I love to play video games.
When I say that, or type it, I mean digital games on any platform. PC, console, phone. Well, maybe less phone and more PC and console. Not that phone games aren’t video games, but that I haven’t played a lot of games on my phone and what I have played are more puzzle and card games (Threes, Dominoes, Angry Birds, etc.).
I remember my mom getting 3 computers in 1 week. She got one and returned it, then got an Atari and sold it to my aunt, then bought a Commodore 64 (C64) and we kept that. I got a few games, and borrowed books from the library with games I could program in basic. The books were for Apple, and the C64 had some differences in basic (you could only use so many characters per line and some commands had different shortcuts). I learned the basics from programming by having to shorten a 92 character line to fit in a 72 character line (using $ instead of print, for example).
I played many games on my C64. I never considered them video games, they were computer games. Looking back, games like Alien, Boulder Dash, Wizard and Raid Over Moscow I would consider video games; but I was also into games like Pool of Radiance, Ultima, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Maniac Mansion, of which I consider PC games more than video games. When my summer friend Jim Erickson (his dad lived up the street with his grandma and we only got to hang out in the summer and sometimes over breaks; he has the same birthday as me only he is 2 years older) got an NES and I first played Super Mario Bros. (SMB) I wondered what this crazy square controller thing was and how could I ever play a game without a joystick.
I remember seeing an ad in the Sunday paper for a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and asking my mom if we could sell the C64 and get an NES instead. We ended up putting one on lay-a-way at the K-Mart down the road and after a few payments my mom surprised me one day by paying the remainder owed off and bringing it home. I learned how to use the controller well as I played SMB a lot. A. Lot. I would play with my mom and others and they would wonder why I was pretending like there were gaps between blocks when there weren’t; then they would realize when I got to level 8 with them dying at level 1 that I had been practicing for the end.
I rented games from down the street. Video rental stores were new, they were becoming popular but were far from their peak, and they started renting video games. I used to rent a game and finish it by the time I had to return it, I did nothing but play the game. Some games were worth buying, like The Legend of Zelda (LoZ). I bought that game, or maybe it was a gift, I forget. I didn’t know what I was really supposed to do, I studied the instructions and played the game, and eventually started mapping and working on how to finish the game. That Death Mountain final level was a bitch if you didn’t map it out.
LoZ is a video game, isn’t it? It is more like a game I would play on PC than it is one I would play on a console. Is Final Fantasy 7 (FFVII) a video game? It was on a console but it’s an RPG. Is Fallout 3 a video game even if it’s on PC and consoles? Angry Birds is on phones, consoles, PC, and every other digital surface; is it a video game?
I had an idea of what I wanted to write here today; I was writing a response to a friend on Facebook and it got long so I started making a post of my own on Facebook but IT got long so I started writing a blog post. My inner workings created this first:
It used to be I would read the instructions and play the tutorials and learn a game real well; i would play it until it was done. These days I skip all that and just try to play, get bored because I can't do anything, and move on to the next game.
I think my bad habits make me drift towards console games because 9 times out of 10 you can't skip tutorials so the game makes me know how to play. I'm not gonna be one of those old guys who is stuck in the past and can’t play games with new rules and controls, I am going to be one of those guys who will learn the new and use experience of the old to improve their technique.
I got on writing about my video game playing history, and still did not get myself to where I wanted to go. So I will stop here and try again on my next post. I shall continue writing about my past but try and get to where I was headed and see what happens.
It’s like playing some sort of video game, and I love to play video games.