Since this is my first time writing here (or, I guess the first time anyone’s written here) I figure I’d take this chance to introduce myself a bit. First of all, I’ll say that I’m not a super avid gamer. What I mean, is that I’m not one of those gamers that will go out with the objective of getting 100% achievements and I definitely don’t play games nearly as much as I’d like to. But that being said, video games hold a near and dear place in my heart.
It all started when I was a wee lad, I can remember going over to my friend Cliff’s flat across the way and playing on his Famicon (yes, you heard me right, a Famicon!) after school. I would head over and we would play games for hours (or at least I think it was hours) on one of those 30-in-1 type of games with like Ice Climbers, Macross and Bubble Bobble.
Admittedly, the games were simple at the time, but those were simpler times. We were playing games with 8-bit graphics and cartridges that couldn’t even hold 1mb of information. But hey, it kept the six-year old me engaged. I didn’t always know what I was doing, but I knew I wanted more. In retrospect, it really might have been the perfect storm. A combination of the animated characters, the challenge of getting to that next level and the fact that I was playing with a good friend left a huge imprint on an impressionable young mind.
As my tastes evolved, so too did the hardware. A year or so after becoming friends with Cliff, my family moved from Hong Kong (which explains the Famicon) to the US and a few years after that, I got a Sega Genesis. To be honest, there weren’t a lot of games that I really remember playing from the Genesis days. The one I played the most was Joe Montana’s Sports Talk Football and Streets or Rage. A few years thereafter, my family moved again back to Hong Kong and that’s when I really started getting into video games. Right at the time that I’d moved to Hong Kong, around 1996 was when the PlayStation had just started making its mark. And that’s when I first came across Lunar: Silver Star Story. Before that, I had stayed away from most RPGs, because I always thought they would be too complicated. But once I started, I realized I couldn’t stop. I was too engrossed in the story. I mean, I was basically playing my way through an anime. After that, I came to realize that I loved to play RPGs. Not necessarily for the gameplay (though that’s important too), but for the story. Call me a romantic, but I love the idea of good versus evil, using magic and fighting monsters in epic battles. I just love a good story and that’s why some of my favorite games are very much story-driven games like Chrono Trigger and Mass Effect.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy games with little to no story at all. I mean, some of my fondest memories were playing Counter-Strike at the PC café until 2AM or throwing a LAN party playing Unreal Tournament 2k. There’s definitely a social aspect to gaming that I think everyone enjoys. Not the “taunting 13 year olds over the internet” kind, but having a shared experience with friends. But getting friends together in a shared goal, or in competition. Some people might say that it’s just another excuse to get together, and in a sense it is. But when you’re together doing it, there’s definitely a sense of purpose that’s not there when you’re just hanging out.
So that’s a little about me. But what about you? What is it about gaming that keeps you interested?