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The Daily Grind: On gateway games

One of the many topics our own Robin Torres has featured by reader request has been the topic of getting your girlfriend into gaming. While many people truly enjoy the MMORPG genre, we're not entirely certain that anyone walks into a store the first time out and says to themselves that an MMO is the way they're going to start playing games. (Of course, with World of Warcraft breaking so many records, perhaps it is likely that someone got their start playing WoW before ever picking up an earlier title.) I know for myself, the earliest game that got me into the idea of playing something with a larger fantasy storyline than just "run around chomping little white pellets and the occasional fruit" was the original Dragon's Lair arcade game. After watching our bumbling dashing hero, Dirk the Daring, I honestly think I spent every other weekend at the arcade either playing that game, or watching someone else play it. When Gauntlet came out, I was in heaven; the idea of playing a hack-n-slash arcade game with friends at the same time was epic win. Flash forward to the early stages of the MMO genre and I knew I'd finally found a type of game that would both match up with my love of gaming together with friends, and my desire to run around and kill things for gold and prizes.

Today, we'd like to ask you to dig back into your gaming roots. At what point do you think that there was a game that put you on the path to MMOs? Were you, like me, gaming with friends, but looking for something else to do rather than swapping the controller back and forth? Perhaps you came from Diablo, or an FPS, or even playing splitscreen on a console. What would you say is the experience (or series of experiences) that started you towards MMO gaming?

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