Gaming for me started quite young. I remember sitting in my room playing with my older sisters handheld Pacman and I remember being in love.I would play with that thing for hours on end and I'm sure more than one time I managed to clock it- or get up to the highest allowed score before the batteries ran flat. Those were the days, for me life couldn't get much better... until.
One morning my Mum brought something home that would change my gaming life forever. As she set it up and I sat waiting in anticipation and wondering where the batteries went when all of a sudden she did something very strange, she connected it to the tv. THE TV!!! My mind was blown.... I sat looking at the screen as she attempted to tune in the station. Next minute the screen was filled with the awesome sounds of Space Invaders and once again my heart was filled with love. As the days and months passed I accumulated more games- Enduro, Ghostbusters, River Raid, Plaque Attack, Crossbow and my all time fave Pitfall!
Wasn't that long till my next gaming love came along. I remember being over at my best friends house and watching her older brothers playing a game, a game with a very catchy tune and a little man that jumped on turtles and ate mushrooms. All I wanted to do was have a turn, I wanted to jump on turtles and eat mushrooms- I wanted to control that colourful man, I wanted to rescue the princess! To me the graphics were just stunning. Compared to my Atari 2600 this was certainly something very special. Months passed as my friend and I sat there watching games by The Simpsons and a very violent game that we longed to play called Mortal Kombat because it was for "Grown ups". Of course the older brothers rarely gave us a turn and when they did they mostly just sat there telling us how we were playing "Wrong" and how much we generally sucked at all the games.
I remember even back then being crushed. Did they not know about my Space Invaders scores, did they not know how much I really wanted to play... So I complained to my Mum as any kid does when they feel an injustice.
"Don't worry about them" she would say.
"You will get your chance I'm sure of it!".
A year or so passed and I gave up on the idea. I played my Atari and saved up for new cartridges with my pocket money, life was good.
Christmas morning- year- not entirely sure, but I wake up to a stack of presents with one big present standing up the back. I make my way through boxes of barbies, clothes, teddy bears and candy. I kept thinking about that big box and wondering what it was inside. What had I asked for that would be that big? What on earth was inside- it was killing me. FINALLY I got to the big box and everyone in the room moved in close, grabbed cameras and waited to see my smile... As I tore back the paper a strange little blue animal started me down, follwed by a man that looked like he was turning into a wolf- OMG- O M G It was a Sega Mega Drive!!!! My life as I knew it was about to change.
Me in the purple My Little Pony dress
No more waiting for turns, no more being told I was rubbish, sure I couldn't play with the little colourful man but I had a super fast Hedgehog and a man that turned into all different kinds of animals. This is when it became really serious for me, games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat and of course all the Sonic games paved my gaming persona making it what it is today. I had a LOT of years with my Sega. I had the professional pad with the slow mo and turbo and I had even dabbled in taking old controllers apart and fixing them. I loved this little machine more than anything else I had ever been given.
Was many, MANY years later till my life was changed again with gaming and that came in the form of the Playstation. My Grandparents had asked me one day what I would prefer, a PC or a new gaming console. Thinking back the PC would have been handy for school but alas I made the choice of the Playstation and I don't regret it. From the minute I plugged it in and realised I didn't have to tune it in I was in love, what a marvellous machine. When the games came up on the screen I was even more blown away- 3D- WHAT! From Tekken to Coolboarders and one of my all time faves Croc. I loved this system but I really never had that much time to play it back then. Saying all this it was probably only a few months later that I did end up getting a PC anyway and that's when my PC gaming begun. Things like Leisure Suit Larry, Duke Nukem, GTA, Redneck Rampage and Sims. I enjoyed all of these games but once again, never had a whole lot of time to play as it was during my rebellious school days.
By the time the PS2 had arrived and I could afford it I had moved out of home and had a whole lot more time on my hands.
Years became almost a blur when it came to my PS2 days. Lots of drinking and house parties, nights where we sat up for hours on end playing things like GTA, GT and Final Fantasy. We would play Tekken Tag, boot up old Atari games and Mega drive games on Retro release disks. My gaming collection for the PS2 is quite extensive so to really name all my fave games would take a small eternity. Lets just say I loved 99.9% of them.
And that pretty much brings us up to today. I now own a PS3 and an Xbox 360. I still have all of my old consoles as to me they are like old friends. We had so much fun together through the years that throwing them away would just be heartbreaking. I've missed a few gaming highlights here and there but I didn't want this blog to go forever, although, seems it already has.
These short snippets of my gaming life have shaped me into who I am today and for that I am grateful. I love being a gamer, I love being a nerd. So thanks Sega, thanks Nintendo and thanks Sony for being amazing and letting me find joy over the years in your creations.
Yours sincerely an old school gamer.