17/04/2024

Elite Esports

For the Ultimate Gaming Experience

Evolution of a Gamer – Nintendo to PlayStation to Xbox

Evolution of a Gamer – Nintendo to PlayStation to Xbox

Having been born in 1982, I was never an avid player of PONG, and I’d already become adept at helping Mario navigate those dangerous Koopas in search of the Princess before fooling around with my cousin’s old Atari… The arresting fascination I had with my old Nintendo system is one that I’m sure many of you know all too well.

Thinking back, I imagine it must have been more than just the wonderment of the technology involved – already as much a voracious reader as any eight-year-old could be, my loving embrace of directly visual immersion into another world seemed predisposed. The challenge of directing the movements of the player-character onscreen were joyfully met, accompanied by many fights with my younger brother. (Remember those old games where Player-1 had sole ‘pause’ privileges? We’d pause on one another during a jump over a pit in an attempt to take the other’s life! It wasn’t until later that we discovered that the player whose turn it was only had to keep holding the jump-button until un-pausing resulted in a successful leap…)

I remember the first time I ever heard mention of “Super-Nintendo” – I honestly believed that my school-mate was making up stories. How could Nintendo be improved? It was already perfect! My initial skepticism is something I kept to myself for a long time, and I embraced Super Mario World with even greater vigour than the ground-breaking Super Mario Bros. 3 – at which I’d become something of a master.

I didn’t come to own a SNES system until shortly after Sony’s PlayStation was released, but my nostalgia for a lifelong love of gaming combined well with my staying behind the times, and I fervently rode Yoshi’s back and defeated M. Bison with each Street Fighter II character in turn. My mastery of Crash Bandicoot came from the many hours I spent in the living-room of my most beloved friends, of that time and this present.

I didn’t own an Xbox until quite a while after the Xbox 360 was out – but I didn’t care. I’d been playing Grand Theft Auto II (as far as advancement from the original PC-version there isn’t much to tell…) and Command & Conquer: Red Alert on my PlayStation I for long enough that, while others were investigating Call of Duty 2 I was catching up with titles like Doom3 (I’d long ago become a PC-based Doom-devotee, and a force to be reckoned with over a phone-line multiplayer-connection…), Gun and Halo 2.

I could recall the difficulty that Nintendo 64 and it’s analog control presented in many a GoldenEye tournament in K—‘s basement, especially having become so adept at using the simple D-pad characteristic of the classic-Nintendo controller as though it were a 360-degree analog – but the hours and hours helplessly devoted to my new Xbox found me mastering the controls in ways that intermittent bouts of analog-PlayStation gaming at B——‘s house never had before.

Many may say that the several-thousand hours spent playing video-games over the course of a few decades, (seriously – 20-year long gamers who average an hour a day year-long have spent an average of more than seven-thousand hours playing video games in that 20-year period. For some of us, the actual figures are much larger…), are wasted hours, but what have they to say of the hours they spend socializing with their friends and loved-ones, sharing common experiences and interests and reminiscing about times-gone-by? Are all the times spent enjoying vivid-gaming, either alone or with friends, (and for most gamers, a quite healthy mix of the two), not comparable to any other social activity?

These days, I don’t game much – I’ve fallen out of practice. But whenever I visit my dear old friend B——, who can so often be found dominating n00bs and semi-pro COD multiplayer-gamers alike on his PS3, he passes the controller over to me almost as often as the pipe we never fail to share on such occasions – and watching me flail and fumble and gradually begin to pick up some of the grace of my yesteryears, we sometimes talk of the old days of “winner-advances” Street-Fighter competitions and Gran Turismo races from back-in-the-day.

Gamers game for love of gaming, less than for any particular game itself, and I am a gamer.