My Gaming History
Since a young age I have had a keen interest in home computing (for that, read gaming!). My journey began way back in 1981 (age 4) when my parents bought me a brand new shiny Commodore Vic 20 for Christmas.
I still remember the excitement of seeing the colourful VIC=20 logo as I tore off the wrapping paper like a frenzied dog tearing away at a chunk of meat. Best Christmas present ever (well until the next best Christmas present anyway, but I’ll get to that in a bit 😀).
2 games live lodged in my memories from that golden time of home computing, Raid on Fort Knox which I had on cartridge and Blitz (which to this day I still maintain is a classic). Many hours were spent sitting in front of our television screen, controlling these mere sprites by tapping keys on the keyboard (or joystick) with what seemed back then to have been witchcraft. A much simpler, but also I remember, much happier time. The Vic 20 was great however it’s lack of game releases led to my interest waning and soon I was glancing enviously at the new(ish) kid on the block.
The new kid on the block
Step forward to the festive season of 1984 when Father Christmas brought me that new kid on the block, Commodore’s latest creation, the Commodore 64 (or C64 for short). Now this was truly a wonderful machine and will always hold a very special place in my gaming heart.
The “Breadbin” shaped C64 was accompanied by 2 games, Daley Thompson’s Decathlon which was the first button masher or joystick jiggler (ooer) but a heck of a lot of fun and the shameless Pac-Man clone, Chomper Man which was again (at least to my mind) a brilliant, brilliant game. Those two games were frequently in my beloved C64’s tape deck such was the appeal of their gameplay.
In 1987 (I was aged 10) my parents bought me the recently revised newer version of the C64 (the “slimline” C64C). The future was here! Although I was still enjoying my time with my Commodore’s newest revision my head was being turned by the future of gaming technology, the shiny new 8-bit consoles with their fancy insta-load cartridges (who wanted to be waiting 20 minutes for a game on a cassette to load? After all we were only 13 years away from flying cars and hoverboards (or so we believed).
That being said I reluctantly sold my C64, (something I regret still to this day, I had built up a collection of over 500 games!) and put the money aside to order my next step in gaming hardware from my mum’s Littlewoods home shopping catalogue.
Step forward the Sega Master System…
So in August of 1988 with the funds from the sale of my beloved C64C and some savings I purchased my very first console, the aforementioned Sega Master System. It came with a built in game, a Pacman type game where you controlled a snail. I also purchased a blatant Spy Hunter rip off called Action Fighter, and these were the only 2 games I could afford for quite some time! Although later on I did own some classics such as Golden Axe and R-Type!
Needless to say after a little while I became restless so I swapped my Master System with my brother-in-law for his Breadbin shaped C64 (which had a very temperamental power brick that wouldn’t turn on every time) just so that I could afford to game again.
True 16 Bit power
This saw me through until Christmas of 1992 when my parents bought me what to this day I can honestly say was the greatest computer I have had the pleasure of owning, the Commodore Amiga A600. “The Wild, The Weird & The Wicked” pack which included “Push Over” “Grand Prix” “Putty” and the art package “Deluxe Paint III”.
The Amiga had it all, graphics, gameplay and the sound. Sonically it was unlike nothing before it. And then it had…
Alien Breed will always be a stand out for me, playing 2 player co-op with my cousin was one of the greatest gaming experiences I have ever had. But I’ll go more into this in a future blog post.
My journey after the Amiga took me through Nintendo’s Super NES and onto the original PlayStation. The PlayStation 2 followed, then Nintendo’s GameCube and the original Xbox. From there it was PlayStation 3, (a slight detour to build my own PC to play Half-Life 2) Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii through to the consoles of today, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. That’s neglecting to mention the stack of handhelds that I came through on my journey also.
Gaming has played a crucial part in my journey through mental health issues, it helps to take my mind off of worries and stresses and therefore it will always hold a special place in my heart.
If like me you have a passion for gaming then please do drop a comment below.