How System Shock Soiled My Pants

June 19, 2012

Times have changed. Not a little bit either. Gaming graphics have
improved dramatically over the last decade and even more over the
decade before that. However, games have moved and inspired us, or at
least me, since the early 80s. Sierras quest series, Kings Quest,
Space Quest, my personal favorite Quest for Glory, even the extremely
odd Leisure Suit series. These games defined my childhood, I even
played the cryptic Phantasmagoria which if you played this you might
have also played Noctropolis (you perv.).

But no game has effected me as much as System Shock and its sequel.

System Shock

The progression of graphics, montages, and cutscenes have rendered a
lot of this cliché, old and boring to most. Not to me, I remember the
emotion connected to them, the challenge, and the imagination that
connected me to all these stories. Call it retro gaming, call it
nerdcore, I call it my childhood.

System Shock changed how i viewed gaming. I ran through the first
System Shock in 1994, on my POS computer, jumping to shitty graphics
and freaking out about 16bit squarish robot monsters. The sequel,
System Shock 2, came out in 1999, I was a Junior in college and my
roommate and I (Thank you Trey Terrell) waited for the coop patch to
come out to really get into it.


The horror genre has matured since then, but in 1999 there were a
bunch of shitty Resident Evils, the Phantasmagoria experiment, and
System Shock (at least among the games that didn’t blow goats). System
Shock 2 changed me from playing games as a pass time, a joke, or
recreation, to realizing that games can convey emotion, passion and
relationships that all of us can understand… that and fear. Real,
jump out of your pants, scream like a 4 year old, freak out, fear. We
played it together, always in the dark, but in a lot of ways that made
it worse, we were sharing this freak out.

Unlike the entire Sierra line up, System Shock dealt with ethics,
suicide, and how we view tech.

When I dealt with this the first time, it was at 3am, with the blinds
pulled and no lights on. We had enough caffiene to kill a small child,
and we were freaking the fuck out. God, I loved it. That was what
gaming should be, not some 2 dimensional, bullet crazy, piece of crap;
System Shock 2 was a game that would keep you up at night, and screw
up your sleep cycle.

But then again, if you haven’t played Skyrim you haven’t seen WTF.

One Response to How System Shock Soiled My Pants

  1. Phineas_F_Fox
    June 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    PS if you have never dropped a dead snow bear on a group of children, you haven’t lived.

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