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The Interview: Alex Aguila

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Alex Aguila from Alienware

Alex Aguila from Alienware

Alex Aguila

Alex Agulia was the co-founder and former president of Alienware, but long before that he was an avid computer and console game and collector. In our Gamer Profile of Alex, we peeked inside the world of a real gamer and while there I had a chance to stir up an old Temco Bowl rivalry between him and current president of Dell Gaming at Alienware, Arthur Lewis. In Arthur’s interview, he talked about his early days of gaming all the way up to the Alienware days. We wanted to go back to Alex and this time get a bit more of a history of his gaming and to take one more shot at their competition.

Obsolete Gamer: When did you first begin playing video games?

Alex: The first video game I ever saw was Pong at a Miami Beach hotel in 1975. I was 8 years old. A few years later I played with the Odyssey 2 and all the hand held electronic games but my first love (that I still love it today) was the Atari 2600.

Obsolete Gamer: When did your love for video games turn into a full time hobby?

Alex: Games have always been a part of my life. It is something that is just part of me since the late 70s.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us about collecting video games and consoles?

Alex: I hate to throw away anything that I enjoy, so my collection of video game started back in the late 70s. I now have a huge collection. In the last 15 years or so I have almost strictly concentrated on very rare games for the different consoles and when I say rare I mean really, really rare.

Obsolete Gamer: How big into the Arcade scene were you?

Alex: I feel blessed that I was there from the very start. Arcade gaming was bigger for me in the early 80s than consoles were actually. I spent every quarter I could get my hands on playing defender, stargate, zaxxon, Ms pac man, Galaga and many, many other classic etc. I got really great at some of them. I was the dude people gathered around to see a game ending. I actually could finish dragon’s lair with my back turned away from the machine simply relying on audio queues. That’s a lot of quarters.

Obsolete Gamer: At what point did you move into PC gaming?

Alex: The commodore 64 opened up an entire new realm of more sophisticated games. There was a period where I shelved all consoles and stopped going to the arcade around the mid-80s. Commodore was simply too strong. The simulations were great (playable today), the text adventures were great (playable to this day). It was a given that I would graduate from the commodore 64 to the PC in the early 90s.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us the differences in your experience playing console games of the 90’s and PC games of the 90’s?

Alex: Super Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Country was a classic masterpiece. I have finished the game beginning to end 4 times since it was released (I have not done that with any other game PC or console). That being said, there was nothing that Sega or Nintendo could do that would even come close to some of the stuff the PC was doing. When the CD-Rom and CD-Rom games were released, the gap grew even larger.

Obsolete Gamer: Was your love for gaming a major reason for co-founding Alienware?

Alex: Yeah, I was a gaming guru. Nelson was a gamer that built PCs, it was a natural fit.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you give us a little history of the gaming “friendly competition” between yourself and Arthur Lewis?

Alex: You know a lot has been made out of this through the years but before there was any “competition” there was a lot of “cooperation”. We played Atari 2600 sword quest series and raiders of the lost ark quite a bit and we worked together towards a common goal. The real competition started when Nintendo released Tecmo bowl and Bases Loaded. The era of cooperation was over, It got ugly, what can I say…

Obsolete Gamer: Arthur stated you guys are about even as far as gaming, would you agree with that?

Alex: Yeah I guess, I’ll give Arthur Robotron and sports games (any era any console) but gaming encompasses quite a bit. Saying “gaming” is a big statement. He is really great (legendary) in specific areas. So am I, I’ll leave it at that.

Obsolete Gamer: Do you plan to have a rematch of Temco football since Arthur won last?

Alex: He won’t play me or give me a rematch since the early 90s. I get it since the story and the myth grow larger that way. I made peace with it.

Obsolete Gamer: Are you active in the gaming community?

Alex: Yes I am the founder of www.combatace.com a site dedicated to combat simulations, I play DCU universe right now and we have a pretty cool super hero team with a website.

Obsolete Gamer: What are your thoughts on the number of classic games being rereleased on today’s consoles?

Alex: I’ll give you a worn out cliché answer but the truth is the truth. A good game is a good game any era, so of course there will be rereleases but I encourage the developers doing it to stay as true to the original source and code as possible. No one wants someone messing with their Mona Lisa.

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    • Alex’s roots in gaming are similar to mine, although he probably has a 5-6 years advantage in years. ;-]