So, me, what is my personal gaming history? Well to be honest with you, I’ve never actually been a massive gamer. I of course have played games and love them, but I’ve never been what you might call a ‘hardcore gamer.’ I will try and discuss what my games history is like, although I’ve probably got this all in the wrong order, here goes.
I guess the first game I can recall is probably Barbie Adventure Riding Club (I sounds like such a girl!) This was one of my all times favourites, I remember playing this over and over again, I would get in from school and just play this. I just stumbled across the opening sequence on youtube as well, so much nostalgia! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SYCJ23r-YU)
The next game I remember was when I was in Primary school. I used to go to after school club every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thursday was the PC gaming night. As well as the usual my little ponies, barbies, action men, lego and other toys that were dotted around, we could go into one of the class rooms and play on the PC’s. There were a few titles installed on there along the lines of Theme Hospital, Roller Coaster Tycoon, SimsCity, Catz 5 and Dogz 5. My personal favourite being Catz 5 where you could adopt a cat of your choice, name him/her, dress them up and then care for them in a partially 3D world with lots of treats and toys.
Tomb Raider has always been one of my all time favourite series, but my first memories of her were when I used to watch my Dad playing Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation on his PC in the study. I would later in life play this game and then fall head over heels for my dear Lara, wanting to be her so very much (I guess this was routed in watching my Dad play it when I was younger.) It’s funny because I have this game sat next to me at this current moment; I guess it’s the game that really got me to love PC gaming.
I never really had a console until 2002 when the Nintendo Gamecube was released in Europe. This was defiantly the definitive point where gaming became a bigger part of my life (I still play it today!) One Christmas morning, I come down to unwrap this, not entirely sure what it was at first, with a copy of Pikmin, Super Mario Sunshine and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and the Gamecube filled a massive gap in my life that I didn’t even realise existed. My whole family loved it, with the release of Mario Kart we would all sit around after Tea to have a few games. My Dad investing in Enter the Matrix, Resident Evil 4, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and various other titles. We had one at my Mums shop for when we went over the summer; Dad even installed one in the car for long journeys places. There was no escaping the GameCube. My little sister and I would play endless hours on Sonic Heroes, Mario Kart, Super Mario Sunshine, Billy Hatcher, Shrek 2, Mario Party 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds, Shark Tale, Mario Power Tennis, The Urbz: Sims in the City, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I could go on forever! The Gamecube stayed with us right through till 2006 when the Wii was released.
Because I never really had a console or handheld before the release of the GameCube I missed out on a lot of things some of my friends were into, like Zelda and Pokemon. Which I would eventually come back to as I got older.
The next stage was when we got the Wii, I was introduced to Zelda there, playing Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess numerous times. I also got back into my passion for Lara Croft with Tomb Raider: Anniversary and Underworld being released on this platform, many hours after school, sat in the back room wishing I was an awesome post-feminist archaeologist adventurer.
I also got into the Guitar Hero franchise, spending a stupid amount of time getting to expert level by the time I was 15 (amazing to think I had that much time back then.) Again, Mario Kart Wii was a massive hit on the whole household, kept us all sat around the TV screaming at each other as well all fail miserably to get around the course without spinning out of control.
What I have failed to mention as of yet, is a game that has spanned across my whole gaming history has been The Sims. Yep, I was addicted to The Sims. When it was released in 2000 I got it for Christmas that year, and spent the whole time collecting all the various expansion packs they released. I couldn’t get enough of it. The excitement I felt when the first advert for the Sims 2 came with my copy of The Sims Unleashed was so large I felt like it was the day before Christmas again when I was 5. With the release of the Sims 2 in 2004 I continued to collect all the expansion packs, The Sims being the only titles I have ever pre-ordered, the difference with the Sims 2 is that I seriously got into creating custom content for the games.
So 2004/2005 I was 12/13 just started secondary school, and I would rush home every night to play more Sims. My Dad gave me a copy of Photoshop Elements and I got cracking on making my own clothes for my Sims using the included customization tool, giving me a basic understanding of meshes, diffuse maps, normal maps and alpha channels. Throughout the whole period of the Sims 2 (up to 2009 when Sims 3 was released) I would make things for my Sims and I enjoyed it so much I would hardly play the game and just create things for them instead. I had gotten more out of the habit of this with the release of the Sims 3 as my studies had started to take up most of my time (and actually getting a social life.) But even now I still play The Sims every now and then, I would also say that it helped me to get a place on this course, and because I started Photoshop so young I have a very good understand of it now that I am 19!
More recently, I have seen how limited my gaming history has actually been, and in meeting certain people I have been exposed to such titles that I wish I had played when I was younger. The last few years have consisted of me catching up on Zelda titles, Pokemon games, which I downloaded on my Blackberry, The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion and most recently Skyrim) and Portal/Portal 2.
But even more recently, like since starting the course I have come across even more titles I am ashamed to say I have never played. So steam has recently received a lot of my money and I have started Assassins Creed, Dragon Age, Bioshock, Dead Space and other notable titles.