What are some classic games (my friends and I define 'classic' as 10 years or older) you used to know and love? Maybe you were a King's Quest person, or you couldn't wait for the next Ultima game, perhaps you owned a console and played Final Fantasy?
The old games were and still are amazing. Some are even still better than what we have today. I grew up with the birth of fully 3D gaming, but that doesn't mean I don't respect my elders.
We can't forget all the great oldies, lets share some memories shall we?
Of course I can never forget being a bright-eyed lad going to my best buddy's house with his little brother and all of us wasting an afternoon in their cold basement playing Super Smash Brothers on the Nintendo 64, his mother bringing down delicious home made pie for us, I remember he even had a wicked cassette player and I would bring my AC/DC and Killers tapes over, because nothing says '5 year olds playing video games' like rock n' roll. Also, I was into hard rock at a young age, blame my brothers!
You got it... The best text adventure of all time... Zork!
I remember way back in early 1984 when my Mom and Stepdad put out the money for a brand-new Apple IIe, complete with monochrome display... I didn't actually start playing Zork until a few years later (I was only 6 at the time) but I immediately fell in love with it! I would sit and play Zork I, II & III while my brother and sister played with the NES and SNES.
I played CCA under the name Advent a few times, and Zork once or twice, I wasn't too much into MUDs and other text-based adventures, though that's mostly because any DOS games I had were with a graphical interface.
One of my favourite computer games when I was young was a game called Raptor: Call of the Shadows and I would bring my floppy disk to school and all my friends would take turns playing it at the library.
I've never been much of a gamer, so old games (as you are thinking of them) are all I know. The only one I ever owned and played online (EGAD - it's still in my saved downloads and I wonder if it would install?) was the original Doom. I've never bought another game since.
If/when I do play games these days, I tend to go to online sites to play others at more traditional games (not the fancy stuff I see advertised today or even those you've been discussing here), but classics like chess, pente, go, cards (oh pshaw, hearts, spades) and if I'm really in a mood to zone out with something mindless, I'll just use one of the games that come with the OS (solitaire, mahjongg,...) but generally go with the online games noted above since I'd rather play other people than the computer and ... well ... I'm more than pretty good at those listed (though no longer as good as decades ago when I played frequently rather than once or twice a month if even that any more). I suppose most are actually old by definition and qualify here (even if I never had to pay for any of them), though the online options obviously weren't available back then.
If I had kids or a lot of them around me, I suspect things would be different. I also suspect I might become far too addicted if I started down that path and get sucked into it worse than a crack head.
I imagine I'd need some computer upgrades or another computer before beginning given I wasn't thinking that way with, for example, my video card and my specs tell you that I'm pretty far behind the times already and waiting for the final W8 before I splurge on another laptop - or I suppose a touchscreen type from what I've been hearing but that's a long leap just there. I wasn't thinking gaming when I recently researched options and thus ignored things like a powerful video card or relevant I/O devices and whatever else gaming needs that I wouldn't normally get anyway (maybe specially CPU cooling fans and who knows what else).
Cayden (or anyone else too for that matter), you brought this up so I'm guessing aside from the nostalgia of old games, you also are a far more current gamer as well (and let's forget X-Box or such things and just think computer games). So first, what are the critical computer features needed for games now and let's say what you anticipate will occur in the next 4-6 years - minimums and recommended and assuming it's a laptop/touchscreen where adding a separate monitor is out of the question (I have my reasons for that)? Next, what would be your top 3 picks for a beginner and, if it differs, your top 3 picks overall. I know this is a bit off-topic, but you got me going on games and so I couldn't help but go with the flow.
Ask those questions to 10 people here and you're gonna get 10 different answers.
1) "So first, what are the critical computer features needed for games now and let's say what you anticipate will occur in the next 4-6 years - minimums and recommended and assuming it's a laptop/touchscreen where adding a separate monitor is out of the question (I have my reasons for that)?"
This is called 'future-proofing' the machine, and generally isn't as drastic as you may think, as often a computer can last years upon years with gaming, the less you care about fancy graphics the more it will last Now, you're an MVP, so my apologies if I seem like I'm treating you like a newbie here, I don't mean to insult your intelligence but I'm going to tell you the why of some things.
There are three things you want to consider with gaming, the first is what kind of gaming do you want to do? Mobile gaming (laptops NOT tablets) or desktop gaming? The second is that you want to consider that not all games are created equal and some will perform a lot differently than others, thus there's never a true 'perfect' minimum requirement and the third is if you wish to save yourself the hassle and just play console (Xbox and Playstation etc).
Now to answer your question: Minimum requirements and keeping in mind future-proofing assuming we're at 2012 standards are as thus:
4 GBs of DDR3 memory
250 GBs of storage
512 GB DirectX 11 video card
650 watt 80+ Bronze certified PSU
Going anything less than this wouldn't be a wise move, sure you can play games with less, but this is a very very modest minimum that any budget can meet. Recommended specs for the same situation would be not much more:
6 GBs DDR3 memory,
600 GBs 7,200 RPM storage
1 GB Directx 11 video card
750 watt 80+ Silver certified PSU
2) Next, what would be your top 3 picks for a beginner and, if it differs, your top 3 picks overall.
I assume you mean which games? This one's pretty hard, especially considering you've never done any real gaming. My top 5 are not beginner-friendly, and games are rarely rated on their barrier-to-entry (what we call the difficulty to start and learn the game).
The types you generally want to start with are 'casual' games. I'd recommend a lot of indie games, like Limbo, Brine, Legend of Grimrock. When you're ready to move on to a more challenging game action-wise games, try Half-Life 2, it's a monument of gaming success, a literal beacon of greatness, it's the industry's Pulp Fiction or Citizen Kane. If you're ready to move on to even harder games, consider a role-playing game, try The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
We can certainly take this to PMs or Skype etc if you wish to discuss this further!