One of my earliest memories of video games was when I was around 7 years old at my cousins house watching them play NES games. Some titles that they had like Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II and Rescue: The Embassy Mission were games that really got me hooked into watching them. The satisfaction of getting through a tough section and the intensity of being in unknown territory is a feeling I’ll never forget. Today we have services such as Twitch and the more recently available Youtube Live Streaming that try to invoke those feelings and so for this reason I respect them.
In 1994 we received our very first computer, a used Intel 286 that had a preloaded version of DOS. The machine was loud, clunky, and had a stained white hue to it. Once I wrestled with its file structure I found myself installing games like Police Quest II, Man Hunter: San Francisco, and Wolfenstein 3D. The graphics were primitive but the unique style and freedom of those games with their text parsers and the first person perspective were like nothing I had ever played at the time.
I was able to stay up to date with gaming news in the 90s by reading gaming magazines, one of which was Game Players. A memory that stuck with me was that of reading about the upcoming Sega 32X and seeing screenshots of never-released games like Sonic for the 32X. While CD based games were starting to show up in magazines I remember reading about full motion video games and how they were going to be the future. We all know how that turned out.
Fast forward to about 2 years and we get a much faster (and stylish) Acer Aspire. One of the games we purchased alongside it was The Need For Speed Special Edition. I remember being blown away by the polygonal graphics and stereo CD-Quality sound. At around the same time we get the first generation PlayStation. Some of the games that I loved were Metal Gear Solid, PaRappa The Rapper, and Gran Turismo. I revisit these games from time to time.
Then in 1999 I get my first very own console as a gift, the Sega Dreamcast. A couple of years later the mall close to us opened a store that sold pirated games. Being in junior high with very little money, you can imagine the excitement of getting games on the cheap without hard modding the console. There was also a Playdium close by and is where I got good at Dance Dance Revolution (I even entered a tournament!) and also BeatMania.
Playdium in Metropolis
We eventually get the PlayStation 2 in 2003 but I didn’t get many games for it due being more of a PC gamer at the time. I also had the Gamecube which was pretty cheap since I worked at the Vancouver Flea Market on the side. At around the same time I would go on to buy my first graphic card so that I could play games like The Sims 2 and Counter-Strike 1.3. I got into emulation and this is when I discovered games like Chrono Trigger and Harvest Moon for the SNES. I became a fanatic of Harvest Moon and so I have played all the titles up until the latest Nintendo 3DS and DS versions.
My first graphic card
In 2008 I was finally able to afford my own console, a PlayStation 3. I did buy a Wii for its exclusives (especially for Harvest Moon) but soon found it to be lackluster in the number of hardcore games. But I digress. With the advent of smartphones and social media, it was easier than ever to find the latest in gaming news. This is where I started to get interested in the gaming development scene. Sony was always known to have games with unique mechanics and so I had games like Heavy Rain and Journey. I also decided to try handheld consoles and so I bought the original Nintendo 3DS.
Heavy Rain was revolutionary in interactive story telling
So fast forward to today and you will find me with a PlayStation 4, a Wii U, and a modern low-mid end PC. I’m mainly a PC gamer but I love to hop onto PS4 chat with a few friends and play games like Minecraft or Rocket League. I play the Wii U from time to time to enjoy local coop or their first party games. A few notable things I have done are being an early adopter of Minecraft for the PC during the beta in 2011, a backer of Project Cars (but did not help with the development), and have contributed to an Indiegogo campaign for a Youtube series about one of my favorite games called DayZ. I build computers for fun, I love learning about game history, and ultimately, I would like to work on VR games due to its fresh take on gaming. A big reason why I’m in game design is to be able to understand VR and try to discover a style that works in VR, so that we can transcend the medium into a hardcore gaming platform.
I hope you enjoyed reading my history with video games. I look forward to dissecting history and to finding out what made the industry what it is today.
Thanks for reading!