Games have always seemed to be interlinked with memories of my life. I’m not sure if it works the same for others but I can quite easily associate a game with something going on in my life at that time.
Street Fighter 2 and Goldeneye were both games me and a mate, Tom, used to play nearly obsessively. We played Goldeneye some days for so long that we’d still ‘see’ the crosshair in our vision when we turned it off. We’d make our own rules for them both, i.e. neither of us could use fireballs in SF2 and we weren’t allowed to shoot the other person until we both had guns, otherwise we’d end up annoying each other.
Christmas 1997 I got Final Fantasy VII for the PS1. I was so excited to get it, I wasn’t sure if I would as it cost Â£44.99 at the time and my parents were a bit strapped for cash but I did and I think I spent the entire following Winter playing it. I was determined to complete it fully, I’d spend every night breeding chocobos near obsessively.
Tom used to sometimes just watch me play the game because he found it so engrossing (I did the same when he played Zelda: Ocarina of Time) and I remember even calling him one night just to tell him I’d finally beaten Demon’s Gate at the end of Disc 1 lol.
Other bits of memories: First time I played Metal Gear Solid was at another friend’s house, Sian and her brother Gaurav. As soon as I saw it, I had to buy it and luckily I had some money spare so I bought it the next day along with a ‘limited edition’ MGS memory card. We spent the summer imitating Solid Snake’s silly walk everywhere we went.
For earlier memories, and not as happy. I got my first megadrive with money that my Grandmother had left my mother when she died. My PS1 the day we as a family had to visit my Aunt because she was badly ill at the time.
I reckon I could look at the excessively large amount of games I own and stick a memory to every single one of them, or a period of my life. Suppose it’s the same with all hobbies.
Even now I’m sitting here typing this and in another window is a game of Football Manager 2006.
Gaming has a lot of positives that I think are greatly overlooked by the media, things like what I’ve written above but also the social aspects it can provide. But guess that’s for another day.