I’ve been telling this story a lot lately, so it seemed appropriate to discuss it here as well.
How I got into Gaming
I had a NES growing up, but I didn’t get one for years after the console’s release. I had to trick my grandmother into buying it for me and my sister, because my mom was and still is strongly opposed to gaming. Before that, I went over to friends’ houses to play Super Mario Bros. and watch them play The Legend of Zelda. (In fact, I was the map maker for Zelda for my friends, which is a whole different origins story.) When the SNES came out, I was in high school, and I was way too busy to play any video games. The NES collected dust for years until I gathered it up and took it with me to college my second year. A few friends had a SNES, and I played Super Mario World and Mario Kart on occasion, but it wasn’t like I sat and gamed like I do now.
Then I started to date my now husband. He introduced me to a band of friends who were really into gaming. They spent their Saturdays playing GoldenEye and Quake on the N64 and occasionally, we’d break out Mario Kart 64. They tried to get me involved, but I couldn’t manage the giant clunky controller with its analog stick. Going from the NES to that is hard, no matter what anyone says. I could barely manage the SNES controller at the time. They got me to play GoldenEye with them a few times, but I couldn’t manipulate my character well enough to even get out of a doorway and I kept dropping my weapons whenever people would enter my room I never left. So I died quite often. It wasn’t fun. I let it go that gaming just wasn’t for me and never would be.
Shawn, however, loved gaming so much, he actually forgot about a couple of our dates because he was too busy playing Syphon Filter. When the PS2 released, I bought it for him for Christmas 2001. A friend I met in grad school was heavily into gaming, and she knew I was geeky enough to be intrigued. She introduced to me Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows for the PS2, and that’s the game that taught me how to be comfortable with the analog stick and multiple buttons. She then introduced me to the greatness known as Kingdom Hearts and even bought it for me for my 25th birthday. Poor Shawn hasn’t really been able to get his hands on a game controller ever since.
He bought me a GameCube sometime later and a Wii the first year it launched. I bought the PS3, and Shawn bought me the Xbox 360 for Christmas a few years ago. (Lost Odyssey made me want the Xbox.) I’m not sure exactly how this happened to me, but for now I’m going to worry about the next future gaming problem: keeping Gabe out of my gaming time.
And before any snarky young’uns out there comment that due to my history, obviously I have no real experience and authority in gaming, I’ll have you know that most likely, I’ve been gaming longer than you, even though it wasn’t consecutively and I’ve been around to witness console history far longer. 😛