Gaming Overview

Several years ago, my grandsons introduced me to more sophisticated computer gaming than the simple free stuff like Solitaire. The first game they showed me in detail and had me try was Minecraft. It remains one of my favorite games and I highly recommend it for all sorts of reasons, not the least being how open-ended it is leaving virtually all of what happens to the player. It is a terrific tool for developing creativity.

Before long we also were playing World of Warships (shortly after it first became available). The grandsons had already been playing World of Tanks and wanted to try the Warships. After learning how to play World of Warships and enjoying it, especially with the grandsons, I decided to add and learn World of Tanks so I could play that with them also. Both games are free and can be easily downloaded and installed.

About the time Civilization V was released in its final expansion (2015), younger grandson talked me into buying it so he and I could play it in multiplayer mode. I did so and quickly became a fan of the game. We eventually convinced older grandson to get the game too. We’ve had a lot of fun playing together, using the audio only of Skype to be able to talk with each other while playing. Very recently we have used Discord instead of Skype, because of its better-quality audio experience while gaming.

Installing Civ V introduced me to Steam, a digital game distribution platform, and over time I have added various other games they distribute – Cities: Skylines, Rocket League, Stellaris – and more recently Europa Universalis IV and Civilization VI – again mostly because the grandsons were playing them and it was great fun keeping up a long-distance relationship with them via gaming.

I’ve always enjoyed playing various board games since I was a kid, so the transition to complex computer games was not difficult. One board game that I have enjoyed in its electronic version is Settlers of Catan. Microsoft games owns the rights of the electronic version, and one has to buy a license for the game to play it on a computer, but that is another game well worth the price.

I expect to continue gaming, especially having just invested in a replacement gaming laptop.

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Asus ROG G751JY

About three years ago my laptop was not functioning well with the gaming I was doing and I decided if I was going to keep up with my grandsons – gaming with them online – I was going to have to invest in a better computer. After doing fairly extensive research on the options available, I selected the highly recommended Asus ROG model G751JY. I had intended to buy it from Asus directly, but found a much better price on Amazon and so bought it there.

I was very pleased with it and enjoyed using it, especially for gaming. It served me well in Minecraft, Civ V, World of Tanks, World of Warships, along with some other Steam games.

There was just one nagging issue – the internal Intel Wi-Fi adapter. It would just out of the blue drop connection. Through experimentation, I found two things that helped. One was to use the 2.4 instead of 5.0 connection to my network. Apparently my normal location of use of the laptop was just far enough away from the router that it did not always get a full-power signal. That was a minor adjustment, though I wished I had the faster connection. The second thing was it seemed to require nearly continuous driver updates, so I regularly checked and updated. Even so, it was very inconsistent. It was frustrating enough that I finally bought a USB Wi-Fi adapter (Linksys WUSB6300) and that worked very well, although sometimes the 5.0 connection still did not have full power.

Overall, for the time I had it, I liked it. The saga of its demise will be detailed in future posts.