AvidGamer A Brief History

I started since I can remember, gaming on anything and everything I could get my hands on. From all the way back to the NES through to today’s ever increasingly complex graphics and mechanics.

You can now be lost completely in a world of delightful fantasy, sheltered from the harsh realities and restrictions of the world around us. I enjoyed playing the hero and the villain, being engrossed into the reality that let you rise to the top or revel in debauchery without having to worry about your mom telling you that is proper or not (well most of the time haha).

I had such a strong inclination from the start to commit myself to wanting games that stole or bestowed as much time as possible with ever increasing amounts of complex choices with engaging environments to explore. I can still remember playing Zelda and Pokemon on my gameboy while we were on our way out on a family vacation into the wilderness attempting to get away from what I desperately grasped in my hands for what few more hours I could until its battery failed me. It wasn’t that I was against getting away from the technology that arguably enslaves us even more now than it did back then, rather once I had been enveloped by the alternate reality I had to see it to conclusion as quickly as possible just as a really good book just can’t be put down until a climatic conclusion is reached.

With all of that dedication or some would classify it as addiction, I became quite adept at these fantasies, easily picking up and mastering new ones as they came to the attention of my friends and myself alike. I then began to wonder why I was constantly changing and having to reforge a new path through the hellfire that is learning a new interface and its intricacies. Like when a new social media platform or cellphone interface comes out, while we love new and intriguing features that it brings we all despise when something that was so easily known before has to be relearned. I’m looking at you word document programs!!! (Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing how to work the new Word, or Pages when you knew exactly how it worked before) Especially since in the grand scheme of things those programs really shouldn’t be changing much and new features should be able to be added without requiring a completely new interface.

Getting back onto my dislike for changing systems (oxymoronic to say as a very technically capable millennial). I began to enjoy games that went farther and farther over the top in terms of content they offered and amount of time that could be spent in them before they no longer held interest. From Zelda and the Pokemon series on the Gameboys to what gamers would usually refer to as RPGs (Role Playing Games)  in general, I started on my search to not always play the newest or most recent game but find the few really good ones that could be played over and over without them becoming boring. Always finding some new little interesting aspect to delve into.

We have all had it happen to us, you are playing a game to all of the sudden have it finish and you are left there wondering… Really?! That is it! You never pick it up again and every time you look at it you have two feelings, why did I waste my money on that and no I really not only can’t play it again but I refuse to even if my friends really want to play it.

A few great examples of that for myself:

Any Mario Game (I know I’m going to get flak for this)

Mortal Combat like Games

Driving Games

Gears of War

Mass Effect (Any of them)


Older very linear RPGs (Zelda/Any 2d side scroller{Think old Sonic, Metroid})

Actually you know what, I hate all side scrolling games they can go burn in the deepest darkest pits of Dante’s Inferno.

     On the complete flip side of games that were repetitive (Looking at you Flappy Bird) there is every so often a game that complete constructs a world of its own that takes hundreds of hours to master and even then all of the mysteries that it holds are still obscure. A few really memorable ones to myself are all of the Elder Scroll series, with Oblivion and Skyrim being absolute masterpieces of the gaming world that many have tried a form of replication however so few leave anything but an after taste of disgust. Thief: Deadly Shadows being another amazingly well done stealth game on the original Xbox. Champions of Norrath both of them are simply the best games to play with friends right beside you. Since almost no one has heard of that last one it is like Gauntlet Legends (N64) or the much more recent Diablo 3 but on console, however the early D3 just sucked lets be honest.

     Through the years with these truly immersive games becoming better and even more all encompassing, I with glee used whatever means possible to go out and get them for myself. Occasionally along the way falling into the trap set by friends and others about games that really were not worth more than a four to five hour excursion with regret left after the journey was complete. Lets not forget there are all sorts of games in between these two extremes as well.

     I tend to put most first person shooters into the category of worth more than the linear journey of a plot that you have completed a thousand times before. Mainly because of the more sandbox element of online gameplay within them or interesting unique gameplay twists within them. I think Call of Duty: Black Ops with its Zombie mode fits into the intriguing twists, but even just really good online combat between players like in the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

     The older I have grown and the more I have seen the issues, limitations, and drawbacks of games I have tended to spend less time on games that are more linearly structured and gravitated towards more and more sandbox experiences. I remember as a kid wanting to “go pro” in Call of Duty or even slightly more open games like World of Warcraft.

     Oh World of Warcraft, how many years and weekend nights and time I could have been out doing something productive I instead waste upon you. Like the worst boyfriend/girlfriend you refused to allow me to spend time with friends and were always there nagging about something I had to do right now. I fell for you head over heels and poured my money and attention into mastering and making you happy. You were beautifully unique and so extensively filled with so many facets to explore and you could be played in so many different ways that you clearly were not like a single linear game where after playing you one way there was nothing else to do. I played this game many times over throughout the years with different mindsets each time and because of that was playing a uniquely new game each time. Enough musing over you for now, perhaps in the future I will go in depth on many of your unique features.

     So around now I assume you are wondering where I am headed with this, and the answer is less that I actually know and more of a slight history of my gaming history and my view on games and their universes. Really a quick insight to my mind before I go into games and issues specifically and so you have a basic understanding at what perspective lens I view my subjective reality on these issues. I specifically leave it as subjective because at least in respect to games that is all any of us have, we may have objective reasoning to back up our subjective perspective however don’t let anyone fool you… Having been at the very pinnacle of a multitude of gaming communities everyone takes a very different experience and opinion from their time in a game even if two people are trying to play the game the same way to achieve the same goal.

     Having been completely immersed in the culture of gaming and wanting to fit into self defined groups that society makes up this is perhaps the one category I could self define myself into. Throughout school I did not fit into any of the normal prototypical presets that we all see and then try to define ourselves within, since to have a feeling of community with others, defining our own is just simply unfeasible. If you asked my friends I could have been a geek/nerd/jock/popular/emo/goth/normal/intellectual ect ect ect….

     My clothing choices went from normal to preppy to anime freak to everything else in-between while for the most part settling on normal or preppy which for the most part, most of my school essentially did as well. So even though I think of myself as very much the individual, I outwardly and before you knew me put myself into the largest and thus the “safest” group, the choice that the majority had for themselves decided as well. Ironic because even while I did this I always felt innerly cast well outside of this norm but went along with the program of conformity like I think most of us have, despite our inner individual wanting to eschew that exact conformity. Safety in numbers as they say haha, well despite the anonymity here I am going to specifically break those chains, and I am sure will receive much distaste for views held. Not trying to sound pessimistic but I think we can all agree that if we actually put out principles we hold most would not agree.

Welcome to not fitting into the defined molds anymore 🙂

I would love to hear other’s stories on getting into gaming as well!