What got me into gaming? That is a good question. I believe everyone has different experiences in gaming, whether it was the first console they played on, the first game they played, or even if it were the smallest platforms. However I think that first experience is exponentially important. It seems to either deter a person away from a life of considerate gaming, or push them into hyper speed within the world of gaming. Honestly the most important characteristic within this nurturing process, is the first game you play. No matter how early or late within your life you start playing, pretty much everyone will remember the first game they played and treasure it. Truly I was lucky the first game I played happened to be an absolute goldmine of fun, leading to the passion I hold for gaming now.
When I was a young boy, my Dad passed me down a Gameboy Colour. Despite being amazed by the technology and the illusion of a magic playable box(I was young), nothing would have prepared me for the hours of fun I would enjoy within this world. Especially the Super Mario Bros world. As I previously said, the first game you play has such a huge impact on your gaming future it’s unreal. No one could have propelled my gaming prospectus like the Mario and Luigi brothers. I played the game for hours. Slowly completing it over and over; never reaching the chance of becoming bored, or the game gaining tedious values.
I believe these tedious values never emerged, because the competition would take over. The want to beat the game completely, defeating the increasingly difficult boss battles, and the immersive worlds. This was genuinely what propelled my love for gaming, the competitive nature. The rivalry between game and player; subconsciously forcing me to continue playing despite failure or exhaustion, until the goal was completed.
I remember being on holiday, spending the majority of my time in the arcade. I spent continuous amounts of change I would beg my Mum for; Racing my sister on timeless classics such as Sega rally championships, and Race driver: Grid; Attempting to dance on the Euro mix dancing stage, and being told to move as she attempted the extreme difficulty songs. Ultimately though, our time was spent on Time crisis. My all time favorite arcade game, battling through the stages, throwing more money away as the continue screen erupted.
I couldn’t shake this competitive love for gaming, all I wanted to do was play a game with a friend. Even in single player games I would love to see who could get the furthest on a run without dying. One of my greatest memories was going round my friends every Tuesday, to play X-MEN: next dimension on his game cube. Consistently footing ourselves against each other, this lead on to my love of Tekken. The best part was the art of button bashing against your opponent, in the attempt to unknowingly outplay your opponent, and watch in awe as Yoshimitsu would dance around and stab your opponent through the back whilst being completely confused on how you achieved this goal.
Despite all these sensational experiences, 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 vs 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 were 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.