I first discovered video games when my Dad started bringing home Macintosh Computers. At the time he had a decent job in property and was able to afford all of these ridiculously expensive Mac's. Although not being gaming machines (I don't even think they really existed at the time) they would run shareware games that came free on a CD as part of a MacUser magazine subscription. As far as I can think back to, this is when I first started gaming.
Things started to progress on from there, as more capable Mac's came out, more and more impressive games would start coming with them, games like Power Pete (now known as Mighty Mike on Giant Bomb due to licensing issues) and eventually games like Jazz Jackrabbit and Descent would grow my love of interactive video entertainment. Initially I could only play games on the Mac as that was the only electronic device I was aware of that did games. However, even when gaming really hit the mainstream I resisted getting a dedicated gaming console. I remember at the time of the PlayStation launching where most of my friends where getting one for Christmas I wasn't the least bit interested.
It would be until the launch of the slimline PlayStation when I finally caved in and got one, and that's where I started paying more attention to the industry and got into console gaming. After a couple of years enjoying such classic as Crash Bandicoot, Rugrats: Search for Reptar and Digimon World the life of my PlayStation One was running to it's end. The launch of the PlayStation 2 passed me by but later I decided to move onto the next generation and take a step up. Unusually I opted for the Xbox, at the time I remember wanting to buy a PlayStation 2 but in those days with limited funds it really all came down to cost and I think that's the reason I picked up Microsoft's console. To this day I never regret the decision, I even still have in my living room today with a healthy collection of games that get played from time to time. I'm looking at you, Halo's One & Two and oddly - Jet Set Radio Future.
After that, things grow very hazy. Two years after the Xbox 360 launched I had saved up enough to buy one. As much as I enjoyed playing it I really struggled with the costs. Neither me or anyone in my family owned an HDTV and in order to play via Xbox Live I was stuck sitting in our office, playing on a crappy 50Hz only. The 50Hz limitation massively restricted the games I could play. I didn't have a job at the time and with the little pocket money I was receiving (which was already being used up on phone credit and going out) I rarely bought any games for it. After my Xbox Live subscription ran out I was unable to afford another leading to a huge decline in my Xbox gaming. I slowly stopped gaming and even my Xbox itself was having a go at me (via 360voice). Being so strapped for cash I started exploring other ways to get my gaming fix and discovered MMO's. By chance I had finished watching the Matrix Trilogy, was entranced by it and went looking for more. In mid 2006 I stumbled upon The Matrix Online and that where three+ years of my gaming, and to a certain extent, real life went.
With my 360 being used simply to watch DVD's it was like cash sitting on top of my desk so I sold it. I used the money to buy a modest gaming PC and things just went on from there. I've moved away from hardcore MMO playing and I'm currently sitting in the casual zone with my DS, Xbox and PC + Steam account. This is where I am today. Having a job means I have easy access to all the games I could want to play which generally tends to be shooters, however, I still like to try new MMO's - I just don't get as attached as I did with The Matrix Online.
2009 marked the year I moved back into mainstream gaming. Here's to many a good year to follow.