Saturday, July 19, 2014

Moments in Time I Knew I had become a Gaming Addict



For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a gamer. The first console we had growing up was an Atari 2600. Unfortunately, the only game we had for the system was the now infamous E.T. (yuck!). It wasn’t until years later when we got an NES that I really started to get into gaming.

Since that first console I’ve owned just about all the major systems. My backlog of games are hitting that point where I begin to question if I really love playing games or I just love the idea of games. Often times I find myself reading the industry news or watching speedruns rather than being actually in the game, playing it.

All these little moments have added to my growing addiction to this wonderful thing we call gaming.

I want to share with you a few of those special moments that immediately had me hooked (for better or worse). The moments where I knew gaming was going to be a major part of my life. Maybe some of these are ones you’ve experienced in the same? Let’s get started …

1. Taking up a not-so-traditional instrument

I tried my hand at a lot of instruments growing up like the piano and guitar. None of them really stuck because the music I was learning always felt too lame.

Then Ocarina of Time came out and upon hearing the ocarina for the first time I knew I wanted to give it a try. It wasn’t until a few years later that I was finally able to learn how to play the ocarina.

I did some research and found a cool company, SongBirdOcarina, which makes and sells replicas. It was neat, too, that they had a guide on how to play the ocarina, which let me get right into it (it took me a bit but eventually it caught on).

I don’t get to whip out the ocarina as often as I’d like but it does come in handy whenever I go to video game conventions. It also gets some good responses when you’re in voice chat with guild mates and you suddenly start playing some tunes from OOT.

This is one of those examples that gaming really got the best of me; I knew I was getting a liiittle addicted to the Zelda series at that point.

2. Getting real hyped about clubbing (because they had Mario)

During the prime of my clubbing days (before I started to get burnt out) I was going out Thursday through Sunday catching some of my favorite DJs and meeting up with my party people.

Out of all those different times going out clubbing there are two that have seared their experiences into my head:

Hoing to a video games night at the local industrial club, which required everyone to show up as one of their favorite video game characters (I went as Tanooki Mario). What made the night great was the gigantic 120-inch screen they had running Super Mario 3. Instead of, you know, going around being social and listening to music I was glued to the controller for the entirety of the night.

I was in Berlin on vacation, checking out one of the smaller, off-beat clubs and low-and-behold there was a lounge area in the back that had a projector setup along with a SNES and a copy of Super Mario World. Again, I was glued to the game rather than getting shoved around trying to stay on the dance floor.

It made me realize just how much I loved gaming that I’d forgo the whole clubbing thing in place of playing some of my favorite games, with other fanatics, in the weirdest environment.

3. Battle scars and broken friendships a la N64

Gaming doesn’t always leave you with an impression you reflect fondly of through memories.

Sometimes they leave battle scars!

I still have marks from playing the Shy Guy game in Mario Party 1 where you had to rotate the stick in order for him to fly around the room (that lead to some real nasty blisters).

I have a chipped tooth after getting into a physical fight with my best friend after a serious game of Madden.

I still have to occasionally apologize to my friends about the night we decided to play a ton of 4-player games which lead to an hour long shout-fest, some real nasty words, a bit of pushing, and a week long hiatus from everyone talking to one another.

Basically – we let the games go too far but now, being able to reflect on those times, it’s actually quite hilarious and adds to the overall love and addiction for gaming.

And the game has only just begun …

I’m about to hit 20 years of gaming and I have to honestly say it’s been a wild ride. Going from basic 2D graphics to the prospect of using VR thanks to Oculus is simply mind blowing. I knew the first time I laid my hands on a controller I would forever have love for this entertainment.

I may forget some of the games I’ve played over the years but nothing will make me forget the crazy, unforgettable experiences and lifestyle changes video gaming has brought me.

What about you? Do you have any particular moments in gaming where you knew it was more than just a game?


Post written by Michelle Peterman


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