Who is Kharlos?
“Great t’ meet ya!”
Kharlos aka Carlos, or ‘Papa Kharlos/Carlos’, is a middle-aged (over 50s) gamer and EU streamer based in England, UK with a passion for fantasy games, especially massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) such as World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). I have been playing WoW since 2005, ESO since 2015 and more recently World of Warcraft Classic (Classic WoW) since its launch in 2019.
Gaming is one of my passions in life, along with Football (that’s Soccer to any readers from the USA), Formula 1, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Singing & Music. Kharlos is my video gaming persona and gamer tag across most platforms. My favourite video games include MMOs, RPGs and RTS genres, whether it is on PC or Console.
I like to think of myself as a Casual Gamer, I work a 9 to 5 and am usually pretty busy at weekends, so my gaming sessions tend to be Weeknights from 7pm. My main game since 2005 has been World of Warcraft, where I play both factions, although my ‘main’ is an Alliance Dwarf* Paladin – called Kharlos of course. (*now race changed to Human).
I was first introduced to gaming in the 1970s when my uncle had an Atari console that played Tennis/Pong and Breakout. It was pretty cool at the time, but wasn’t really mind blowing. In the early 1980s, as a teenager, I found myself down the local pool hall that had a video game arcade and found a bunch of arcade games such as Space Invaders, Asteroids, Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. Many of the school friends were in to playing pool and snooker, but for me and a small number of friends, it was The Pit, Scramble and Galaxians.
In 1982 The ZX Spectrum 48k was released, and with help from my granddad, I was able to order one direct from Sinclair. This was sooooo much better that the ZX81 that I had seen, this had Colour and something that resembled an actual keyboard. This was the beginning of my love of video games. In 1983 Crash Magazine launched complete with source code listings for ZX Spectrum games, and my weekends would be spent coding up the games for my ‘Speccy’. The code was usually pretty buggy, but once it was fixed, there was a great feeling of having fixed it. This was where I wanted to go! This was it! Unfortunately, our school along with so many others at the time, was new to the concept of computing, and our computer studies course was pretty new. My desire to go off and become a computer games programmer was frowned upon by my parents, especially my father, who insisted it was a stupid idea and that computer games was a fad that was not a long term career.
In 1984 I found myself a the local sixth-form school where I managed to get my hands on the BBC Micro, a much more advanced microcomputer than my speccy, and started to play early versions of Football Manager and Elite in break-times and during free periods. The biggest thing was that the BBC had a floppy disc drive rather than the audio cassette tapes used by the ZX spectrum, so the games loaded much faster and could save progress much easier.
My parents had moved back to our home town during my time at sixth-form and I would return at weekends and play in the local arcades on the seafront with my cousin and my sister. The favourites of the time were Gauntlet, 1942, Spy Hunter, Pole Position II and Karate Champ. On event I like to recall was on a windy rain swept winters night on the pier, my sister and I had been playing Gauntlet for what seemed like hours, I have no idea how many 10 pence pieces we had thrown into that machine, but we finally ran out of money and began to turn away from the arcade machine when the young security guard came running over and explained as we were the only people in the arcade he had been watching how we had been battling our way through the game, he promptly opened the machine and logged up several credits for free so that we could keep going. Absolutely priceless moment!
Gaming in the 1990s
The 1990s arrived and so did the responsibility of a wife, a mortgage and children! My passion for gaming moved out of the arcades and on to the Console. The early 90s saw the purchase of the SEGA Mega Drive, followed by the Super Nintendo. Favourite games of the time were Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Ecco the Dolphin (never did finish the last level!) on the Mega Drive and Super Mario World (hmm again – never did finish that final level!), Super Mario All Stars, Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country on the SNES. Over time the SNES won out as the family’s best console, the games were just so much fun!
1996 Changed everything again – As a family we had bought our first proper Personal Computer, and Tomb Raider happened! The soundtrack and suspense – the children were sometimes terrified watching their parents trying to solve the puzzles whilst fighting off wolves and dinosaurs. The console was still king, but the PC had made its impact. 1996 and 1998 also saw the addition of more little family members, little did I know at this time that our future Warcraft party was coming together – but that is a story for later. By the time 1997 had arrived the older children were cutting their gaming teeth on titles like Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper on PC and the family console had been upgraded to the N64 and PS1 with the most played games being Golden Eye 007, Pokemon, and Bomberman 64 with multi-tap for 4 players and Gran Turismo on the PS1. The future joke being that dad, i.e. me only actually got to play Gran Turismo once a year, on Christmas Day.
Approaching the millennium, apart from the impending doom that was the ‘Millenium Bug’ that was going to crash every piece of IT equipment worldwide, I was finding my way around the Forgotten Realms in RPG that was Baldur’s Gate and Gran Turismo 2.
Gaming in the Millennium
Having survived the Millennium Bug, Football Manager, Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper were still firm favourites on PC with the latest versions of Gran Turismo and Zelda on console. Runescape had found its way into the household with some of the children playing it.
2004 was about to change everything in terms of gaming within the household. I had re-connected with one of my interests from sixth-form that I never really managed to invest any time in and it came with the release of the Dawn of War RTS – the table-top game from the 80s based the far flung future of the Warhammer fantasy universe was here on PC. I am still playing and re-playing this game today, I simply love it. Meanwhile, my oldest son discovered a new game towards the end of the year called World of Warcraft and started to play. In March 2005, having paid for his subs for a few months, he invited me to have a go with him and I set up a trial account. My first character was an Alliance Night Elf Hunter and I was immediately mesmerised by the graphics, the music and that I was playing alongside my son from my home office, whilst he was upstairs in his bedroom! No multi-tap SNES here, or waiting to swap over to take turns a player 1 / player 2, this was now, this was teamwork in an immense virtual world and it was fantastic!
Before long son #2 wanted an account, by Autumn the wife had taken over my original account and I had taken a 2nd account, and son #3 also had an account. My daughter was the only family member to not have an account, by her own admission, her passion for all things Tolkien and this game could quite possibly consume all her spare time. No matter, we had our own self-contained family unit capable of running 5-man dungeons, with plenty of shouting between rooms in order to co-ordinate our gameplay. This brings me to another fond gaming memory, one Sunday afternoon with nothing better to do, the ‘5-man’ party was questing on a PVP server, (the boys loved PVP servers), deep in Northern Stranglethorn, son #2 comes bounding down the stairs screaming “There is a Gnome Mage, Get him!!!”, (WE WERE HORDE BY NOW, did I mention we were Horde now?). So we were all scrambling round in confusion trying to converge on son #2 and his prey. “Hurry up, he’s blinking away, came the voice from upstairs”. So we meet up with son #2 and start the pursuit of his Gnome that had disappeared of up the path by now. “I’ve seen him, he’s gone up there! Quick hurry up!” – It was a Han Solo / Chewbacca moment where they are chasing a few Stormtroopers through the Death Star! We rounded the corner where the Gnome had disappeared to run in to an ALLIANCE RAID PARTY getting ready for Zul’Gurub…. “Ruuuuuuun!!!!!” came the voice from upstairs…. You get the picture….
So all these years on from 2005, I am still mostly playing World of Warcraft, I still play both factions although as you can see, my main and the character I identify most with is my Alliance Dwarf Paladin – Kharlos.
Gaming Video Production
The summer of 2018 sees me taking a slightly new direction with my love of video games, in that I have decided to start producing game videos. It is is early days for me, I have unleashed a few videos on Twitch and YouTube, but I still need to summon up the courage to put my mug shot on the videos – it will happen soon, don’t say I haven’t warned you! There is a part of me, that having wanted to get in to the Video Games industry as a teenager, thinks that this is as close as I am going to get as I approach mid-life.
So why did I pick Kharlos as my gamer name? Well it isn’t anything fantastic I’m afraid – My IRL name is Carl, one on my nicknames, (and I’ve had more than my fair share), is Carlos. I love Tolkien’s Middle Earth and The Hobbit was one one of my favorite books as a child, especially the Dwarves, Elves are obviously pretty cool too, but Dwarves tho! Maybe it has to do with Dwarves being given Scottish accents in a lot of fantasy lore, no I’m not Scottish, but I spent a lot of time on holiday there as a child with my grandparents, and I love the place. Oh and beer, I love beer too. Tolkien’s dwarven language of Khuzdul features a lot of Kh. So there you have it – KHarlos. Like it or not, that’s it – and I love it when people call me Carlos, because in my mind it’s Kharlos!
“Interest ya’n a pint?“
Find me in-game, my Gamer Tags:
Steam ID: Kharlos2172
Where to Watch, Follow & Support Kharlos:
Watch & Chat with Kharlos
Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/kharlosgaming
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy8ocXZDgvF56wibhMV_Shw
Mixer – https://mixer.com/kharlosgaming
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/kharlosgaming/videos
Discord – https://discord.gg/Bgxckrh