When I was getting on the Internet by borrowing others AOL accounts I downloaded a warez version of Civilization II since I had read a good review. I liked the game so much I bought it. And later when they came out with the Multiplayer Gold Edition version, I bought that too.
I look back at the last several games I've purchased for the PC - Elite Force, Half-Life (Adrenaline Pack), Daikatana, Soldier of Fortune, Alpha Centauri and I realize - they're all based on engines or from the same people who did the previous games I bought way back in the day. id Software will alwaya be able to sell a buttload of games no matter what, simply because they keep their level of quality up on games and they came out with Wolfenstein and DOOM. I look ahead to the games I'd like to buy next - Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Civilization III - and I realize they're also derived from the engines/people I'm familiar with.
But does this mean I have no diversity? Does this make me a fanboy? I've actually been trying hard over the last few months to go over more games and genres - read about all the games in PC Magazine, not just the ones I've heard of.
Part of it is publicity. I've made efforts to play Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo 2, not because I love those games, but because everyone else does. When tons of people go on and on about a game and it gets amazing reviews from everyone involved, then there may be something to it. I like MGS but when I play GT2 I get the same trepidation I get when I start reading a book that's over 1000 pages long - I like it but I don't know if I'll ever finish it.
Part of it is exposure. I constantly see things on Blue's News about games with names like Combat, Global Operations, Stealth Combat, Global Ops, Combat Command, etc. It's hard to tell them all apart. I just gloss over them. However I've discovered that when I see footage from a game on a show like Extended Play, suddenly I become more interested in it.
And part of it is just fine - I have no problem with buying a new Nintendo system just to play another Zelda game, no problem with checking out what's next for Crazy Taxi. A little repetition isn't neccessarily a bad thing.
Still getting my hands dirty in the Torque engine. Lots of fun.
I think the apocalypse is near - my Mom is on AOL instant messenger now and my Dad is into downloading Bluegrass MP3's. My freaking parents have Windows XP and a Pentium 4 and I sit writing the next great computer game on a Pentium III 500 with a Voodoo 3 and Windows 98. Actually that's almost cool - kinda like writing the Great American Novel by using a child's typewriter that sits on your knees (which is exactly how Stephen King wrote Carrie. Considering my wife has a more powerful system that can't go more than a few hours without a random blue screen (she needs XP bad) things could be worse.
Oh, and I hear the Doubletree Club Hotel in Houston sucks.