I'd told my mother, when I bought the PC, I was going to use it for writing and college and who knows what else. I lied. It was just for games. And for that entire summer, it was just for TIE Fighter. Just for flying in space, living in Star Wars. I had a girlfriend when the summer began. We didn't make it. She told me I was obsessed with games. She didn't know the half of it. Neither did I. Later that year, Star Wars taught me the true meaning of obsession when I found out about the next game: Star Wars: Dark Forces.
Dark Forces was more than a Doom clone; it was 3-D Star Wars. Mainline fantasy stuff. I'd read about it somewhere and fell in love with it before it even came out. Dude, you could shoot stormtroopers. Say no more. This is the part where I learned about waiting, and how much it sucks.
I followed the development progress of that game with the rabid intensity of a pitbull on meth. I ticked the days off on the calendar, the release date, months in the future, circled in frantic red marker. And then they changed the date, the bastards. The game slipped. I didn't know what "slipped" meant in this context, but there it was. Something else I learned from Star Wars. Slipped, meaning to not ship when it was supposed to. I was beyond upset. I was an upset supernova, and the only cure was, again, to wait.
Dateline: the local game store in Austin, TX. I go to pick up the game for which I've waited so long. In those days, $50 for a game was an extravagance, but I was willing to pay it for this one. I picked up my copy, turned over the box and screamed. I actually screamed. I'm not kidding. They'd put a sticker over the "system requirements" area, where it had once listed requirements my PC just barely met. The new sticker had new requirements on it, and my machine no longer made the cut. I couldn't play the game.
This is the part where Star Wars teaches me how to fight a flame war. It was the usual affair, full of righteous indignation, curses and allegations that I was "their biggest fan," decrying their poor treatment of me by delaying the launch just long enough to justify screwing me over with new system requirements, etc. Believe it or not, I received a reply. Basically it said: "We wanted to make the best game possible, so we did. Upgrade. Sincerely, LucasArts."