Last night I was really feeling the urge to play some video games (probably driven by my immense powers in the lazy side), but my xbox is currently in the shop. I don’t own any of my old consoles anymore; they’ve either gone to the great flea market in the sky or were traded (along with everything else with any possible value) to pay for my xbox. I’ve got a computer, but the only game on it is World of Warcraft, which is a great game, but I wasn’t in the mood for it last night. Not to mention, I’m pretty cheap and didn’t feel like paying the $15 a month to renew my subscription. Paying a monthly subscription for a game makes me feel dirty — just a desperate John paying the pimps that own World of Whorecraft.

So I began to search around for some fun online games, perferably free ones. I found a downloadable demo for Doom 3, which I had never played, so I decided to go for it. But the download was going to take about an hour, and I needed a fix right then!

So I decided to check out Gametap. I had seen their ads online before, but never checked them out. Turns out they’re not free, but they were offering a deal where the first month only cost $.99. Well, that appealed to my inner Scrooge (more importantly, I knew it would be cool with Lauren, who is much more… um… frugal than I).

As fate would have it, I still waited a while before I could play anything, but at least I felt like I was doing something. I had to register, enter my credit card info, etc. Then I had to wait for the download. I had expected Gametap to be the kind of service that you play over a browser… just sign in, pick a game, and play it right over internet explorer, or whatever. Instead, you download an interface (which is pretty cool, and well designed), and play through it.

Last night, I played Street Fighter 2, 1942 (which kicked my butt, I’m ashamed to say), Altered Beast, and maybe one or two others. I’m also planning on hitting some Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest this weekend.

It was really a lot of fun. I can see why people would get hooked on Gametap (although I’ll still probably cancel my membership before the month’s out). There are some really cool games on there: RPG’s, racing, fighting, puzzle, adventure, etc. Some of them aren’t even very old… just within the last couple of years, actually. But it’s a lot of fun to sit around and play titles that you haven’t seen since you were a kid (although Dragon Warrior wasn’t on there, Jason 🙂 ).

Anyway, it was a fun experience, and one that I’ll probably repeat a good bit over the next few weeks. At least until my xbox is back… And if any of you love the old school games (Galaga, Asteroids, PONG) and don’t mind shelling out $7-10 a month, then I suggest you check out Gametap. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.


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