I think I'm in touch with that feeling. Most people would have stared gaping at their screen in awe when they saw the graphics and the monsters - I first loaded up this dream game and playing through the first level was kinda enigmatic. The same feeling a teenage alien (o_O) would have if by chance he fell out of a spaceship into a deep rainforest with Maoris chasing him with spears and stuff, then finding his own weapon. I remember as I progressed through the first episode I got that feeling of similarity, you know, I've been here before sorta thing, even though it might have been a completely new or different level, but same theme (I'm thinking of E1M9 here). This was probably the peak of immersion. It was a truly magical feeling. Sometimes when bored I will go quickly through the first episode and get those same waves of feeling and recognition, like the split-second mindset a former WW2 soldier would go into upon hearing a car suddenly backfire.
UAC PR Dept said:
So finally we got a new computer like 6 years ago, I played Wolfenstein which was okay, and then Doom. It did blow me away, but not in the way everyone thinks. There is this feelings I get every time I play the first level of the first episode of Doom. It's not as strong as when first I played it, but I still feel it and the feelings from back then hit me in waves. Anyone know the feeling? That arcadish feeling of "coooool" as you listened to the music and admired the beautiful levels. I remember how I cheered the first time I discovered my first secret and was rewarded a Soul Sphere and a Chaingun. "I felt like God must feel, when he holds a gun."
Heh, Half-Life. Playing the Half-Life demo, wow. I would consider that the second DOOM experience. Think it was the first game I ever played in OpenGL too, unless I played Q3A first. If I did, I didn't realise - Q3A looks real - but I found I became more immersed in Half-Life because it looked mostly synthetic (yes, I know HL is based on Q3A). Same thing with Unreal Tournament, though a very different experience there. But playing the HL demo was out there. I think I spent more time staring in awe and quicksaving/reloading than actually playing the demo. Watching a US army marine get sucked up by a barnacle, then spitting out the excess remains was just beyond me. Somehow it gave me the same creeps and frights as DOOM, and nearly the same enigmatic feeling. I am part of this world, I cannot leave, there is no bed, I am really a scientist with four guns dangling from a suit covering my whole body climbing a scummy rusted ladder.
The memories of the first episode are hazy, but I remember the last level, with that creepy music, and those two big pink bastards coming out of the tubes on a giant star-shaped platform, fighting them, eventually winning... Then the walls fell down and I walked into a portal that didn't appear on the HUD map, and then... The feelings I get from playing Doom at indescribable. That game, along with Quake and Half-Life, helped define who I am. They all blew me away when I played them.
I had a dream just before Christmas last year, about living in a space-like world where I could just sit on a rotating asteroid and meditate, and there were no such thing as precious resources because everything just grew naturally and the life went in a perfect circle. Then I bought Half-Life full Game Of The Year Edition and found that exact world I dreamed of was called Xen. Now THAT is an example of what I mean by enigmatic, and I got the same feeling playing DOOM episode 1.
Euh. I think I've just realised I'm an IRC addict. Must... fight... nerdy... addictions... gah.
I find that I prefer the company of people my age, not grunge-goth dorks in college or basements like the ones here, the creepy jerk people born in the early 80s and late 70s who run the Doom Community like a totalitarian government that bends over backwards to kiss their asses. You all know who you are. Doom to you is just a prize, while to me it is illumination.