Gaming burst #1 – Why I game (the beginning)

7 years old. That was when my love affair began.

When I was younger I used to spend weekends at my half-brothers’ house just to visit and enjoy the company of family. As long as I can remember being there, video games were a big part of our time together. My brothers had an NES and I would marvel at the incredible action and visuals taking place on the screen. Afternoons, evenings and late nights spent in front of the hot glow of the old tube television fill the annals of my memory.

I’d relax and embibe more Coca-Cola than I was allowed to any other time and I would stay up way later than was permitted back home. My brothers’ house became my haven of cool. Whether I watched my brothers hack, slash and cast their way through Gauntlet, or dodge syringes and blow up junkies in NARC, the enjoyment never stopped.

It’s hard to really pin point a specific instance or quality that really piqued my interest in games at the time, but in retrospect it doesn’t matter at all. The reason I loved them was because I enjoyed the time spent around them with my brothers. It wasn’t about escaping a broken life, depression or trouble at school, it was always about the pure fun that came from gaming together.

As the generations of consoles progressed I was exposed to greater and greater experiences. Imagine the first time I experienced Corneria in Starfox for the SNES. My mind was blown.

SCRAMBLE SCRAMBLE!!

Or the first time I witnessed possibly the greatest first boss entrance to that point in gaming. The level 1 boss in Contra 3 (the greatest shooter ever made)

It was clear that games were for me. To that point, nothing other than games had impressed me so much, or had been as much fun. As sad as that may sound, it’s true, and I love the fact that it is.

Throw into the mix the fact that for Christmas in grade 2 or 3 I got a SEGA Genesis from my mom. She was a single mom, we were living in a basement apartment, and she somehow pulled off the gift of the century for an 8 year old boy. She was and continues to be, the best. At every corner I was surrounded by games, and soaked so much enjoyment out of them that they simply became part of who I was becoming.

Times continued to change and the 32-bit era dawned on the world. My brothers and I were SONY people, so I played playstation exclusively at their house, and snuck in awesome Goldeneye sessions at my friends’ houses other times. I still remember to this day the first time I saw this:

Is there any doubt this is the greatest fighting game intro to ever grace the gaming world? It was no longer a joke, this shit was real. Video games were a passion of mine, and continue to be a big part of my life to this day.

The story could go on, but there is little point droning on with the details. Games got me early, and got me hard and never let go.

All of this amounts to a stream of memories I couldn’t begin to make a reader appreciate, but I think for us gamers what does bind us is the fact that we have these memories to begin with. As you read this you might not remember NARC, or really care about Corneria, or the first boss in Contra. However, you probably have some similar stories to tell, and some battle scars to show.

Did you ever beat Ninja Gaiden? Did Heihachi drive you up the damn wall in Tekken? Was Code Name Viper one of your favourite games of all time? The list continues indefinitely, in all directions and genres, but the trunk of the tree connecting all our branches is the same. Whether you started gaming yesterday or when I did 17 years ago, the reason remains the same.

We game for gaming’s sake.

GRG

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~ by humanmoves on April 16, 2010.

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