You youngin's are a funny lot. I used to play on Genie
back when it's competitors were Sierra's
online network - TSN
(which housed some really simple board games brought to digital, like Checkers and a rudimentary Red Baron
online mode, which I never played because 2400 baud just didn't cut it even for simple-shaded polygons apparently...not to mention the $7.95 PER HOUR
price after the 'complimentary' 10 hours for signing up) and ol' CompuServe
(which I never tried because I was too busy having fun over on *Prodigy
)...Like Sierra's TSN
had a per-hour rate after your free hours were done, though I recall you did get a few free hours each month. You used those hours quickly, too, because it was a blast to play AirWarrior
(which didn't have the lag issues that Red Baron
did, for some reason) and Cyberstrike
, the only online Mech game that truly felt like a Mechwarrior
first-person online simulation. None of this arcade Mechwarrior Online
bullshit or HAWKEN
's...whatever it is HAWKEN
tries to do. The graphics were simple and clean, to the point and the game was intricate and fun. What more could you want? And you usually had plenty of people to play against, too, even with the outrageous costs.
And speaking of costs, when I was a young teenage user of *Prodigy
, we lived pretty far away from the closest dial-up number, two counties, 45-minutes away, to be exact. Might as well have been on the other side of the country. Every call cost 25 cents PER MINUTE, plus a 25 cent first minitue connection fee (this was in early 1993). Our first phone bill came in at a whopping $450! Suffice to say, my parents were NOT
There was a lot I had to do to work that one off! But at the same time, they knew very little about computers and online at the time, so they told me to stop getting online...and, being 13, with access to girls from around the country via *P
's 'Bored Teen' bulletin boards...well, that lasted all of a week or so. I made small, quick connections but it still racked up because of that connection fee. The next month's bill? $325. At this point I was actually talking to a girl in Kentucky (I lived in northern NJ) on the phone on a regular basis in addition to getting onto *P
so instead of killing my budding social life, such as it was, my parents allowed me only so much time to do either but I was required to pay it back at the end of the next month before I could do it all again. The next bill was only $150 and things were good until April...when disaster struck.
One night, after getting online, I had thought I'd logged off but the software I had would automatically re-connect unless you told it not to (being out in the wilderness with bad lines, I had enabled this option because I got disconnected often) and since I didn't actually turn off the system (I was tired and not paying attention), *P
connected, stayed on until booted off for inactivity, which was typically 10 mins and then re-connected, over and over and over... ALL NIGHT!
May's phone bill came in at over $700 and that was the death knell for my young online social career through Prodigy
and by extension, Genie
. I never did get onto Prodigy again, even when we moved to FL and had a local number to connect to. Prodigy closed up not long after that anyway. Never met the girl from Kentucky in person, either... *sigh*
So...uh, what were we talking about again?
"...you're always 'Winner!' with BIG ****** RIGS!"-James Rolfe, 'AVGN'
"...for that, we salute you, you big glorious ****** RIGS!"-Matt McMuscles, 'Wha Happun?!'