The year was 2002. I was a Junior in high school taking a Cisco class on networking. Within my first few days of class I learned to build a PC. The rest of the semester we were to use these PC's to do our networking training and take tests while our teacher sat on the opposite side of the classroom. I'm afraid to think of what would have happened if class stayed that way.
One fateful day (cliche, I know), someone brought in a few discs and passed them around the class for everyone to install on their computer. The game we were installing was Half-Life. While the teacher thought we were at our PC's studying and testing, we were actually shooting the shit out of each other in the Black Mesa Research Facility.
This wasn't the first time I had played Half-Life. A couple years earlier a couple of friends tried to show the game to me. There was one big problem I had with it: It used WASD. For a guy who didn't have a home PC at the time, and the last FPS he played was Duke Nukem 3D, this was a whole new world. I was immediately off put because I couldn't get the hang of the controls. Networking class was going to be my second chance. After playing Half-Life Deathmatch with my class for a little while I was able to get down the WASD control scheme. Something I am thankful for to this day, since it's standard in all FPS games.
Another thing I'm thankful for is the fact that we were playing Half-Life. Playing Deathmatch with my classmates re-introduced me to the game that I had written off a couple years before because I couldn't get down the controls. The game that is now my second favorite game of all time, right behind its sequel. Later on during the semester we started playing Opposing Force and Blue Shift Deathmatch, as well as Counter-Strike. All games I thoroughly enjoyed, and have left an impact on me to this day.
If we hadn't played Half-Life in that class, I probably wouldn't have picked up Half-Life for my PC that I got a year later. And I probably wouldn't have played the shit out of that and all the expansions and mods like Team Fortress Classic and Day of Defeat. I probably wouldn't have played my favorite game of all time when it was finally released on Steam after so many delays. I'm thankful for taking that class, and for my classmates re-introducing me to the game series that would forever change my gaming life.
LOOK WHO CAME: