I love video games! I love to play them, talk about them, watch videos about them, watch others play them, read about them and most of all buy them. I love sitting in my room in the basement and be surrounded by them, but what I don’t like is figuring out what to play. As much as I love video games I have a little confession… I’m always late to the party when it comes to getting the “New Hotness”. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve played, and beat a lot of video games, but the desire to have it day one is long gone.
Let me tell you a little about myself, my video game history as it were. Ever since I was little I was surround by computers and/or video games. My father was a techie and always seemed to have at the time the newest tech and from what I can remember my first computer/video game system was an Atari 400. Now this was no 3200, but it did play cart games and it had accessories for disk drives and cassette tape decks(believe it or not some video games were on cassette tape!) I played the hell out of Asteroids, Centipede and Coconotes. There were lots of others that I don’t remember the names of mainly because they were worth remembering. Remember this was the early 80s and there weren’t that many quality titles. Being also the fact that I was a latch key kid, most of any gaming was done on weekends or if I was lucky after the homework was done. This went on for a few years.
Well, one fateful day in the summer of I don’t really remember what year, I laid my eyes on what would cement me into being a life long lover of video games. Super Mario Bros. I was at a barbecue at my Uncle’s home and a friend of his, son brought his NES and I was sucked in like a dust to a vacuum! Every one was outside or milling in other areas and I was in the basement trying to get to level 1-3. If I remember correctly I did not that day… It was all exciting, the music, the graphics, even the controller! I would have to admit I was the one trying to get Mario to jump further by moving the controller. So, of course I had to have one and that I did later that year for Christmas, with enough games to tide my brother and I for a long time. From Super Mario Bros to Blaster Master and Karnov to Batman I had quite a few to last a while, but as you know with most gamers you still want more. Video rental stores were our best friends, mainly because you could rent something for a few dollars, play it for a weekend and then give it back. It’s like they were drug dealers and they kept you coming back especially if you parents weren’t really into buying you everything you wanted, you could at least rent them for a bit.
As I got older, I went through more video games systems. The Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo were both must owns and for me I was a Sega fan. I didn’t matter that the games didn’t have as many colors as the SNES or the controller didn’t start out with 6 buttons, I just loved the games. Sonic the Hedgehog was the game that I saw that made me want to have a Genesis. The NES, though was still fun, had lost it’s appeal and I got rid of it in favor for Genesis and I tell you I wasn’t disappointed. I eventually got a SNES as well and had a great old time what that too. Since it was all about the games, I don’t think I can say which I had more fun with, mainly because I only played each systems exclusive games, so they both have a great place in my heart.
My thrill to have every video game really didn’t exist until the Playstation arrived. Was the last video game system my mother bought me and the first one where I started buying my own games. When you have a job, you get money and for me I had to buy video games. If it was something that was thought was going to be hot, I had to have it day one. The dollars I spent on video games, when I look back on it just to me seem crazy, but I was younger and just had to have it. Back in the 90s we got a lot of good games, but there were so much more that never got released here in the States, so I got my PS1 modded to accommodate my need to have games as soon as possible. I bought many a game, but one sticks out in this story of why I don’t need games day one anymore. Walked into the local independent game store that I frequently stopped in and the owner was playing Strider 2, the next thing I said was “I got to have that!” and he was like “It’ll be 70 dollars”. I was happy I got this new game that none of my friends had and it was the sequel to Strider, so when I arrive home I rush to the system, tear open the plastic and pop it in only to see this.
Now I don’t read japanese, but I’m pretty sure it says “HAHAHAHA SUCKER!!!” because that’s how I felt. So, I took my PS1 back to the game store to get a new mod chip which cost me 40 dollars and after all that it took me no time to beat Strider 2 because it was a flippin’ cake walk I realized I just spent 110 dollars on a game that came out in the states a few months later for 30 dollars. For what’s it’s worth I did have fun, even though it was extremely short.
Still having “disposable income” and being a gamer meant that wasn’t going to be the last game that I bought that I’d probably feel shafted on. I continued my spending with the Dreamcast, PS2, and Gamecube, but by that time I was buying more games that I actually had time to play. Games that I still have that some I’ve never put in a system. I sit in my basement a lot trying to figure out what game I’d like to play today. Looking over the games that I’ve bought and started playing versus the games that I’ve never played. I get teased by my friends when we have conversations about games and they mention one of those “must haves” and I say ” Yeah I own it, but I haven’t played it”. Even right now as I write this article I could be playing something. I wonder when did I became a collector? I don’t really know, I do know that I want to play all the games I’ve amassed over the years. I still buy games when I see good deal and If you wait places like Gamefly sell games for extremely cheap. Today I am making more of an effort to play the games I own and not just have them sit and collect dust and I do still buy games I just don’t buy them on day one.