So this is going to be that post where I jump straight to the point and not finesse my way through the English language. Every time I log into any instant messenger like MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger, it seems either someone is doing something or my entire contact list is offline. As a gamer, I sort of like the idea of someone on the other end chatting rather than just that intermittent message to check in now and then. For one thing, the Internet is face paced; meaning a minute real life is about four hours in Internet time. For me, even a minute seems a long time; an hour is almost an eternity without entertainment.
At the moment from the last past decade, I’ve had a lot of IM services installed on my computers now and again. First one I’ve ever used was MSN Messenger since it came with Windows (now called Windows Live Messenger). It was good considering I needed an email and a lot of people suggested Hotmail (now Outlook) and everyone I knew was using Hotmail. The downside is when I started getting a lot of spam messages after a few months of service popping into my inbox. Then when I started signing up for other services, it started to become a burden. At the time my hotmail account was live, I would get about 50 spam messages and maybe 10 from services I’ve subscribed. When I got into high school, I switched off from Hotmail as my email service and signed up on Yahoo turning my Hotmail account for games and tertiary services mail receiver; more on that later.
Yahoo.ca, still in use today more than my Hotmail account. Not very handy since it’s services connected to it are not really things I need. Yahoo Messenger was the biggest thing I used for about a few years just to talk to people who also moved on from Hotmail. Aside from animated native avatars, the service was more or less what I saw from Hotmail but with a news feed and some stuff I could get from other sources. I’ve spend about a few years with the account, then just slowly phased out to use the IM service.
From there, I started to be real storage heavy since I was playing a lot of games so I’ve moved on getting Trillian which was a Messenger client capable to most of the IM clients at the time like Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL. I wasn’t too sure at the time what I was getting into with a third party messenger client but I need the space and every bit of pinching helped. After all that, Hotmail was piling up with spam exponentially that I had to start putting everything in junk to be deleted. This was also around the time it seemed that my Yahoo account was also getting some spam as well, not from random messages but random people adding me and receiving bot messages about adult cam sites. Definitely moving on, indeed.
This was now around when Google started to public allow access to their Gmail service. It still is what it is today, a simple online service with integrated chat and video chat which is a nice feature. Great for those who don’t have hardware space for more software. I use it to this day, even created a second account for WordPress so I don’t have a lot of problems sorting through some messages (then I found out about folders, hehe). Not really much to say about the service since the company kept expanding into a news aggregator and a social network. Which pretty much Microsoft and Yahoo (or whoever is the parent company) was doing at the time as well to keep up with Facebook’s popularity.
In between all those email chat clients and accounts, I’ve found a couple game chat clients. xFire was the first one for me when I was getting pretty good at America’s Army so I decided to get it and try to join some social groups on it to play with them and hone in on my fragging skills. As you can tell, I never really did hone it otherwise I would be a pretty good cyber-athlete. But I did meet a lot of people on there; and then I got a microphone.
That’s when everything expanded into VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) programs. First was TeamSpeak, which was fairly advanced in the settings area. But the UI was simple enough to navigate. I use to be really into ti since I had a lot of servers kept on my gaming PC until the around 5 years ago when I started to really buckle down to my school work. I finally really gave up when TeamSpeak 3 was announced and a lot of people either upgraded for a server license or moved onto other things.
At the same time, I was in school and a lot of people were on Skype and talking about it. As a curious teen, I checked it out. Skype at the time was pretty simple, very MSN Messenger but without the email account. For the large part, it’s a VOIP client and a small telephone service. Which is neat and all, but I was curious about and tried it. To this day, I’m usually on and off since no one really talked to me and I only got it to kind of checked it out. Back then it wasn’t much of a hub for gamers since the the bandwidth was literally clogged for Skype. Now it’s a bit slimmer and more graphical in the interface. Now I hear good things, but in my opinion it’s just the ISP’s being “innovative” with better service. When I find a good group, maybe I’ll give her a shot.
Some time before I stopped pursuing being a damn good gamer, I was introduced to Ventrilo which is slightly complimentary to TeamSpeak. The user interface was a bit more complicated but still user friendly and the settings were very simple and straightforward. Around this time from what I remember, I used it mostly for Face Of Mankind and some casual games. Looking back and looking at both TeamSpeak and Ventrilo, I would be more into Ventrilo since the size and features are more in line to something simple and usable. If you want a server, it’s free but to a certain amount of slots I think. If memory servers well, it’s maximum of 40 players per private server.
Just a year before founding this blog, I got into a bit of casual games. Nothing really one or the other, but just something out there to keep busy without much level grinding and gore. Major memory landmark here is the good half year of Wurm where I found a good bunch of people to play with into building a small settlement. Then we have a few falling outs, then it just got complicated and I dropped away from the game due to lag and drama. However they did introduce me to Raidcall, which I still have on my gaming PC. Raidcall I believe is a Chinese port for another system they use in the East. The system is really much of a need-to-know interface and settings. Nothing really too complex and ridiculous in terms of extensive settings for audio or interface. The UI is fairly much close to TeamSpeak with a simple menu and list of channels. For those with a low budget group, servers are free and you technically own it. Downside to the ownership, it’s more of a virtual server on their side so free is determined on your server traffic to determine how slots are allocated to you. However I do believe they have slot packages if you wish to upgrade rather than get more server traffic in with a maximum of I think 4 servers per account.
Through all these open hub connections to the Internet, most of the times I’ve logged in is either empty or very lonesome since there is no one really there for you. Always out of place and only out for game loot, groups don’t really provide for the social interaction I sometimes need; just to talk and relax rather than focusing on getting in-game gear. In short, I have no friends. Yup, no friends… I guess that’s why I like to play games that are very co-op in terms of working together rather than exploiting one another to get what you want. Either that or single player games that are pretty immersive or intensive to the point I don’t care if I’m alone in a virtual world.
That’s all for this week, see you guys for the next one!