August 7, 2001
I've been playing online games almost as long as I've been familiar with the Internet. I hadn't been online long when I found the purity test, and its thousands of variants, which is hours of fun til you get tired of answering whether you've engaged in some really purient sexual act. Purity tests aren't so much fun anymore. A few years ago I had a rather boring job, and I spent a lot of time playing online Jeopardy. This was single-player, and had some really obnoxious ads, but I did pretty well at it. If you clicked on the ads you'd get time extensions and things. Then the questions started getting recycled and winning when you've already been told the answers isn't so much fun.
For the past three years, I've played online spades at Yahoo Games. This is a site that I still recommend because the layout is very nice, doesn't take long to get used to, and they have so many to choose from. As long as it's free, I'll use it. The only gripe I have with it is that there aren't a whole lot of different options, and supposedly some other gaming sites offer more there, but the interface isn't as good, or it's harder to stay connected. So I'll keep using it. I have a group of friends that gets together to play spades sometimes, but a few years ago, we joked that users couldn't find IRCops on Undernet because they were all on Yahoo, playing spades.
I've lately found the most low-tech game of all. They are called Rare Entries (or Common Entries) contests, and they are sent by a few people to the rec.puzzles and rec.games.trivia newsgroups. The newsgroups are very old (not these in particular, but the system), and it has remained more or less unchanged in at least 10 years. Usenet, as the system is collectively called, is the granddaddy of message boards the way that IRC (and talk before it) is the granddaddy of instant messaging. Anyway, people send out these contests that consist of 10 questions that you have to answer. For Rare Entries, you want to give answers that nobody else gives that are also correct. For Common Entries, you want to give answers that everybody else gives, and they don't have to be correct at all. You don't get anything for winning these, and that's good because so far I've done pretty average, but they are a lot of fun and I look forward to entering more.
But PFFT! to the Rare Entries judges who are so harsh! Man, sometimes you can't get a break.
Published: August 7, 2001