, and you'll see something like this:

As you can see, you don't just get a game, you get a multimedia feast. Best of all, it's DRM free. It's yours to backup, delete, re-dowload, everything.

Also, you should check out the forums. The guys who run the website have links to different mods and tweaks for the games they sell. I downloaded a patch to get higher resolutions on the Fallout games, and after having a slow-down problem, it was answered by the community itself.

With games like Grim Fandango, X-wing, and many other older games being whispered about, this is a site that any fan of gaming should keep their eyes on. Now excuse me, I need to finish destroying the entire mutant population...


What's special about that date? For me, it was the beginning of something new, but I just didn't know it yet. Let me tell you the set up.

My wonderful girlfriend and I were spending our first Christmas together, and she had decided to get me an iPod. Me being a PC person thought, "What am I going to do with this Mac filth" but I smiled and excepted the gift. I figured I would put one or two songs on there, and that would be it.

Now, I don't know how or when or why or whatever, but at some point I discovered Podcasting. I now subscribe to many different casts, about just about anything you can imagine in geek culture. But there was one podcast that quickly started to shine above the rest.

Games For Windows Radio: aka GFW Radio: aka 97.5 The Brodeo.

That's what January 12th 2007 is all about. It was the first episode I ever listened to. As time went on, you got to know the cast:

Jeff, the fatherly EIC of the magazine.
Shawn, the outspoken intelligent funny guy.
Ryan, the MMORPG playing quiet guy.
Sean, the producer and all around nice guy.
Darren, the tech guy who always had good input.

And for many months, all was well. And then Darren left for PC Magazine, where in all honesty, he is probably better appreciated. Because GFW Radio, and even the magazine, was becoming more about gaming and the life of gamers as much as it was about PC gaming. There really wasn't much room for tech.

It was sad at the time, but we went on, and even got two more cast members:

Anthony: aka Chuff, the young guy
Robert: Freelancer, and a perfect complement to Shawn.

It didn't prepare the listeners and subscribers for what would happen next. Game For Windows magazine was shut down in the prime of its new life. Just as the writers were beginning to understand their place in this big mess of enthusiast gaming press, they were shot down. But it wouldn't be one shot, it would be a boulder crushing everyone in its path. Soon Sean announced he would be leaving for Blizzard. Then the father of GFW, Jeff, announced he would be leaving to work with the Sims teams. And finally today Shawn has told everyone that he is leaving to go to 2K Boston, and that the final episode of GFW would be airing.

This is painful. You see, I'm in school right now, 23 and just starting college. It is almost completely because of GFW Radio. Before then I had no passion, but the guys on that show taught me how to just really embrace gaming, and to see what good crtiquing of games should look like. It showed me that I want to do that at some point in my life. I want to write about, not just games, but the industry. I love everything surrounding the games I play, the circus, the buyouts, the drama. It's interesting, and I want to experience it.

I'm at school now, hoping that someday I can work with Shawn, Jeff, Ryan, etc. It can't happen now, there's no magazine, and 1UPs PC coverage is pathetic. Shawn, Jeff, Darren, and Sean are all gone. It's blow to the morale, my heroes are dead. Maybe that's overlly dramatic. Either way, this is a sad first real post for my own gaming blog, but with death comes life. Here's to The Brodeo.

GFW Radio: 2-16-06 - 9-17-08