About a week ago I finished playing Bioshock for the PS3. I put down the controller and it occurred to me that I’ve been playing these games for a long time. They’ve changed in terms of technology and the commitment required, of course, but I play them today at age 33 for the same reason I played the Atari 2600 console they’re fun. So today I’m going to write a bit about my video games timeline. It’s a pretty handy tool for chopping my life up into different eras.
My parents bought this for us for a Christmas present in 1983. Until then my experience with video games had been playing at the arcade on the campus where my dad was studying in New Mexico. Playing Combat, Yar’s Revenge, Kangaroo, Pitfall!, and all the other great games in the privacy of my living room was a freaking joy. The games are pretty funny now, but I have such good memories of them.
If you’re interested in finding a great Atari 2600 emulator online, this will take you to my favorite. (don’t play it at work)
At the same time, my friend down the street had a Colecovision. The only game I remember was the Cabbage Patch Kids. Atari was where it was at!
I got a Nintendo after all the other cool kids, but I made up for the lag in hours logged. I had a Nintendo Power subscription, I had posters on my wall, and I briefly experimented with charging 25 cents to answer questions. I was a natural platformer but also did well with the RPGs. I would also sneak phone calls to the Nintendo hotline to get answers I couldn’t find, and I had no idea those calls cost way more than a quarter.
My favorite games were Mega Man 2, Contra, Karnov, Castlevania, and of course all of the Super Mario Bros. games, and everything else that everyone else loved. I have some great memories of sitting around with friends for hours playing Bases Loaded.
Another Christmas present. It came with Super Mario World and I also bought Final Fantasy 2 and Street Fighter 2 in the next couple of years. I remember thinking it was extremely cool the the controller had so many buttons. Is that cool?
It also seemed like a really big deal that when Mario turned from side to side, you could actually see him turn, rather than having him just instantly be facing left or right with the push of a button.
I loved Final Fight more than just about anything. Legend of the Mystical Ninja and EVO were the other two that I absolutely adored.
Three games, six words: Resident Evil and Twisted Metal and Metal Gear.
I was out of the house by the time my brother introduced this system into the home. I loved the Mario 64 game, but never really got into many of the others. I remember he had that Banjo game with the bird, but I never spent much time in a residence with this system around. It is one of the few I never have the urge to revisit.
I was working at Best Buy when this came out. I didn’t have a chance. I quickly grabbed one and picked up the latest Metal Gear game and Devil May Cry. I had no idea games could look this good or move so quickly.
My friends bought Gamecubes. Other than the Metroid Games, I was never too jealous.
I never even really wanted a Wii. My brother in law called from Costco where he was working during the height of I-can’t-find-a-Wii-anywhere mania, and said “Dude! Do you want one! There’s one here!” I said yes, just because. When he told me that I could download the old games, I got a lot more excited.
To date, the only game on the Wii I have really loved is the Mario Galaxy game.
I thought I had outgrown it. It wasn’t until April of 2009 that this blog you’re reading made a bunch of money that surprised me. To reward myself, I impulsively grabbed a PS3 in a local Shopko, along with God of War 3 and 3D Dot Heroes. It all came back to me. That’s right, this is why you love doing this.
How far is the timeline going to go? Probably depends on how long my life is. As long as there are video games out there, I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow them, especially with the new emphasis on storylines and character development.