This is just a preface and can get edited out. I have tons of memories and by no means is this my favorite, but it is an easier story to tell and share...Also I'm a terrible writer. I'm not sure when, but I believe it all started with my brother. I had watched him play de_rats at a friend's house and was hooked. My brother and I were avid gamers but we hadn't quite yet graduated from console to PC. In those days, we had a computer room that housed a crappy computer. Our internet was both AOL and dialup, laughable by today's standards, with much to be desired. After buying the HalfLife game set, I quickly realized that Counter Strike could not be played over AOL and dial-up. That's when I went to work on my parents. I researched all the ways to increase our internet speed and be able to pay for it ($35/month in the 90's was a lot). AOL didn't have DSL or cable at that time and they weren't going to pay for both AOL and cable internet. But as relentless 13 year old with all my forgettable reasoning, I broke them and got the cable internet I so desperately needed. But as all battles go, it truly only leads to the next one; and in the case the battle for a better computer. About 6 months later, I finally had all the necessary hardware to properly game CS. I had gotten my own computer, a Dell, that Christmas after another battled played out for all the "necessary" reasons I needed my own better computer. By that summer, my parents finally allowed me to stay home alone from daycare, and unbeknownst to them, Counter Strike took over my life. Every morning after swim practice, I would get home and fire up Counter Strike. I would pour myself a bowl of cereal, usually Fruity Pepples, and play until my parents came home. I was so hooked that sometimes my cereal would get soggy before I even had a chance to eat it or put the milk away before it got warm...So by the time my parents came home, I had to scramble to pretend I did something all day instead of working on my KDR (never better than 2.0) and head shot ratio (hovered around 0.5) . I felt I spent my entire summer online that year in different servers. When I think back to that summer I picture myself in de_dust2 or de_rats or cs_747. Sometimes I enjoyed just sitting in my clan server, alone, looking for places to hide, where to throw nades, all while waiting for people to join up. Years later with all the improvements from Steam to Source, I would continue to play, but never at that volume and excitement.