My Life of Gaming

So, I’ve been playing games almost as long as I can remember.  My parents bought me an NES probably around the age of 5 and I grew up as one of the Nintendo kids of the late 80s and 90s.  I played a lot of things, but there was a lot of Mario and Zelda in there, along with a variety of random odds and ends.  I also had an original gameboy, mostly used for Tetris in the early days.

Once the SNES era rolled around I stuck with Mario/Zelda and began branching out more. Notably some ARPG and plain ol’ RPGs. This is the period of time where game rentals were widespread and common as well, so I played an absolute unit worth of SNES games from all different genres. It quickly became about the RPGs though, they hit the sweet spot. While I certainly haven’t played them all, it would be tiresome to try and list them all here. In the latter half of this time frame I happened to acquire Pokemon as well, as did my brother.

This is honestly when I first remember engaging in co-op play with my brother. I mean, sure, we took turns playing Tetris, and on the SNES Tecmo Secret of the Stars, where we each controlled one of the two parties you could switch between. Secret of Mana and Pokemon quickly became staples.

Once the Nintendo 64 hit, I think it was the beginning of the slide away from console. I loved it and it’s games. I played a ton of Mario/Zelda as well as Mario Kart/Party and Smash Bros. The N64 just didn’t have the RPGs though. They were all over there on the Playstation thing.  I did also do that, mostly for the RPGs but not exclusively. Many an hour spent on FF7, FFT, and MGS among others.

Then, towards the late 90s I started dabbling in pc games. I don’t remember much in the early days, but there were a lot of A/RPG titles with some RTS sprinkled in. Notable titles would be Arcanum, Nox, Morrowind, and of course Warcraft 2. Now, Morrowind was especially unique, because I hadn’t really played anything quite like it before. Especially since it wouldn’t run until I downloaded a patch. Gotta love Bethesda, some things don’t change.

Somewhere along the way I discovered EverQuest. This was a game changer. I played so much vanilla EverQuest that I burned the original static UI into a CRT monitor. I also never got past the early to mid 30s level-wise, I was too easily distracted. I was in love with the idea though, it was everything I tended to play, but there were other people too!

Around this time things get difficult to track, but the short of it is that I went to a local community college and obtained a CIS degree with programming specialization.  During this time I continued dabbling with MUDs, MMOs, and started spending more time with single player RPGs.  Morrowind, specifically, comes to mind.  I tinkered with writing and game design a little bit during this time as well.

Then everything got weird because I moved out to Redmond, WA to attend the seemingly respectable DigiPen Institute of Technology.  Shared a building with Nintendo back then.  I didn’t make it past the first year for a variety of reasons, mostly a lack of dedication on my part and measure of disappointment with changes to the curriculum going on at the time.  It’s weird how certain games stand out during certain time periods of my life.  I remember briefly playing Shadowbane, as well as WoW and The Sims Online during this time.  I also picked up a MTG habit there for a while.  We were in the midst of Mirrodin when I played.  Loved me a good booster draft.

From there I just sort of dabbled with a wide variety of things, focusing heavily on the MMO genre but also some single player RPGs and a few odds and ends like The Sims.  I wasn’t a very social person at the time, so I tended to play mostly solo even in the MMOs.  Eventually I grew dissatisfied with what I was getting out of gaming and sort of quit.

I grew dissatisfied with gaming because I saw the various physical craft/hobbies of others and saw that they had a tangible thing as a result of their effort.  Then I looked at the games, especially the MMOs and figured not only did I not have a tangible thing, but I had very transient things.  They weren’t real, they didn’t matter, and they could be taken away by forces beyond my control at a moments notice.

So I just, quit.  Gaming lost it’s appeal.  I began tinkering with a wide variety of crafts and hobbies.  Jewelry making, lost wax casting, crochet, knitting, spinning, armchair philosophy, and witchcraft, just to name a few off the top of my head.  I tended to change focus every few weeks.  I would basically read/learn/absorb a ton of information, make a bunch of huge plans, hit a minor roadblock like lack of money and promptly burn out, get bored, then repeat the cycle from the beginning with some new thing that seemed interesting. Honestly this same cycle is a common feature in my life and I do the same thing with games now.

I did meet the woman that is now my wife at some point during this phase, and we also have three children.  Somewhere around the birth of the third child my wife, for reasons that are a mystery to me, bought an original Xbox 360 off someone on craigslist and I went to my brother, who never really quit, and borrowed a copy of Skyrim.  I’ve been back on the wagon since then.

I developed a strong co-op habit as well. When I play now I typically with with family/friends or every so occasionally, solo. Most of my gaming now tends towards MMOs and co-op shooters/rpgs.  I have learned in the past couple of years that I seem to favor sci-fi/space related games rather heavily, which is something I actually didn’t know about myself before.

I do have a Switch, though the kids play on it more than I do. I did play BotW, sans dlc, and I’ve assisted the kids with all/most of Odyssey at this point, including darker side of the moon.

As of the time of writing the only thing consistently on my to-play list is Monster Hunter World, which probably gets a write-up Sunday, and Warframe, because it looks like I’m doing a series or something.

2 thoughts on “My Life of Gaming

  1. Don’t have anything in particular to say, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve really been enjoying your writing style so far this month. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

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