Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Ghosts of Consoles Past

Okay, so, video games.....because I've not talked about them enough and, sad as it may be, they have had a massive effect (mass effect?) on my life....

It all started back in the summer of '09, I was a wild-faced child, enigmatic, full of youth and frosty dander....wait, wrong story....okay, yeah, I don't fully know when I experienced my first video game, but I do know when I received my first console (unless my last blog on memory proves else wise), and it was at night, when I was very young, maybe five, a sega master system (yes, I am fucking old) from my cousin. So, the first game I played on this console was either sonic 1 or alex the kidd (which was built into the console itself), I don't know which, but I was hooked. 

I was a sega child (as were all the "cool" kids, because Nintendo sucks dog testicles! yeah!....I later abandoned peer pressure, and discovered LoZ games...thank you whatever god is out there) and so I got a mega drive next, and enjoyed such great games as toe-jam and earl:panic on funkotron and altered beast (may have actually been on the master drive...I'm not entirely sure). I played other hits (which were cross-console, but I neither knew nor cared at the time) such as Disney's Aladdin, and Disney's Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck: World of Illusion (man, Disney used to make great games, what happened?! I played Antz once, nearly died of tuberculosis that I'm sure was caused by it....I'm sure!) and life was great.

With the next generation of gaming I moved onto a Nintendo console, the N64....I....loved it...Ocarina of Time, Mario 64 and Lylat Wars remain, to this day, three of my favourite games. About the same time, around where I lived there was this guy, who used to travel around in a small white van and rent games, and it was brilliant, because he'd come around every Friday, and it cost 50p to £3 (for the newer, more popular titles) to rent a game from him, and so I'd save up my pocket money and at the least every other week have a new title to play. It was one of the highlights of my childhood (....yeah, this was the secondary highlight of my week as a child, the first was staying over at my Nana Betty's every weekend, i probably spent more time there than I did at home tbh....) and so I'm glad for it.

I've already mentioned in my blogs about FFVII that I didn't get a PlayStation until quite late in the game (so to speak) I think it was 1999/2000 when I finally did get one (for reference, the ps2 came out a year or two later....I was always a generation behind until I got my own money) but, man, fuck the PlayStation. Don't get me wrong, it had my favourite games of all time on (FF9, 7 and 8 respectively, with an honourable mention to Grandia), but it was at this time (or there abouts) that I discovered the internet....yes, I played the original runescape....though now, for the life of me, I could not tell you why. It wasn't a game so much as it was a chat room with some mining play thrown in. I did enjoy it though, to be honest. I think a part of it was finding somewhere to play it, I didn't have the Internet at home so I had to play at school, or at my mum's boyfriend's house....which wasn't always possible. I'll talk about getting the Internet at another time, because (again, sad as it is, it's another landmark moment in my life) I can, and it's always fun to leave a subject for another day.

Then I got a ps2, and all was right with the universe.....except that I tanked on my GCSE exams. It wasn't entirely the fault of the console (or my fault, for being addicted to it) for my failing, I mean, other stuff happened, but it was definitely a factor. You see, I am very much a computer game addict...how could I not be? Life was basically shit for me, and video games offered some form of escape from all that, and the PS2 was the first console that really just offered the addict experience. It had good games, sure, but I can't really recall any one, specific stand out title, maybe Kingdom Hearts (but that's final fantasy and Disney combined and that's just cheating!) or Devil May Cry but other than that, it was just a lot of very good games, don't get me wrong, but nothing that should have claimed so much of my time. I did really badly on my GCSE's...I was expected to ace everything and I really should have, instead I barely scraped enough to get into sixth form. There was no excuse for it, I should have done better instead of playing computer games. I didn't learn that at the time though, no, I really didn't.

I got the Xbox 360 next, though, to be entirely honest, I was spending most of my time on the PC, playing World of Warcraft. The amount of time I've spent on that game...here's the thing though, I don't really regret it...video games have stopped me from getting where I want to be in life, there's no arguing with that, but, because I've been waylaid by it (heh, Baldur's gate reference) I've been granted the opportunity to meet so many amazing people, who've helped shape my life, and shape my views on the world and helped shape them for the better, and that's great, because that's what life is about, a learning experience. Now, maybe it would've been better had I succeeded at the first attempt, but I don't know and the me that's here right now would rather have failed at those times so that I could have lived like this and known the people I know now thanks to my fuck ups....I could probably word that better, but the main point is, I'm actually happy...and video games helped me to get there, there were a few hairy moments, where gaming was all that I had, but yeah, its all working out in the end, right? Right? I really hope so, have a great day folks, I'll write again soon.  

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