Many of us have something that we started doing when we were younger and will probably refuse to give it up for a very long time. For me, and a I can bet many more people, this was video games. It’s something that pretty much everyone in my generation would have grown up with but many grew out of it, seeing it as something they could do without. For the rest of us we grabbed a hold of our consoles and computers and declared that we would continue on with this tradition of whiling away the hours in front of a glowing screen.
I’ve often thought back to my first experiences with games and wondered why they have become such a big part of my life. I think the first game I can vividly remember playing was Captain Comic, with my father teaching me how to type in the magical commands into a DOS prompt in order for the game to start. For an inquisitive 3 year old the game was quite a challenge and the only way I could ever see it beat was to have one of my father’s friends finish it for me. The next game I can remember was Golden Axe, one that I struggle with yet again but still managed to lose countless hours on.
Moving forward a couple years I can see the games changing rapidly as technology improved and gaming firmly planting its feet in the entertainment industry. What I don’t see changing however, was the reason that I continued to play games.
Even my earliest memories of playing games are bathed in the social experiences that I got from playing. Whilst this may seem counter-intuitive to what the typical geek might be (the anti-social basement dweller) games were and still are a social activity. Back when I first got my hands on the original Nintendo Entertainment System and barely convinced my parents to shell out for 1 game and another controller (so my brother and I could both play) the only way to get other games was to trade with my friends. Often this would end up with them coming over and us all taking turns marvelling at how lucky they were to get that other game.
Fast forward 20 years and really the base reasons as to why I play games remain the same. I still love playing games with my friends, whether it be online or when they come over. I still swap console games with my friends, as we all take a bit of a gamble on unknown games just to see if they turn out ok. At it’s very heart gaming is one of those staple activities for me that if I were to give up, would leave a large gap in my life.
And that my friends is why I will never grow up and out of playing games.