On Gaming Roots

So one thing that I have seen other people talk about at some point is what games have been most influential to them in their lifetime. To be honest I’m not sure I could pinpoint exactly what games might fit in to that category for me. Certainly there are games that I just always remember as being my favorites, but I can’t really think of any that really changed my outlook on things.

So instead of writing about games that might have been super influential I am going to talk a little bit about how I got in to gaming in the first place. Keep in mind I’m 31 (for another month) so most of the games I feel got me in to gaming will have come out late 80’s early 90’s. Most of them pre Sony & Microsoft days.

The first time I can remember playing a video game is actually before I ever got my first NES. There was a mom & pop restaurant by where I lived at the time and they had an old 8 bit Mario arcade cabinet. This was the same game as the NES version, just with a different title, “VS Super Mario Bros.“. I don’t recall getting very far, but that isn’t saying a lot since I didn’t actually beat the original Mario game for a long time.

So as I mentioned the first console I ever had was the NES, and I remember having a couple games for it. Mario Brothers, and Track & Field that had the awesome floor mat pad that looked like the mat from Twister. We didn’t have many games, but back then I wasn’t cooped up playing them all the time either. I couldn’t say all the games I ever had for it, I just remember having the Mario games. I still love a good platformer, and that comes from growing up on that genre.

After the NES I got the SNES and the Sega Genesis (not the Master System). My love of platformers continued with both of these consoles but I got my first taste of the Zelda series when I borrowed a friends copy of “A Link To The Past”. I didn’t finish it at the time, though I did eventually. This was also the time when fighting games such as Street Fighter II and the original Mortal Kombat were seeing home releases.

Years passed by and consoles came and went. I can say I’ve owned or played at least a good majority of the various consoles that came out. At least the major brand ones from Sony, Nintendo, Sega and Microsoft. We didn’t really have the money growing up to buy a lot of games so most of them were borrowed or rented at blockbuster. Only in the last few years as I’ve finished up college and got a well paying job that I’ve been able to start buying games seriously.

I do still have an old SNES and Sega laying around. I need to find a good, legal way to play these on my tv. I know people always talk about playing ROMS and stuff on the PC but I don’t feel the same sense of joy playing an old game if it isn’t with the original console, or at least the original cart & controller.

I probably could have talked at length about this topic, but I feel like maybe various parts can be discussed individually.

That and I really need to get back to work.

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2 responses to “On Gaming Roots

  1. Happy almost birthday! ’82 was a good year! Mine’s a couple months after yours so our histories with gaming sound pretty similar.

    I wish I still had some of my old consoles, but I’m not really into the idea of tracking them down, so ROMs do it just fine for me. I’ve been playing some old Genesis games on my phone and despite being 20 year old games, they still entertain. I think in a way old 16-bit games are better than a lot of the 32-bit ones where 3-D was just getting started and looked like shit. Of course I have fond memories of the PS1 days, but going back and playing some of the games from that era is harder to do than when you go further back. Maybe it’s just me.

  2. I love trips down memory lane. Our gaming backgrounds aren’t so different. I wrote about it a long while ago. Maybe I’ll do a Throwback article next week to join your discussion here.

    I played Sega, but most of the time my friends had nintendo. And that meant we stuck with it so that we could share games. This continued from NES to SNES to N64. I haven’t bought a Nintendo system since the N64, which is a shame because theres games for it that I’d like to try. I just can’t justify owning 3 highly expensive consoles.

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