Hey everyone, Toby here, one of the Editors at WtfGamersOnly. We’ve recently taken on a mass load of new writers and fresh inspiration from the gaming community, please join me in giving them all a huge welcome and be sure to check out some of their first posts on the site. Here, we will be running down a few of their inspirations and what led them here today! Without further ado…
“How did I get into gaming? I used to play games as a child and just grew to really love playing them and I never stopped.”
This is the exact way I have answered people in the past, but I wanted to find out exactly what drives me each day to repeatedly turn on my PS4, Xbox One, or PC. I’ve gotten so into gaming that after I purchased my first home with my wife and daughter, I had to build a room dedicated to video games; a place where the world we all know no longer exists.
What fuels this passion?
The world in a video game can contain our every desire and dream. A person can become something so far from what they are and do things they couldn’t even imagine accomplishing. Each individual ‘gets into gaming’ or ‘becomes a Gamer’ when they find the game that completely encapsulates them as a being. When you no longer look at a game character as a game character and they become an extension of yourself, that’s when you have reached the title of Gamer.
I love many of the games I have played, however, I can remember only one that hit me like no other. Final Fantasy X was the game that got me into gaming. At the time in my life when I was playing FFX, I could relate to certain aspects of Tidus (the main protagonist). I got to the point where Titus’ relationships with other characters became my own. I would no longer make choices in-game that would benefit only my character and leave my friends hurt or alter their disposition toward me.
I feel that it’s these types of experiences that got me into gaming. The relationships that I could build with fictional characters that felt real enough to touch. When you reach the point that you’d rather be in your game world than this world, you’ve become a Gamer.
I never fully entered the world of gaming until I purchased a computer; my friends showing me the world of League of Legends a free to play e-sport, which showed me the extent of competitive gaming, and how immersive this world actually could be. Showing me that CPU difficulty would never truly match that of a human opponent. No patterns to remember, no skills that will constantly work. Just the idea of reading your opponents signs and attempting to out skill them, on a single platform.
My love for this just refused to plateau, as I began to enter other player v player worlds. Starting with Counter Strike and moving to Starcraft. Even on the small but tactical level of Hearthstone, I just couldn’t stop playing these games. I played and played each one, beginning to get better, and openly starting to understand the games, and the mechanics behind them.
However, practice could only take me so far. So again I entered a new world of gaming; revolving around pro gaming specifically within E-sports, around League Of Legends and Counter Strike. I would watch and follow the games, mainly following ‘FNATIC’ and their games each week; studying their skills and attempting to bring it to my own game.
Overall, I think if I was to answer this question with one word; it would have to be competition, I struggle to see how you can retrieve that kind of self achievement anywhere else. The idea that you could use skill to defeat your opponent on a singular platform, without any form of handicap. Honestly, if I had to convince anyone to come into the world of gaming, I would set a console up with two controllers and ask them to play me. I believe it would show them no matter their gaming preference playing; against a friend, within a game just escalates to a level where you can play for hours without failure. Until exhaustion takes over.
My first memory of playing videogames was playing Frogger. As I remember it, I was playing it on the Famicom (NES). Years went by and we, as a family, bought almost every console that came out, or at least, all the popular ones. We had: Famicom, MSX, OMEGA, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, 3DO, N64, PS1, Xbox, GC, PS2 and all that came after. After the PS2 era, and with the release of the Xbox 360, I bought, with my own money, my first console.
With almost every console I can name a game that led me into this wonderful hobby/addiction. On the Famicom, as most people it was Mario Bros. On the OMEGA, it was Golden Axe. On the SNES: Mario World, Aladdin and Street Fighter 2. On the N64: Mario and Zelda. But if I were to say what the game was that made me think of myself as a “Pro Gamer”, it’s got to be the first Metroid Prime.
Other than that, I have to mention what made me not just get into gaming, but even admire it. Gaming made me connect with people. As a family we bonded through games. Some of my best friends, and best moments of our friendship, were during gaming. Even now, as a married man I play with my wife and we connect through them. Games like Street Fighter or Super Smash Bros. or even Call of Duty, they don’t just build friendships they build communities.
So, what got me into gaming you ask? First the people and culture it connected me to. Second, great games.
My first introduction to video games was playing Super Mario Bros. 3. Countless hours spent playing co-op with my younger brother until mother graced us with the retro masterpiece that is Contra. We flipped between the two until we were able to beat them without a continue. Eventually, I graduated to the Super Nintendo and naturally, that’s when graphics really became a thing. My cousin ended up with a Sega Genesis and ‘The Console Wars’ began. Now, of course, this was before I even knew it was a thing, the idea that people would defend their console of choice in such a personal way. That concept really excited me. To know that these electronics could ignite such strong feelings.
Once the original PlayStation was in my possession, that’s when the mature, single player games really began to vibe with me. I was a little older and enjoyed the idea that these discs that I associated music with, would now hold my video games. The concept of it made me feel like I was playing on a futuristic, advanced, cooler console. That’s where my love for the PlayStation brand blossomed. I’ve owned every PlayStation console released and the brand holds a special place for me. The original console is what introduced me to the RPG genre which today is arguably my favorite of all. It’s hard to argue that the PlayStation brand is home to the best RPGs in it’s life, from original to ports. Now, that’s not to say they were the best versions, but taking into account that this is where I got my first taste of not only Final Fantasy VI, but also Chrono Trigger, I think the case is made.
With that said, every console I’ve ever played and owned has played their part in moulding my passion for gaming. I could go on about a specific experience for each console. But the point is, since I’ve embarked on the journey of a gamer it’s shown no sign of slowing down, and with the joy and excitement that came with the recent launch of the Nintendo Switch. Here’s to many more years!