Much of the gaming "scene" is defined and driven by "twitch" games. Also known as the First Person Shooter. Doom started it all. Since that time, hardware, performance, and frames per second are the measure of the day. Wanna be cool? Well, you can't just have a computer. It has to be a "gaming rig".

Doom led into Quake, into Half-Life, into Counterstrike, into Unreal. Okay. Maybe not that order, but those are the games that define twitch. Those games where your reflexes have to be at 110%. When that single pixel appears on your screen as an enemy starts to round a corner, and you slam your thumb down, "BLAM!". Twitch, twitch, twitch.

Our next twitcher for the Xbox comes out momentarily: the long-awaited release of Doom 3. Half-life is on deck for (maybe!) next spring, and Timesplitters 3 for later next year.

When playing with friends, it can be great. I'm usually up for a Halo deathmatch, but while I'm pretty good, I know that there are zillions of players who could totally school me. For shooter games, I tend towards the more strategic and tactical games. Things like Splinter Cell, or Rogue Ops, or Soldier of Fortune. These are games where you can slow down and use your brain to dominate the game, rather than reflexes.

I just want to conclude with a shout out to Angela in Illinois. She reminded me of where gaming really started. Doom has certainly started the latest era of high-power gaming, but the true roots of video gaming originate back in the 80's. I want to stick to the Xbox in this blog, but for those with a bit of nostaliga, please raise a toast to Drol, Marauder, Bilestoad, and all those other games you grew up with.

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