A Playlist For Classic First Person Shooters

On May 19, 2016

maxresdefaultIt’s the winter of 1999. There’s a foot of snow outside, and it stopped being fun once your school’s snow days were all used up and now you’re losing vacation days. You’re bummed, but you aren’t going to let it stop you from having a good time and venting some anger in the process. You and your buddies just spent the last hour in a basement setting up tables, connecting your PCs, getting distracted by South Park, and prepping the snacks for the rest of the night. It’s finally time to boot up your systems and sit your butt in a chair for an unnecessarily long amount of time because you’re about to be sucked into some fast-paced, gut-crushing, blood-pumping, yell-inducing, fun-filled video games.

This was the time when multiplayer games hit a significant stride in their development with monumental games such as Unreal Tournament, Quake III Arena, and Counter-Strike. These games really kicked the multiplayer base into high gear. It could have been their user-friendly simplicity and ease of access to any casual gamer who only had experience with a Gameboy. It could have been their addicting high speed combat. It could have been their unforgettable map designs. It could have been their overwhelmingly talented mod community; did you want to play with giant heads, as a giant floating eyeball, in the fiery pits of Hell, or in a rainbow city? They could make it happen. Whatever it was, these games stuck. For example, the newest iteration of Counter-Strike continues to break eSports viewership records with 1.6 million in early April at a MLG event.

I had some unforgettable experiences in friends’ basements playing these games. We never listened to the game music. Sometimes we would all listen to the same music and sometimes people jammed with their headphones on. Everyone tended to have their own style: a few got pumped up with heavy metal, some went with grunge, some listened to classic rock, and some played commercial jingles or 10-hour-long annoying YouTube songs to get into the other team’s heads. Regardless of what was being played, music was integral to the ambiance and the memories. With this playlist, I attempted to recreate that space in time and bring on the nostalgia so that when you’re playing a new fast-paced first person shooter or dig one up from your old collection, you’ve got a soundtrack to help reach that inner, younger you.

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