Where It All Started…
Ever since I was four or five years old, I never had that great a memory, still don’t. I never remember birthdays without a reminder on Facebook; I don’t remember to get the dinner on the way home from work; or lock the front door at night. One thing I have always remembered though, and vividly at that, is every video game I have ever played. When I was growing up video games were in their infancy like myself. It was not something every household had the luxury of having.
Dad, however, was partial to technology as it was used in part for his work and so he took an interest in video games. It is because of him we had our first ever console in my house: the SEGA Mega Drive. As soon as I had sufficient hand-eye coordination it was near impossible to get me off the console.
My hands were unfortunately too small to hold the controllers and press the buttons with my thumbs simultaneously but Sega controllers, unlike their evolved modern cousins, had only 3 buttons and a D-pad to play with and buttonless flat backs. I would lay the controllers on the floor and press the buttons like classic fighter arcade games. Obviously, I was not very good but it worked for me for the early years of my gaming career.
It helped a lot that games were not too complex back then either, the first game we ever owned was Sonic the Hedgehog, a classic 2D side scroller about a Blue Hedgehog who ran at sonic speeds to stop the Evil Dr. Robotnik from turning all the woodland creatures into, you guessed it…robots.
Bigger & Better Things
These wacky and simple stories with basic mechanics were my first foray into the world of gaming. From there my interest and enjoyment of video games grew. I became dedicated to seeing where this was going.
I will be branded a heretic for saying this but I have never owned a Nintendo console (aside from my Gameboy yellow/colour, best Christmas ever).
From the Mega Drive we got a Dreamcast, and then a PlayStation enjoying Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon and Dino Crisis to name a few. My parents, thankfully, supported my growing interest in gaming. Each week, they ferried my siblings and I to the local Xtravision where one of us was allowed to choose a game to rent for a glorious seven days. I am not proud to say it, but I tricked my parents more than once into thinking it was my week to pick.
Getting Older But Never Growing Up
With the release of the PS2 we had no help this time. It was up to my brother and I to join forces to save money up for months on end. Vacuuming, cleaning and washing. I even used to attend Bingo on Wednesdays with my mum in the hopes of winning some money to put towards it and sure enough about two months into it, I won the Bingo Hall jackpot with no second callers.
Obviously, my mum took most of it as she was paying for the Bingo books all that time, but she gave us enough to finally reach the target for the PS2.
We bought it outright, and had not a penny extra… so even getting a game wasn’t possible. Thankfully, the PS2 still came with a Demo disc (Remember when consoles had Demo discs?). A few birthdays went by and our games library grew.
I switched over to Xbox 360 to finish the amazing Halo trilogy. That series, like many of the classics, has forever been etched onto my mind. The cycle continued: PS Vita, PC and PS4. Each new generation of consoles brought with it another new host of stories to delve into and worlds to explore.
Where to Next?
Gaming is one thing I have found a true drive to take part in, the stories, the communities and friends I have made. It is because of this I have decided to write about my hobby. Something that has always been in the forefront of my life. However, each time I play another iteration of a new generation of games I am always coming from the same place. That 5-year-old kid who figured out he could play games with his undersized hands by leaving the controller on the floor. With that in mind, I do not intend to cover the newest in latest modern releases. Instead, I intend to look back and re-examine some of the beloved classics; as well as addressing the issues with modern games and the direction they are headed in.
So if you have the time, I’d love for you to join me as I start off on a new adventure into writing about a hobby that has become my passion.