My earliest memory of video games is perhaps one of my earliest memories. Back in 1989, my family bought the first Nintendo Entertainment System. This is actually very shocking because if you know my parents, you know they hate any form of technology and they actually enjoy staying 20 years behind. The Nintendo was mostly for my brother, who was 15 at the time and I was around 5 years old. I remember wanting to play Mario so bad but my brother would never let me. He would make me do all his chores and pretty much clean the whole entire house before he would “maybe” let me play. Even then after 5 hours of work, he would only let me play Mario until I died, which for someone starting out, would be death within seconds.
Three years later when my brother went to college, the NES was all mine. Of course my technology-hating parents flat out refused to buy me a SNES, but they did buy me the first Gameboy. I was free to play all the Mario games, as well as Castlevania, Contra, and Kirby.
Unfortunately for me, my parents only believed you needed one game, so I was very spoiled with both Kirby’s Dreamland and MarioLand 2 for Gameboy. They refused to buy me any other game and I got tired of the Gameboy very quick.
Let’s flash forward to age 15. My family finally got dial up internet, I transferred to a new High School, and I’m bored as hell. At my new school, I fell into the nerdy crowd (by choice) and was frequently feeling left out because I didn’t have any games to play. My parents still wouldn’t buy me a gaming console because “I’m too old.” However, I talked them into a brand new computer, so I ended up with a maxed out Dell. I quickly began to love the Age of Empires series and The Sims (the biggest waste of time ever!)
Towards the end of high school, all my nerdy friends ended up as cashiers at EB, and one of them convinced my mom to buy me a Gameboy Advance. Of course, I was allowed two games only, which at that age was fair because I was old enough to have a job by then. My two games were Super Mario Advance, which is Super Mario 2, and Warioland 2. When I went to college a couple months later, I left the GBA at home and didn’t really game for a long time, other then designing an occasional Sims house.
Four years later during the last semester of college, I was hanging out with a bunch of guys one night and one of them said, “I have to check my auctions.” To make an extremely long story short, I was shown how to play World of Warcraft and I made the guys drive me straight to Walmart so I could buy a copy of vanilla WoW (I was so hooked). I started playing during Children’s Week 2006, and I still play off and on today.
During my early WoW career, I also picked up a PS2 once they went on sale and played Resident Evil 4, Katamari Damacy (my favorite game of all time to this day) and the God of War series.
In 2009, I found myself jobless and ended up taking a management position at Gamestop. I figured I could get by on my WoW gaming knowledge and by owning a PS2. I couldn’t, so I bought an XBox360. My first games were Fable 2, Left 4 Dead, and Halo 3. I also went back and played Halo:CE. I worked at Gamestop for over 3 years, and as a result of being allowed to check out games, I’ve pretty much played everything, at least for an hour. As my time went on at Gamestop, I got poorer and poorer and with school I couldn’t buy or check out as many games as I liked. I got very behind on “gaming knowledge” due to school, but I did graduate in 2012 and left Gamestop that summer.
Now in 2013, I have a “real job” and can pretty much afford whatever games I want (within reason). I’ve migrated from the XBox360 to a gaming PC and I use Steam mostly to get all my games. I’ve cancelled my WoW subscription, but I also play other Blizzard games like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. I tend to gravitate towards RPGs, maybe because I like to create my own characters or maybe the false sense of achievement I get whenever I “level up.”
With the close of the Steam Summer Sale, and being out hundreds of dollars, it makes me think of why I play games in the first place. Now I appreciate being able to have any game I want whenever I want and I don’t have to work for 5 hours for 1 minute of play.