Because of a Gameboy: A Gaming Story
The story of a gamer, 20 years in the making
“Are you a gamer?”
I looked up from the student work area that I was organizing and turned to my supervisor at the time. Mystified by her question and comment I answered with a slow "yes." Another Teaching Assistant in the class would chime in upon hearing I was a gamer, spurring conversations about Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Steam and other gaming conversations. Another friend made thanks to my love of video games.
How did it all start? Well let me take you back to January 1992…
Arcades, Zelda and Pokemon, oh my!
One wintery weekend, my mom and three other relatives went on a ski trip. For whatever reason (I never got clarification), she bought me a strange gray device called ‘Gameboy’. It was big, clunky and came with a game called Dr. Mario. I distinctly remember enjoying it, but being frustrated with the controls that my four year old hands weren’t yet nimble enough for. My mom tried it out and would go on to buy several more games over the next couple of years such as Tetris, Donkey Kong and Mario Land.
Soon after buying my gameboy, my mom was on the look out for other video games. She began renting a SNES or Genesis for me once a month on weekends to play. That gave me expose to an array of titles such as Super Mario All Stars, Bubsy, Sonic and Chuck Rock. Arcades were also commonplace and gave me exposure to fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct. When my aunt bought a gameboy, I was able to play Zelda for the first time (Link’s Awakening).
At this time, I have to make mention of a friend, Brian, who is the son of a long-time family friend. He introduced me to an even wider array of video games and there were a number of games I got for birthdays and Christmas’ thanks to him. Brian was the kid who had every system and virtually every game. When we weren’t playing (I was over weekly), we were in the pool making up new storylines for the games we played. Those were the days.
For Christmas in 1995, my parents bought me a SNES. I still own my SNES and play it to this day (guess what my favorite system is?) I played everything from Super Mario All Stars to Donkey Kong, Bubsy to Aladdin and thousands of hours were spent playing it after homework was done and on the weekends. My SNES would also be the only console I would own until 2002 when I bought my PS2.
While I didn’t buy or receive any new consoles, I did keep up with each gameboy that came after the original. When the Pokemon craze hit, I was sucked it and to this day have bought virtually every game in the series (Pokemon is a story all its own for me). In 2001, I invested in a series called Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) which launched me headstrong into the world of JRPG’s, which continues to be my favorite genre.
Fortifying a Love of Gaming
Shifting our tale further ahead to college, I made several amazing friends, including my two best friends, who allowed me to expand my love and knowledge of video games. Many days were spent playing Mario Kart, Halo and speed running through Super Mario World. The internet was rising and I was able to learn more about the systems and games I’d played in my youth as well as learn things I didn’t know. My knowledge only expanded from there.
Arriving at the present, it’s incredible to see what video games have become. I would say that my gaming tastes overall have not changed at their core, but have diversified. Roleplaying games are still my favorite and I love retro games the most. I also enjoy playing obscure titles (thanks steam and youtube?), simulation games, 2d scrollers, platform games and action/adventure titles.
If you were to look around my apartment, you would be able to safely assume I’m a gamer. There are Chrono Trigger magnets (that I made) on my fridge. A giant gaming book rests on my media center as well as four consoles (Ps2, PS4, Wii and SNES) and a few games. Had it not been for the gameboy that my mom gave me all those years ago, I’m not sure I would’ve been exposed to and given the drive to play games like I did. I met so many friends because video games became the initiator of conversation, so I owe video games that too.
All of this. All of this because of a Gameboy.
© 2017 Alexis