Hello ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Jeff “Raider” Raine and I’m the newest addition to the Nova Gamer roster.
One of the things that I enjoy almost as much as gaming are comic books and one of my favourite things in comics is when we get issue #0 to explain a character’s origin. So, since I’m new I figured that maybe I should share my gaming origin story with you and how I got from there to here. So, without further ado, I present to you: Jeff “Raider” Raine – Issue #0
So where do I start, well no better place to start than the beginning:
For as long as I can remember, I have been playing video games. I go as far back as playing the first games that were available for the Macintosh that my father had at home and took back and forth to work. I gamed casually for a while here and there until late 1991.
In 1991, I can remember going over to my cousins and spending entire weekends playing NES with classics like Mario Bros. and Ninja Turtles so I decided to start bugging my parents for my own Nintendo. After a few weeks, they finally caved and my dad took me to SEARS and we bought a Nintendo. We opened it up to set it up and to my dismay I was the sad new owner of a fresh from Japan Super Nintendo. I couldn’t believe it, how was I supposed to borrow all the games I loved on this thing? Well, needless to say I got over it and life went on.
My next big gaming revelation came in 1995 when we finally moved out of the Apple wastelands and into the near gaming utopia of the time that was Windows 95 when I got my hands on a product that has changed my gaming world forever: MechWarrior 2. This was the most immersive gaming experience I’d ever had with unheard of flexibility in how you accomplished your goals, not to mention being my first online gaming experience.
For those of you unfamiliar with the franchise, MechWarrior drops you into the pilot’s seat of a giant war machine ranging in weight from 25-100 tons. Now, as you might guess, many people head straight for the larger ‘mechs and often brand the light ‘mechs as being for the inexperienced players (I don’t think the term ‘n00b’ existed at that point). So of course once I got to play online against others, I strapped in to the lightest, fastest thing I could find and dropped into the middle of the game. I headed straight for the enemy’s backfield to cause some havoc and show them how it was done. After a few nights of playing in the same server with the same people, they started calling me ‘Raider’ since I was always raiding into enemy territory and coming out in one piece. Since then, the handle stuck and we’ve been going strong for 18 years now.
I puttered around with windows gaming for a long time until I came back around to that franchise with MechWarrior 4 in 2000 where I really started to get serious about my gaming. I found my calling among a group of like-minded individuals and joined my first Clan. We started out playing casually on our own server but as we looked for more of a challenge, we started to join different ladders and competitive leagues and found ourselves headed straight for the top. After a year and a half hanging out near the top of the mountain things got a little rocky and I left for greener pastures which I found with my current gaming clan that I’ve been a part of for over 11 years. With them I went right back up to being in the top tier of competitive gaming and since I was now in a multi-game clan my friends from MechWarrior started to move me over into other forms of competitive gaming including FPS (America’s Army, Battlefield 2, etc.) and MMORPGs (Star Wars Galaxies, EVE online, World of Warcraft, etc.)
Throughout, MechWarrior kept a spot in my heart and even after I entered the dark times of university, I moved over and started to DJ and ShoutCast (Internet Radio Play by Play of matches) for MechWarrior Leagues Radio.
Eventually university won out and I no longer had time for practices, meetings and scheduled matches and I moved back to casual gaming with my consoles taking the forefront when I had time and many an hour was lost with some of the guys from right here at Nova Gamer.
The End, or is it…
Now, I’m finally emerging from the dark with that job that they promise you in university. I’m finally set to get rid of the limited bandwidth internet that I’ve been saddled with and get back up to speed not only with gaming in general but hopefully with some competitive gaming and I invite you to come along for the ride with me.
Those of you who have stuck with me this long, I encourage you to think back on your own gaming past and how it has shaped you as a gamer. Can you pinpoint that moment that set you on your path? I encourage you to share it with me in the comments section.
Jeff ‘Raider’ Raine