I wouldn't call my self a "gamer" really. Maybe it's relative, I mean I am quite the gamer compared to my grandpa. But if I define "gamer" as someone "interested in playing new games, and not just the same old or remakes of the same old" then no, I am definitely not a gamer. I am interested in reading about most games (except sports games) but I am most of the time not interested in playing them. I tire easily from games that don't entertain me alot. Now a real gamer would find entertainment in most games within a certain, or several genres. A good friend of mine, the one who introduced me to my all time favorite game Final Fantasy VII, is definitely a real gamer. He seems to seriously enjoy like every game in the world. He can find something interesting in even the most horrible games. I would also call Love a gamer. He constantly looks for new games to try out and doesn't just treadmill the oldies but goldies, like me.
Maybe this has something to do with the way I was introduced to video gaming. I wasn't one of those kids who owned an atari/commodore/nintendo. I knew some people who did, but we never played it. The first memory I have of a video game is my uncle, 12 years older than me, playing Railroad Tycoon on his Amiga (which I later got from him, but was never able to make it work. See my Profile for another anecdote about it!). I must've been around 5 years old then.
The first time I ever played some sort of video game was on the "computer" (not sure what you should call such an old machine really) of a friend of dads. He had Lemmings and I loved it. I must've been around 7 years old or so.
But other than that I had very limited contacts with video games. We didn't buy a computer until I was like 12 and then it was a Macintosh. There were no games for Macintosh at that time (no fun games anyway).
It all changed that glorious summer day. I was around 11 or 12 and out shopping with a friend of mine (we mostly shopped ice cream). We walked into a store called Thorns, who rented TV's, video games and such and they had one TV on display, hooked up to a N64. The playable game was Yoshi's Story.
I kid you not, I fell in love at first sight. Like mentioned I had never really played a video game before this Yoshi's Story, and it was all so cool! I decided that I just simply must have it. Only problem was I had to buy for my own money (well all money comes from your parents at that age, but anyway). My allowance at that time was probably something around 400 kr a month and a N64 with Yoshi's Story would cost more than 1500kr. So I started saving. To me that was alot of money (and it still is, I barely make more money now than I did then <.<) so I had constant thoughts about whether I really should buy it or not. But as soon as doubt struck me I would walk into that store and play some Yoshi's Story and I would be certain again. During the time of saving money I can swear I saw the number 64 everywhere. Which of course made me even more certain that I was making the right choice.
Alot of people complain about Yoshi's Story being too cute or too easy. First of all, there is no such thing as too cute. And secondly, Yoshi's Story isn't easy at all! Well it can be if you decide to just run it through. But if you want to get a little challenge I say try to get only honey melons on each course, get all hearts and find the two secret yoshis! Getting only honey melons is actually extremely difficult. So it's all about how you like to play it.
Then the day came, I had finally saved enough money (my parents surely provided me with some extra too) to buy the console and game! I walked to a video game store (which isn't there anymore come to think of it) and asked for the console. Apparently the console came with either Mario 64 or Golden Eye already in the package but I told them I didn't want any of those silly games, I wanted Yosh's Story! That meant I had to pay a little extra, but it was definitely worth it. And then I walked home with it and that's the story about my very first own video game.
It doesn't really end there however. One might like to know how I got to WoW from Yoshi's Story, as it is quite a leap. Well, when I was in the 8th grade (in sweden you're around 14 then) I ended up in the same class as my above mentioned gamer friend. To impress him (because I soon found out he really liked video games) I told him I owned a N64, which he at the time didn't. By then I had also acquired way more games to it than just Yoshi's Story, games such as Mario Kart (one of the best games ever), Super Smash Bros. and the like. We ended up playing the N64 alot and as a return favor he invited me over to play on his Playstation. He especially wanted me to play Final Fantasy VII, a role playing game which I had seen some commercials on but didn't think much about. I thought the main characters humongous sword looked ridiculous!
I changed my mind quite drastically once I started playing however and like I said, it is probably one of my favorite games ever. Thanks P-A! That was my first introduction to roleplaying games. So how did I come to play computer games?
Like mentioned, we only had a Macintosh for a very long time and there wasn't much fun to play on that. Mom played games like Myst, Safecracker and Rama, but those were way too advanced for me. Then my brother got the game Settlers as a christmas/birthday gift (my brother has his birthday almost at christmas, so I don't remember which it was) by my grandma. Actually it was in german and called "Die Siedler". My brother, who probably was a little too young for it then, didn't enjoy it much, but I did. At first I didn't like the idea of being fighting others (namely the computer villages) and played completely solo. Eventually I tried the warring and found that it wasn't that bad (actually now I can't understand how I ever liked to play solo, what's the point of a strategy game then?). So that was my first computer game.
I eventually tried combining these two - roleplaying and computer games - by trying such games as Fallout, Harvest Moon (on emulator) and Ultima Online. But since we still only had a Macintosh that never became true. Maybe I could've bought the games, but I never tried. My constant setbacks on this area when I was young is why I hate Macintosh so much though, although getting games for it has become much easier since. But never being able to play the games all my friends did was just too traumatic!
But then we finally got a PC, and I had a decent chance of trying a roleplaying computer game. I still mainly played video games until my brother started playing WoW. I got interested. It looked just like what I've always wanted to try. And the rest is history!
Looking back I can see that my interest in video/computer games has introduced me to some of my best friends (not to mention Love). It is fun to see how each step has brought me to where I am now (which might sound obvious, but isn't really something you think about). This is probably true for any kind of hobby, but I have some really fond memories of all the video games I've played over the years, and it is kinda fun to think that it all started with Yoshi's Story.