Guest Writer: History

I’m always interested to hear about people’s path through the gaming world, how they moved from console to console and game to game. Today Burgess_101 shares his history with us.

I’ve been gaming for around 11 years now (I’m 15 going on 16) and I often find myself looking back on how my love for games has blossomed into what it is today. I’m not the most “hardcore” gamer about, I find it hard to play a game for more than one or two hours at a time; not because I have a short attention span, but I’d rather not exhaust a game to the extent that it becomes a chore to play.

However, something I love to do for hours is write, so the logical link for me was to write about games. I wrote for a website for a few months before school work had took over, GCSEs had come round leaving my usual writing and playing time eaten up by revision and praying that math would magically all make sense (still no breakthrough there).

[drop]In the early years, at the ripe old age of four, my father introduced me and my nine year old brother to the world of Metal Gear Solid; not a bad game to start off your gaming career I think we would all agree. I can remember sitting on the sofa watching through my cold, my fingers sweaty as my dad crawled around, hoping the guards wouldn’t be alerted and we’d hear that daunting, deafening alarm sound; seeing the exclamation mark on top of an enemy’s head and your heart skipping a beat.

My next game was Tomb Raider. That game scared the hell out of me because of one solitary bear. I remember getting my mother to kill it for me while I stood in the corner making sure not to look.

That doesn’t even compare to the terror from one game; it gave me nightmares for I don’t know how long I still cant bring myself to even look at the case. This game is ‘Heart Of Darkness’. I don’t know how many of you have even heard of it, I don’t know if it was a big game, but it follows a kid by the name of Andy and his dog Whiskey. During a trip to the park a solar eclipse occurs and they are teleported to the ‘Darklands’ where Whiskey is kidnapped, leaving it up to Andy to find him. Scary stuff I think you will all agree.

I also flirted with the likes of the Sega Saturn, Megadrive+cd, N64, NES and SNES all thanks to my aunt. My aunt loved gaming, she was probably my biggest influence with the hobby. It wasn’t the games she played, they were usually terrible (the only exception I can remember is F-Zero), but she got me playing them regularly, especially the N64.

Every time I went round there the ‘Cruisin’ World’ cartridge was planted into the machine, with a bowl of spaghetti hoops and a jam tart placed beside me; I was ready for an afternoon’s worth of entertainment (I did eventually play a decent racing game in the form of Sega Rally and I still do love that Lancia to bits). Only six years of my life had passed and I was already becoming a seasoned gamer.

Then it all came crashing down. I was plagued by the averageness of the early years of the Gamecube that my aunt had received as a birthday present; her penultimate venture into gaming. I fell out of love with games between 2002 and 2005, even the PS2 which my brother had gotten for his birthday on release date just didn’t do it for me.

Everything changed when I returned to my Nan’s house after a boring visit to a supermarket to find a brand spanking new Xbox lying there under the TV. My love for games was rekindled when I picked up the controller, which felt dauntingly big, Halo : CE was placed in the disc tray by my brother and I started to mow down puny grunts. It was sadly my aunt’s last foray into gaming and what a way to bow out, introducing me to one of the best games of the last generation. I can not thank her enough for her input.

After that my taste in games started to mature and widen. I started to read about games and about the industry and there were so many games I wanted. I never got round to playing most of them, usually due to lack of funds. £30 or so isn’t really justifiable for a 10 year old, so usual raids of bargain bins became my source of gaming materials (cue my love for FIFA after I found the 2004 edition for a fiver).

[drop2]5 years on and I’m buying games for £30 – £40 a pop and have chosen to switch my allegiance to Sony for my primary gaming machine. My PC is also up there, largely for Football Manager – the only game I can play for days on end.
I also came across TSA. I was a long time reader and joined back in 2009. I’ve seen it evolve into something quite wonderful since then and it has taught me so much about how things work in the industry that I love, which brought me towards other people that can appreciate its greatness.

As I have matured as a person and a gamer so has the industry. It isn’t just for kids and nerds anymore (was it ever? – Ed), it’s for everyone. Now for the first time in gaming we can truly witness an evolution as it looks to integrate into each and everyone of our daily lives .

Rather exciting isn’t it?

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31 Comments

  1. Football Manager ftw!
    Plus I think I can just about remember Fifa 2004 (it had Henry on the front didn’t it?) which I also got cheaply from game.

    thanks for the great read!

    • Football manager is indeed great. Now can someone explain to me why they never made it for ps3? Lma manager would also do, there isn’t a good football manager game on ps3 – don’t talk to me about that terrible psn one – premier manager.

      • I’ve played FM on 360 and thats clunky at best, but with Keyboard and mouse support on PS3 I think I would defo rather get ti on there: TSA network games would be a huge hit surely!

      • that would be an amazing idea !

  2. I remember paying £40+ for SNES games when I were a nipper. I’m pretty sure that’d be like paying £60+ RRP now……thank you internet!

    • I remember paying 55 quid (that was in 1994, I was 22 at the time) for a US import of Super Metroid because I didn’t want to wait three months for it to be released in the UK. Was it worth it? Damn right it was. It still ranks as one of my favourite games of all time.

  3. Thanks for sharing Burgess_101 , i enjoy reading these personal stories.

    • With you on this one. A lovely read and something where most of us can see absolute similarity with or at least a chord being struck. What makes me smile the most is how you come across when posting on TSA. I didn’t realise you were so young *makes private note* :-P, but seriously, you have maturity beyond your years and it’s great to see.

  4. Good read. I’ve been playing video games for quite some time now, I’m 17 but started at with the PS1 and WCW mayhem, Tomb Raider and Tony Hawk games. I mainly played those 3 games on the ps1 along with porsche challenge which had to be my favourite. When your under 10 or just over it is hard to buy any game so back then I relied on the wallets on my parents and their approval. I then moved on to the PS2 on the year it was released and was completely shocked to receive it for Christmas when I didn’t even ask for it, the silver version too. Then gaming really kicked off for me, I played a host of PS2 games but for me the most memorable game was Prince of Persia The Sands Of Time. At the time it was graphically great and the way you could run across walls was so cool. I’m still a big fan of the series. Also the first Red Faction was another game which I played to death. From the PS3, bought near release, I’ve played dozens and dozens of games and I’m a huge fan of gaming.

  5. Brilliant articel, enjoyed the read.

  6. Nice article. I can remember sitting down at about 3 watching my brother play Crash Bandicoot and Cool Boarders. 2 years later and i would sit and play Tony Hawks, Gran Turismo along with hours whilst occasionally watching my brother and dad trying to get the super licence on GT. I got my PS2 and the only real standout game’s for me was SSX tricky and FIFA 2004 which i had as a present. The PS3 is what turned me into the gamer i am today though and was when i really started to only buy decent games.

    • ah crash bandicoot i missed out on that one ! i love that game to bits ! i also watched my older brother play it

  7. Good read but you’re all too young! Started on a binatone pong machine & haven’t looked back! ;)

    • I also started gaming on a Binatone. If anything, my love of gaming has only continued to grow over the years.

  8. Really, really like this. Oddly touching, very well written, and as others have said, it’s lovely to read about personal experiences that aren’t too far off your own.

  9. Heart Of Darkness….

    I just had to stop reading for a moment because I had the same kinda fear of that game…. so.. you die a lot, Andy gets killed in so many ways. Yes he can be eaten, the enemies are hungry bastards of darkness. I loathe it to this very day, couldn’t get past.. one path had hungry worms of doom and the other had fishes of darkness swimming…

    I hate it..its too hard (T_T)

    • Great game, really quite beautiful for the PS1, I remember the graphics blew me away. Hard as hell is right though!

  10. This is great, how I started gaming is so much more boring compared to others! :P

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