I am a computer gamer at heart. As much as I like to think of myself as literate and book smart and all that, my leisure time will probably always be dominated by mouse twitching over page turning. I grew up with all the true originals, the true forerunners to all the sequels we have today: Sim City 2000, Doom, Myst, Colonization, Warcraft. Doom, of course, was the one that hooked me, the one that I’d play long into the night, the one that opened up pixelated gore, individual level design, and multiplayer glory. I kind of bypassed Quake when it came out, loyally sticking to Doom 2 and putting in long hours with Hellmaker goofing around with map-making. I only finally moved on when I discovered Quake 2 in college (probably the best multiplayer experienece I’ve still had to this day) and, shortly after that, Half-Life (the only game to ever make me jump out of my shoes). And then Unreal Tournament. Then I did the whole Counter-strike thing which effectively reduced my study time to zero my junior year of college. And then Quake 3. And more recently Half-Life 2 and Far Cry. Maybe someday I’ll write about this all in depth. Really I’m just mentioning this as an excuse to say that I’m pretty excited about the deluge of games being released in the past few weeks. F.E.A.R. is simply stunning and I’ve actually gotten chills while playing through the first hour. Battlefield 2 is ridiculously fun. And Civilization IV I almost don’t dare buy because I know I’ll be hooked forever (I’ve been played Civ 3 as a warmup for the past week or so). Nerd.