So what made you into a gamer?

Posted by dudeglove (7856 posts) -

Right, this was asked on another forum, and I'm so terribly unoriginal that I just outright nick other people's ideas sometimes, but it might reveal something interesting over here too. For lack of a better long-winded definition, 'gamer' is used here to describe someone who just enjoys games. Y'know, someone who's not quite hardcore, and not quite casual, hopefully sitting somewhere in that (quite possibly extremely narrow) medium between teabagging fanboy WASD elitism and someone with the basic motor skills to hold a Wii remote and a nunchuck. Note that this doesn't limit the question to that particular individual, it's just meant to establish a sort of general basic idea of someone who can be given a controller and not look at it like they have to pilot an extra-terrestrial's space helicopter.

Also bear in mind that the matter isn't "What was your first game?" or "What game did you play the most?" (although they will both invariably factor into the answer), it's about the particular game experience that eventually set you off a path down interactive entertainment highway and eventually led you to post garbage on Internet forums over and over again about it (which is exactly what's happening here).

So, for example, while many of my contemporaries might instantly jump on SNES titles like Super Mario World or Legend of Zelda as their source of inspiration, those particular titles never made me rabid for video games. Sure I enjoyed them, but I wasn't friggin' wild about them and wouldn't go out of my way to talk about them in school. 
 
But then two things happened about ten years ago:
 
1) I had finally saved up enough for a PS1 of my own.
2) Dancing Stage EuroMIX - or DDR for non-Euro jerk-offs - entered my life, via the local arcade, and subsequently ruined the summer of that year (and in retrospect the rest of my life)
 
As left-field as it might sound, Dancing Stage Euromix was the first game to truly enchant me, mostly because it gave me and my friend the chance to show off like a couple of assholes at the arcade for five minutes in front of a crowd. Our enthusiasm for it got so bad that we ended up buying the home version to practice, just so we could enjoy our few short moments of glory on the big flashing cabinet, rather than flailing around and getting a big stinking fail prematurely and wasting our parents' money. 
 
And then it just went into a downward spiral. We'd rack up the difficulty and return to the arcade to show off even more. Even though our legs would ache, and the song list was limited, it took an awfully long time for the high to pass. At that point I realized that video games could be more than just a solo get-the-fuck-off-the-TV-we-want-to-watch-the-Simpsons affair. They could be a big stinking spectacle in which the player and the viewer could equally enjoy (ever seen a crowd at an EVO tournament? Fuck me).
 
Too bad the home version pissed off the rest of my family with my stampeding upstairs, but I'd like to think of the game as my first ever grinding experience before ever playing Final Fantasy 7. The song "Dead End" by N&S on extreme was my personal nemesis, but I eventually pulled it off. Bear in mind the last 20 seconds of the following vid are murder on the thighs. Actually, scratch that, the whole thing is murder.
    

   
 
Watching that again I can still recall the foot movements. Nowadays it's just Through the Fire and Flames with kids. Pfft.
 
Feel free to share your own.
 
[N.B. I had done this blog beforehand, but neglected to attach it to the forums, so apologies to the handful of people that did comment originally.]
#1 Posted by dudeglove (7856 posts) -

Right, this was asked on another forum, and I'm so terribly unoriginal that I just outright nick other people's ideas sometimes, but it might reveal something interesting over here too. For lack of a better long-winded definition, 'gamer' is used here to describe someone who just enjoys games. Y'know, someone who's not quite hardcore, and not quite casual, hopefully sitting somewhere in that (quite possibly extremely narrow) medium between teabagging fanboy WASD elitism and someone with the basic motor skills to hold a Wii remote and a nunchuck. Note that this doesn't limit the question to that particular individual, it's just meant to establish a sort of general basic idea of someone who can be given a controller and not look at it like they have to pilot an extra-terrestrial's space helicopter.

Also bear in mind that the matter isn't "What was your first game?" or "What game did you play the most?" (although they will both invariably factor into the answer), it's about the particular game experience that eventually set you off a path down interactive entertainment highway and eventually led you to post garbage on Internet forums over and over again about it (which is exactly what's happening here).

So, for example, while many of my contemporaries might instantly jump on SNES titles like Super Mario World or Legend of Zelda as their source of inspiration, those particular titles never made me rabid for video games. Sure I enjoyed them, but I wasn't friggin' wild about them and wouldn't go out of my way to talk about them in school. 
 
But then two things happened about ten years ago:
 
1) I had finally saved up enough for a PS1 of my own.
2) Dancing Stage EuroMIX - or DDR for non-Euro jerk-offs - entered my life, via the local arcade, and subsequently ruined the summer of that year (and in retrospect the rest of my life)
 
As left-field as it might sound, Dancing Stage Euromix was the first game to truly enchant me, mostly because it gave me and my friend the chance to show off like a couple of assholes at the arcade for five minutes in front of a crowd. Our enthusiasm for it got so bad that we ended up buying the home version to practice, just so we could enjoy our few short moments of glory on the big flashing cabinet, rather than flailing around and getting a big stinking fail prematurely and wasting our parents' money. 
 
And then it just went into a downward spiral. We'd rack up the difficulty and return to the arcade to show off even more. Even though our legs would ache, and the song list was limited, it took an awfully long time for the high to pass. At that point I realized that video games could be more than just a solo get-the-fuck-off-the-TV-we-want-to-watch-the-Simpsons affair. They could be a big stinking spectacle in which the player and the viewer could equally enjoy (ever seen a crowd at an EVO tournament? Fuck me).
 
Too bad the home version pissed off the rest of my family with my stampeding upstairs, but I'd like to think of the game as my first ever grinding experience before ever playing Final Fantasy 7. The song "Dead End" by N&S on extreme was my personal nemesis, but I eventually pulled it off. Bear in mind the last 20 seconds of the following vid are murder on the thighs. Actually, scratch that, the whole thing is murder.
    

   
 
Watching that again I can still recall the foot movements. Nowadays it's just Through the Fire and Flames with kids. Pfft.
 
Feel free to share your own.
 
[N.B. I had done this blog beforehand, but neglected to attach it to the forums, so apologies to the handful of people that did comment originally.]
#2 Posted by Red12b (9084 posts) -

Need for speed, spending time before school playing NFS High Stakes trying to clock the Level with the McLarens and the Mercedes CLK's and missing the bus, God I loved that game, it told me I was way to invested in this thing to be just a small "Hobby"  

#3 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

watching my older brother play Doom 2 with my uncle when i was 8. then later on playing Need for Speed 2 and an old Mechwarrior  
 
something about the feel of a video game and the atmosphere and magic just grabbed me and has never let go

#4 Edited by HS21 (2682 posts) -

Mario and Duck Hunt where the first games I remember playing. My first PC games were ski free which came with Windows and the Commander Keen games on 6 hot floppy discs. Also I hate the word "gamer". 

#5 Posted by dudeglove (7856 posts) -
@HS21 said:

" Mario and Duck Hunt where the first games I remember playing. My first PC games were ski free which came with Windows and the Commander Keen games on 6 hot floppy discs.  "

 But did you exactly enjoy any of them or what? Was it changing the floppys that got you hooked?
 

 Also I hate the word "gamer".


Spread thine wisdom and come up with another term for it then.
#6 Posted by InfamousBIG (3201 posts) -
@dudeglove said:
" @HS21 said:

 Also I hate the word "gamer".

Spread thine wisdom and come up with another term for it then. "
Hmmm...what shall we call the audience that plays video games... 
 
Game-goers...no, too awkward... 
Entertainment Enthusiasts...no, too vague... 
Joystick Jumblers....no, too gay... 
Hmmm....they play games... 
I HAVE IT! 
 
GAMERS!
#7 Posted by fix8ed (24 posts) -

Well, being an older guy..... I started when video games started. Pong was the first home video game, can't recall the name of the unit. It was like 5 different types of pong game. With four paddle controllers.

#8 Posted by Tearhead (2168 posts) -

Piracy. I grew up in Barbados, where games were kind of hard to come by compared to the U.S. I highly doubt I would be playing games as much as I do now without piracy. I just would have found something else to to with my free time than download and play hundreds of roms/PC games. I would have had to go outside and play with my neighbours more... yuck.

#9 Posted by InfamousBIG (3201 posts) -
@Tearhead said:
" Piracy. I grew up in Barbados, where games were kind of hard to come by compared to the U.S. I highly doubt I would be playing games as much as I do now without piracy. I just would have found something else to to with my free time than download and play hundreds of roms/PC games. I would have had to go outside and play with my neighbours more... yuck. "
You grew up on a pirate ship?  Awesome!
#10 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2908 posts) -

Technically, parental money troubles. When I was around four years old my mom started working again, so my sister and I would spend a few days a week at a daycare center. They had an NES, which introduced me to the first two Mario games, among others like Jaws and Kung-Fu Heroes. Despite this actually being a pretty awesome place to hang out, they had a huge area for climbing and a giant slide and a movie room and shit, I quickly ended up spending all my time there playing NES.

#11 Posted by JJOR64 (18995 posts) -

Super Mario Bros.  After playing that, I got addicted to games.

#12 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -
@HS21 said:
" Mario and Duck Hunt where the first games I remember playing. My first PC games were ski free which came with Windows and the Commander Keen games on 6 hot floppy discs. Also I hate the word "gamer".  "
Great minds play alike my friend.  You had the NES blaster to complement Duck Hunt?  Also may I make an honourable mention to Chip's Challenge.
#13 Posted by HS21 (2682 posts) -
@dudeglove said:
" @HS21 said:

" Mario and Duck Hunt where the first games I remember playing. My first PC games were ski free which came with Windows and the Commander Keen games on 6 hot floppy discs.  "

 But did you exactly enjoy any of them or what? Was it changing the floppys that got you hooked?
 

 Also I hate the word "gamer".

Spread thine wisdom and come up with another term for it then. "
@InfamousBIG:  That word shouldn't even exist. I don't want playing games to be the thing that defines me. I'd never tell someone I'm a "gamer". God that's sad. 
#14 Posted by HS21 (2682 posts) -
@ShiftyMagician said:
" @HS21 said:
" Mario and Duck Hunt where the first games I remember playing. My first PC games were ski free which came with Windows and the Commander Keen games on 6 hot floppy discs. Also I hate the word "gamer".  "
Great minds play alike my friend.  You had the NES blaster to complement Duck Hunt?  Also may I make an honourable mention to Chip's Challenge. "
Hellz yes I had the blaster. I didn't hold it sideways like a G either. I aimed that shit straight, because shooting ducks was more important to me than looking straight raw while doing it.
#15 Posted by Red12b (9084 posts) -
@HS21:  
Would you ever have a neck beard?  
 
what do you think is worse? 
#16 Posted by Mrskidders (1330 posts) -

My Uncle gave me an Acorn Electron when I was 3 years old and that was that.  24 years later and still going strong.

#17 Posted by HS21 (2682 posts) -
@Red12b said:
" @HS21:  Would you ever have a neck beard?   what do you think is worse?  "
Neck beard is worse. They aren't just for "gamers" either, everyone can look dirty and creepy with a neck beard. 
#18 Posted by reddin (418 posts) -

 What first set me off on games was probably the original brick of a GameBoy that I got as a child. It's also why I still like playing handhelds while sitting around the house I think. Other than that I remember Scorched Earth and Lemmings on my fathers PC. I also got a SNES at some point.
What turned me in a gamer as you described was probably when I started going to friends houses and had friends come over to play games together. 
The tipping point is probably when I had worked enough to buy myself a PlayStation 1, and that was also the time that I started buying my own games in stead of getting one for my birthday and one for Christmas. Shortly after that I got my own PC and that was that.
Specific games are hard to think of. While I loved any type of point&click adventures, and me and a couple of friends got way into MarioKart on the SNES, the first game that I got really into is probably the original C&C:Red Alert.
 
Also on the whole "gamer shouldn't be a word" debate: That's just silly. 
If I want to describe someone that enjoys playing games I call them a gamer in that context. It doesn't matter if he/she is also a fine piano player or a great painter. I'll use musician and artist if the situation calls for it.
If I want to talk about someone detached from any individual qualities they might posses I will just call them by their name..

#19 Posted by excido (199 posts) -

The first game I got in to was Doom, but I played it for a very long time until I got Warcraft(yes just Warcraft, the first one). I can't remember any dates or specific years, I didn't get any of these things as gifts so I have no birthdays or holidays to associate them with and I got in to them a little late. I think the first games that I really got in to though were the original final fantasy games, RPG's are what got me addicted. Then Warcraft then Unreal Tournament of course there were other games in between and I played all the RPG's I could get my hands on in the old days but that's what got me really addicted to gaming young.

#20 Posted by SaFt (383 posts) -

First time i ever played a video game was when i got a SNES with super mario world as a christmas present from my parents. I believe i was four or five at the time.
 
I still remember me and my brother sitting on the floor in the living room playing and for some reason we thought the chargin' Chuck was a monkey with rugby gear.

#21 Posted by Arbie (1449 posts) -

Nice blog, and idea, brings back a few memories!
 
Although I played games as a kid with my brothers, or really whenever I could get my hands on a controller, I was never really a gamer. It wasn't until I was around 16/17 that I started spending a lot of time gaming. I was actually pretty popular at school, so always out with friends, at parties, or sneaking into whatever bar we could get served in. However to cut a long story short I got into a rubbish relationship far too young (14/15), revolved my life around it and when I left school for college pushed a lot of my best friends away. Things were pretty shit.
 
Then my brothers introduced me to World of Warcraft... I still remember seeing the character creation screen and straight away saying "rogue!". And so I was hooked! It wouldn't matter any more that my ex was feeding me the same old excuses down the phone of why he was going to be late, why he couldn't make it over, why his phone was on silent this time. He was on loudspeaker and I was lvling my rogue with one of the greatest groups of people I have ever known! My gaming experience went from there, I dedicated myself to only WoW for years and although I've now moved on to consoles I do at times return to where it all really began.

#22 Posted by Jamer91 (132 posts) -

playing super mario world at my uncles house is definitly what made me a gamer

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