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It’s dark outside. I’m sitting in my bedroom with only the glow from my monitor washing over me. On the bed my two Bengal kittens are sleeping, curled up together, almost merging into one another, their dark markings indistinguishable in the dim light. It’s dark, I remind myself once more – that means it must be close to nine o’clock in the evening, but more importantly it means that I’ve been playing Battlefield 2 for near on eight hours solid!

Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m some kind of obsessive gamer, that my entire life revolves around how many kills I can grab in a round, or what my overall ranking may be on a specific server, but I’m not like that, no really. Believe me when I say that I’m pretty normal compared to many hardcore gamers out there, and thankfully I’m still a million miles away from FPS Doug – BOOM Headshot!

To be honest I rarely have time to play games, since I spend most of my time working and if I do have any free time I prefer to spend it with my wife. However, since she’s away for a few days I decided to spend a bit of time reacquainting myself with the world of online gaming. Of course, I’m in no way indicating that my wife isn’t happy with me playing games, because that’s just not true. In fact, as Benny keeps reminding me, I’m very lucky to have a wife that not only doesn’t mind me playing games, but actually enjoys playing them as well.

But getting back to my recent activities, I can’t remember the last time that I’ve sat in front of my computer playing a game for this amount of time, so why did I end up doing it today? Well part of the reason is that I built myself a new PC yesterday and I was keen to see what my new Athlon 64 X2 based system was capable of. Also, I was curious to see whether I could get Battlefield 2 to work at all. You see, the copy of the game I was playing was kindly donated to me by Wil from Bit-Tech when we were working together earlier in the week. It was a strange situation where we were sitting back to back in the office, both working on high-spec Alienware PCs, but while I was reviewing mine, Wil was trying to get Battlefield 2 to work on his.

You’d think that there wouldn’t be much problem getting even a demanding game like Battlefield 2 to run sweetly on an Alienware Aurora PC with an Athlon 64 X2 and a pair of GeForce 7800GTX graphics cards, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. It seemed that every time Wil connected to a server, he’d get thrown out after a few minutes with random explanations that made no sense whatsoever. Now, Wil knows a thing or two about PCs and gaming, as do I, but between the two of us we just couldn’t get the game to run. Add to this the fact that for the short period of time that he was allowed to play, the frame rate was so jerky that it wasn’t really playable anyway – ok, I guess it could have been network lag, but the game had the whole of a 1Mbit link to itself.

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