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What on Earth are you doing here?

This site only exists because my ISP withdrew the free bit of web space that came with my package.  I needed somewhere to host all the assorted gaming vids, pics and docs that appear on forums and other web sites.  I thought I’d invest in my own domain name along with a few gig of storage.  It seemed a shame not to  use it for some sort of personal site.  I’m going to build it over time, with as little effort as possible, so don’t expect all the links to work or for it to be very pretty.  I can’t imagine you’d find it interesting, anyway.

I must say it’s quite liberating, talking into the ether.  Therefore, I shall ramble on assuming no one will ever read this. I’d hit the Back button now, if I were you.

This site is mainly about PC gaming and primarily First Person Shooters because they’re the genre I most enjoy.  However, I’ve loved card and board games since I was very young.  I designed my first board game when I was 10 or 11 and I’ve never stopped liking them.  So, there’s a bit about paper RPG games and traditional board games as well.

So, why “Greybeard’s Vessel”?  Some history.  “Wolfenstein 3D” founded the FPS genre back in 1992 and “Doom” got me addicted in 1993, by which time I was almost 40 years old.  I first became active in games forums in 2004, just before I hit 50.  I was old enough to be most of  the contributors’ dad and I didn’t want to pretend to be “down with the kids”.  So, I chose a nickname and avatar that made it patently obvious I was an old git.

If you check the dictionary you’ll see “a greybeard” is an old man.  However, I originally got the name from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” .  I was toying with “Greybeard Loon” but decided against it.  I’ve been reminded since that Gandalf, from “Lord of the Rings” was also known as Greybeard but this had nothing to do with the choice.  So, on most games sites I’m either Greybeard, Greybeard101 or AncientMariner.  

As it happens, my beard is going grey but it’s not that steel grey that ‘s so attractive.  It’s more of a scrappy, salt ‘n’ pepper affair.  Hey ho.

As for “Vessel”, checking that dictionary again, you’ll see it can mean “ship” but also “container”.  The Ancient Mariner had a “ship” and this site is a “container” for my gaming bits and pieces.  See what I did there?

Back to PC games.  Back in the late 90’s, an Indian guy I worked with wanted to know about these strange games I played.  I listed those that I’d played, with quick reviews and recommendations, so he could choose one to try.  Since then, I’ve taken the trouble to update that list every time I finish a game.  So, here’s my “Personal History of the First Person Shooter”.  Please read the bit at the beginning about the list being subjective.  People have read it in the past and spluttered at my scores for various games.  It’s a personal view and I make no apology for it.

I’ve been playing shooters for over 20 years, now.  Back in the day, I would play any FPS that hit the market.  Lately, I’ve been coming across games that, for one reason or another, I haven’t enjoyed and, in some cases, couldn’t be bothered to finish.  This would have been unheard of a decade or so ago.  Perhaps I’m becoming more discerning in my old age?  So I sat down and “deconstructed” the FPS genre and decided what I did and did not like about each aspect.  Then I compared some of  my  games to these criteria to see which were “perfect”.  You can see the results in “My Ideal First Person Shooter”.

Anyway, some of the games I’ve played have taken my fancy to the point where I’ll contribute to game forums and the like.  These are the ones featured in the menu on the left.  I shall not hold you spellbound, as the Ancient Mariner did to the Wedding Guest, but, if you’re still here, feel free to look around ... if anything works, that is.

Cheers