(This was originally posted as part of the “What got me into gaming” event over on the Video Games Amino)
Hello everyone and welcome! It’s kinda hard not to notice the latest event hosted by the one and only Downs47 on the Video Game Amino! I mean everyone and their mother has been posting their stories of how they entered the wonderful world of video games. I thought I might as well take part and share a small piece of history. So without further ado here we go!
The Short Version
How did I get into gaming? Well the short version is that gaming came natural to me I suppose. From the very first moment I touched a controller I instantly became hooked. I used to watch adults play those magnificent video games when I was younger and always wanted to try them myself. It was then where I finally got my hands on the SNES and never looked back. However there is much more to the story and actually builds up piece by piece to shape who I am today, so buckle up for the long version.
The First Console
The very first console I ever had the pleasure of playing was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – or SNES for short. I used to watch my mother and her boyfriend play this machine for ages and always wanted to give it a shot as well. They played all kinds of things, from Super Mario World to Clay Fighters and even Jurassic Park – all great titles that I enjoyed watching but that bug was always there. The eagerness to try them myself and enter a brand new world of epic adventures. I eventually got my chance to play and as far as I can remember my very first gaming experience was with the wonderful Spawn for the SNES.
Ok, so Spawn is pretty graphic especially for a wee little lad, but I loved it. From the comics to the HBO series and eventually to the video game. Spawn was a platformer that took the action from the series and crafted a fun little adventure from it. Being extremely young at the time I had difficulty during many sections of the game and honestly the beginning section is probably the most vivid in my mind as I probably played it dozens of times. It was fun nonetheless and I have fond memories of the title, I even remember keeping a little notebook full of the passwords for various stages and to this day I can clearly remember the music and sound effects from the title. It was a great start to gaming, but it wasn’t over yet.
After my time with the SNES I remember playing a lot of handheld titles. I started out with the Gameboy Color and played such great titles as “The Rugrats Movie” and the video game version of the Pokemon TCG. I spent hours and probably used hundreds of batteries playing this little device. It sort of cemented the fact that I would become a gamer, I took the little guy literally everywhere I went. Still being a child at the time I lost a lot of these games sadly, though as an adult I have re purchased a bunch of them to relive my childhood experiences.
As most children did back in the day, I eventually received a Gameboy advance one Christmas morning. Oh boy did I love this machine, I remember when I first opened it I couldn’t wait to place batteries inside and I even constantly turned it off and on for a few hours just to hear that startup tune. Now, the reason I include the GBA here is because it was a huge step in my world of gaming. It introduced me to amazing titles, Pokemon, Advanced Wars, and even Final Fantasy. These adventures got me through a rather tough childhood and helped me with those long road trips that my family would constantly take. I’m grateful for the GBA and I don’t know where I would be without it.
The Local Game Store
Now, let me share a little story of where I got all these games from and my first exposure to the community. Here in Colorado we have a local chain of video game stores where you could buy and sale video games of all sorts. The store is called “Buy Back Games” and is essentially just what you think it’d be. Various titles from different consoles were everywhere at cheap prices, it was a wonderland in my young eyes. It was here were I got the bulk of my N64 & Ps1 titles. I even went back there a few years back and picked up a copy of Pokemon Snap just for old times sake.
But on to the important part, my first interaction with a gaming community. As a youngster walking into these stores for the first time I always got anxious and scared. I didn’t know what to expect, would the people be nice? Could I get a new game? I didn’t know. The reality far surpassed the expectation as within the store was pinball machines, video games everywhere, and even a TV in one corner where people were playing some fighting game on the Ps1. It was my first contact with a video game centered store and I’ll never forget it.
Fast forward a few years and I’m deep into gaming at this point. I now had some of my favorite consoles ever including the Dreamcast and Ps2. These days were probably the best gaming years in my life. This is the point where I began to actually identify as a gamer. I spent hours upon hours on so many titles, blazing through adventure after adventure. Not much happened these few years but I slowly grew my collection and became a heavy gamer with much more to come.
It was a few years back when I started playing games semi competitively. It all began when I started playing Dota 2. I instantly fell in love with the game and it shaped a more rage induced and competitive side of myself as a gamer. This then branches out a little with similar games like Smite and such but didn’t stop there, it went into various MMOs where I wanted to be the best and also into Dark Souls multiplayer. It was a adrenaline filled time in my life and was a fantastic stepping stone in my shaping into the gamer I am today.
There was no single event in my life that got me into gaming and transformed me into a gamer. I would say getting into games was as natural as anything else. Over the years various events just built on that fact. I was born a gamer and I will always be one.
Until Next Time…
Well that does it for today folks. Thanks to everyone who joined me today. Be sure to take part in the event using #WhatGotMeIntoGaming and I’ll see you all again next time. Until then, have a wonderful evening.