We all know that gaming is an amazing hobby that can bring many people together. Even with all the console warring, broken game releases, and drama from the Activision/Blizzard acquisition, there’s one thing we all agree on, that is we all love gaming. It doesn’t matter if you have been here from the beginning of gaming or just started this year. Gaming is something that is beautiful and can bring many people together. With this being known I decided to do a special community article for the holiday. I asked a bunch of amazing people from the community about the moment that got them into gaming. This includes people from the likes of Jason Ronald the Director of Product Management for Xbox to little old me. So let’s get into it!
Contra and CRT TV From Editor-in-Chief Of LOGNET, Mahmood Ghaffar
Mahmood is one of the most hard-working EICs I have ever met. Always in the trenches attempting to make each article as good as it can be. While keeping all the writers and editors on track to do our best work. I can tell you personally he’s the one that edits the majority of mine and he does excellent work. The moment that got him into gaming goes as follows:
Contra the gateway game:
I still remembered the exact moment I got into video games. It was around when the Nintendo Entertainment System was still in its prime. My two older brothers were hunched up and playing it in front of the CRT TV, hogging it up. They eventually got bored and threw a controller my way. I was curious and I booted up the same game they were playing, which was Contra. I was immediately enamored. Especially since Rambo was the thing at the time. I played Contra to death and got decimated because the game was unforgiving for a 3-year-old boy. I didn’t care. To me I felt this was the most amazing thing I have experienced in my life and completely changed the entertainment I will continue to gravitate towards for the rest of my life. This moment remains burned in my memory and still resonates with me.
The Vectrex From Host Of Double Barrel Gaming, MrboomstickXL
When it comes to our good friend Mr. Boomstick he remains one of the most positive hard-working individuals in the gaming community. Every week, he hosts multiple podcasts on his Youtube channel covering everything in the industry. Boom is always welcoming for discussion and welcomes all kinds of guests on his shows. Boom also does so much for the community it’s amazing. He wanted to talk about his 12th birthday and the Vectrex.
In 1978, my dad, Larry Ravitch, brought home the Atari 2600 with Combat & Air-Sea Battle. It was something we never expected because he was on a construction worker’s salary, and money was very tight back then. My eyes glazed in amazement as I held that controller. I was 8, but one of the first kids on the block to have the Atari 2600, which turned me into a god among my friends. Every now and again, when he worked overtime, my dad would surprise us with a new game. The magic wasn’t always the game, but having my father sit alongside me on the floor and play together. Those were great times indeed.
It’s easy to say THIS was the “Click” moment we’re discussing, but what made me become the gamer I am today happened on my 12th birthday. It has incredible meaning in many ways. On the gaming side, that “Click Moment” was waiting for me when I walked into Child World in Yonkers, New York. With my birthday funds in hand, I spotted the General Consumer Electronics developed Vectrex. The Vectrex had its own monitor with a fold-out controller and cartridges you plugged in at its side. Since the screen was black and white, it came with screen overlays to make the games have color. I played for hours on end; games like Berserk, Clean Sweep (a Pac-Man Clone), Cosmic Chasm, Solar Quest, and the arcade classic Scramble.
Boom continued with this:
It was the first time I didn’t need to occupy the one TV we had in the house. I was free to go into my room, surrounded by my G.I Joe’s and He-Man figures, and just plug the Vectrex into the outlet as I sat on the floor in the dark. It was magical. With games like Gears of War, The Last of Us, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you’d think I’d envy the generation that was lucky enough to start out with these types of experiences. That’s not the case. In fact, I feel incredibly fortunate to have seen gaming’s transition from “Sticks and Dots” to visual story telling unlike any other genre.
My lifelong experience as a gamer has given me a deep appreciation for the tireless work that goes into making a video game. I will certainly be gaming until I’m unable to hold a controller and hopefully, by then, we’ll have something close to the Holodeck or Ready Player One.
Final Fantasy from Director of Product Management For Xbox, Jason Ronald
When it comes to the Xbox division, there are a lot of people that engage with the community. Some like Phil Spencer or Major Nelson usually come to mind first. However, one of the people who are always part of that discussion is the “Wizard Of Xbox” Jason Ronald. He’s responsible for leading the development of the Xbox Series X/S hardware. He also helped with other things as well. Jason has been on a few different podcasts as well as been interviewed quite a few times. He’s never afraid to talk to members of the gaming community. It’s truly awesome to be able to talk to important people from the different gaming companies. When it comes to his gaming moment, he professed his love of JRPGs.
I have always been into gaming, ever since I was very young. The experience that really defined me a gamer was Final Fantasy on the original NES. To be able to freely explore a massive world with a rich story provided a level of depth I hadn’t seen up to that point. I could create my own party with different skills and capabilities, level them up, and ultimately completely transform them later in the game. This showed a glimpse of how great gaming can be as an interactive storytelling medium. It sparked my life long love for JRPGs and influenced what and how I play games to this day. One of many examples I can point to on my personal gaming journey.
Fable From Associate Editor Of Lognet, Joseph Repko
One of my good friends and avid Warframe enthusiast wanted to share his love of Fable. Joe always continuously puts out amazing Warframe content as well as many other great pieces. When it comes to his gaming moment, Joe pointed the finger at Fable.
Fable has always been something I hold near and dear to my heart. It was one of the very first games that truly wowed me. The world of Albion and its vibrant world, wacky characters, and terrifying enemies truly left an impact on me when I was little. But the decision-making was something that was new to me as a fresh-faced 9-year-old that should have been doing school work. Doing stuff in the game, from certain moments in quests to just razing a village for fun. I could control my adventure and feel the weight of my decisions, even at that age.
Even in the years when I was separated from my Xbox. All I could remember was Fable, the world, and its mystical soundtrack that kept bringing me back to gaming. In one form or another, whether that was wasting years of my life in World of Warcraft, or getting sucked into Golden Sun on my Game Boy Advance. Fable truly got me into gaming and I will always value the impact it had on me. Especially as I look forward to the new game with child-like anticipation. There was just nothing like it since for me.
Family And Atari 2600 From Senior Entertainment Writer For LOGNET, David Yerion
The moment that got David into gaming is a cool one that involves his dad. As David gets older those moments are now shared with his daughter which is a cool thing to experience. David writes about most things entertainment industry related such as Box Office Recaps. He shared this with us about his gaming moment.
My dad is the whole reason I play video games. I never would have jumped into them at a young age if he didn’t show me the Atari 2600. From that moment, where I was beaten in Boxing, I never wanted to stop. To this very day, my dad and I talk and play various games. He’s well into his 60s and continues to still plays daily. I continued that very tradition with my daughter and niece. They both also play video games and talk about them in our group chat.
Donkey Kong From The Host Of Scumcast, The Ashen Luca
If you think of Queen of Soulsborne games, Luca is the person that comes to mind. Spanning multiple generations her love of games such as Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Bloodborne, and others is great to see. She is never afraid to share her love with others and that is something I love to see in the gaming community. People talking about and sharing their love of their favorite games can be a great time. She also enjoys bringing plenty of guests to hang out and talk games on her show Scumcast. Luca was short and sweet when it came to the moment that got her into gaming. She said the moment that got her into gaming where everything just clicked was this:
When my mom put Donkey Kong on the screen!
Dad And His Love Of PC Building From The Host Of Midweek Mixup Podcast, Wandering Dutch
Wandering Dutch is an amazing member of the gaming community. From his Midweek Mixup Podcast and being on Prime Time Gaming, Dutch is always conversing with people and sharing his knowledge. Dutch isn’t relegated to just podcasts though, he has also put out other great content such as his Community Indie Showcases! Wandering Dutch talks about his family, early gaming, and great PC times.
Growing up I was always around family members who happened to have the latest game consoles. My late father had very much been into building PCs (Voodoo & 3DFX Graphics Cards) etc… going back a few years now! My first ventures into gaming (that I recall) were at my uncle’s house. At the time he had the NES and the Sega Mega Drive. We would get back from school and play Mario, Sonic, and Ecco the Dolphin for what felt like hours!
What really got me into gaming though, was my father and the ever-improving PC builds, (those old cream PC cases everyone had back then) but always the latest kit inside! He would always have the latest games, and I immediately fell in love with Age of Empires, Flight Sim, Combat Flight Sim, Heart of Darkness, Monkey Island, and Little Big Adventure as the ones that stick in my memory vividly. He had all the Microsoft Force Feedback Controllers, joysticks for flight sims, also steering wheel and pedals for racing games! His enthusiasm for PC gaming, tech, and just gaming, in general, is what really started my love for gaming and continues to this day!
The NES And Duck Hunt From The Co-Host Of The Backlog Chronicles Podcast, Docta Moeqawama
Right out of the gate let’s answer the question you have, yes he works in medicine! The Docta Moe as he goes by is a person I have followed for a long time. When he wasn’t co-hosting The Backlog Chronicles Podcast, you can find Moe appearing as a guest on other shows. Moe never shies away from his thoughts or feeling on games and the industry. When he isn’t talking games or the industry you can find him sharing his love of video game collectors editions. Doesn’t matter what collectible it is, Moe will get it if he wants. Moe shared the moment that got him into gaming by telling us about Duck Hunt.
I’d say the moment that got me into gaming might be when my father bought the NES for me in 1990. I had an Atari 2600 before that, but years had passed since I had another console. I’ll never forget booting up Super Mario Bros for the first time, then being mesmerized by Duck Hunt and how that zapper gun was possible. It’s responsible for opening up the gaming world to me that I have remained in for 33 years and counting. I have owned every home console by Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox since, with the exception of the Nintendo Wii U. I can’t imagine my life without video games in it, to be honest.
Gaming Throughout The Years From Iron Lords Podcast Member, King David
King David is one of the amazing OGs of gaming. He has played pretty much everything that gaming has to offer. No doubt he is also a pillar of positivity in the gaming community. Even though the Iron Lords Podcast continues to see rising success, King never treats anyone like he’s too good to talk to them. Anytime I have messaged or interacted with him he always responds and treats people with respect as long as he’s shown the same. That is something I respect and do in my own day-to-day life. Plus if you know King he is a compendium of gaming knowledge and is right 97% of the time when it comes to his predictions. He shared this about his gaming moments and history:
King David’s gaming history:
I started playing games in the arcades early on and played pretty much every arcade Pinball, Galaga, and all that stuff. The first home console that I saw I think it was my cousin that had it and I think it was Pong. Then we got Atari, so my first introduction to video games was through Pong. I had every console that came out whether foreign or domestic since I was 8 years old. That stretched from the Vectrex all the way to current generations with the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series consoles. I used to dabble in PC gaming but got out of that after graphics cards, upgrades, and stuff like that. My allegiance though was to Sega very early because of turbo graphics and the 16 PC engine.
King continued with the Neo Geo and others:
I was a heavy Neo Geo player and had every game that dropped for a large period of time. Actually, I probably had every game that they released on the home console. Had them from the MVS to CD disc base 1 to CD disc base 2 to the last one cd base 3. Completely been on board with everything Neo Geo, a huge fan of them. Always had the arcade quality. If you had it in the arcade you had the same quality at home. Then onto Playstation and Nintendo which I was a huge Nintendo dude and just gaming in general. I actually just had a dream I was walking around with an original GameBoy. So I’ve always been a huge video game player and huge community guy. Always been huge for the gaming community to stick together and play together.
Shinobi & The Arcades From The CEO Of Lognet & Host Of The Iron Lords Podcast, Lord Cognito
To be honest there is so much I can say about Lord Cognito and it could go on for ages. Lord Cognito is one of if not the most hardworking people in the gaming community. The man is one of the hosts of the Iron Lords Podcast, Defining Duke, and also is on the Last Word Podcast as well. CEO of LOGNET and even works in Integrity Ops for Meta Quest VR. Lord Cognito always carries himself with a positive vibe and is always willing to help elevate the people around him.
Cog is always going to events and flying to this place and that place putting in a lot of work. Any time I need to talk to someone he is there, no matter his crazy schedule. I wouldn’t be writing this article without Cog inviting me through the door last year. He is someone I have the utmost respect for and look up to like he’s my brother, even find myself carrying myself differently than I would normally 2 years ago. Lord Cognito shared the moment that got him into gaming and said this in the video:
Intellivision From The Host Of Xbox Ultimate, Fun Speculation Also Known As Mav
Fun Speculation is a person who is always willing to have a good time with everyone in the community. Mav has multiple shows throughout the week where he and his panel share the latest and greatest video game news. Just like the name Fun Speculation reads they are not above having fun and doing some speculation about the video game industry as well. Mav is a great person who is always willing to include people in almost everything he does. He even brought me on his show before and they all treated me like family and still do to this day. He shared his gaming moment with us and said:
What got me into gaming was those times when we played Intellivision as a family in the living room when I was a kid. Burger time, Snafu, Astrosmash, and Frog Bog were games that were simple enough to understand for a young kid. Then sharing a room with my brother even though he was quite a bit older allowed us to play a lot of games together. We played a lot of football matches, fighting games and much more! Gaming has always been a social experience for me whether it’s family or as I grew up playing with friends.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 From A Co-Founder Of Game On Daily And Co-Host Of Go Live, Asa Walker
Asa Walker is one of the most grounded individuals in the gaming community. Co-Hosting Go Live along with Gaz, Asa is the one behind the scenes making things work. He has a lot of interest in the VR space and you can periodically catch videos of him playing games like Skyrim as well as others. He is one of the most delightful people to have gaming discussions with and proud to call him a friend. Asa shared his love for Sonic 2 and a few other tidbits.
I guess the moment that caught me was when I went to an outdoor adventure playground as a child. They had a little hut with a tuck shop, a couple of pool tables, and a dingy little back room. There was a group of kids gathered around in that room, and when I pushed through I saw they were all gathered around 2 tiny CRT screens. One was hooked up to an NES, and the other a Sega Megadrive (that’s a Genesis to some folk). The NES had Super Mario Bros 3 and the Megadrive had Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
I can’t remember which one I got my hands on first, but it was Sonic 2 that stole me. I spent a lot of time around those consoles watching and waiting for a brief turn to play, but it was never enough, so eventually, a Megadrive with Sonic 2 became my first gaming system. The first of many!
A Vague Memory From A Co-Founder Of Game On Daily And Co-Host Of Go Live, Gaz
Now we have the other Co-Host of Go Live none other than “The Sauce Man” Gaz. If you have ever interacted with Gaz in any capacity you know that he brings that energy, passion, and fun into everything. He’s known for very entertaining spicy videos dubbed as the sauce videos. Gaz can do much more than be known for the Sauce though. His skills and knowledge when it comes to gaming discussions don’t get as much attention as they should. He has a multitude of talents that I believe people don’t give him enough credit for. Gaz had a vague memory about the moment that got him into gaming and he said this:
The moment I got into gaming is the very moment I first laid my eyes on a gaming machine. To this day I don’t know what the console was called. It had a wooden veneer and the game had you control a man crossing a pond over giant leaves. From then on I was obsessed with gaming and that obsession has never really dwindled despite life’s many distractions.
Colecovision From Multiple Podcast Panel Member, Fuzzy Belvedere
Ever wondered who plays all the latest and greatest racing games out there, it’s Fuzzy Belvedere. Fuzzy has a love and passion for racing games that to me is unrivaled by anyone. He shares his love for games on multiple podcasts such as Xbox Ultimate, FSP, Shop Podcast, and even Breakfast With Boom. He is friendly and always willing to have a great conversation with anyone about gaming. When it came to the moment that got him into gaming Fuzzy shared this:
As an 8-year-old kid growing up in the Bronx New York, in an apartment on the 5th floor, you start to notice there aren’t any chimneys for Santa. Maybe a fire escape could work, but you begin to realize your parents are Santa. Not the end of the world, but you now know who to drop hints to instead of sending a letter to the North Pole. I remember going to Toys-R-Us a month or so before Christmas with my mom and older brother. We spent about an hour going up and down the aisles picking up a couple of board games, an RC car, and some smaller things. Not sure when my brother wandered off as mom kept me focused on the shopping cart.
Fuzzy Belvedere continued:
I just recall him carrying a big bag on the bus ride home. I couldn’t see what it was and I kind of lost interest after he mentioned it was for our sister. Fast forward to Christmas morning, and like most kids, I tear through my gifts under the tree. I recognize some of the things from our Toys R Us trip weeks ago. Sitting behind the tree is a gift labeled from Santa that’s quite a bit larger than any board game box. Everyone encourages me to open it, so begin to peel the wrapping. To my surprise, it’s the ColecoVision that I wanted along with Donkey Kong, Zaxxon, and Smurf’s Paint & Play. I now had my first pieces to my ongoing gaming collection and evidence my family made a great Santa.
Super Mario Brothers From The Head Of Seasoned Gaming And Host Of Bitcast, Ainsley Bowden
Another amazing person in the gaming community is none other than the host of Bitcast Ainsley Bowden. You might know him by Porshapwr and the fact that he believes Mass Effect 1 is the best one in the series. Avid Halo fan and gamer Ains shares his love of gaming everywhere he goes. While continuing to make Season Gaming a great place for news among other things, He’s never afraid to converse with people in the community. I mean if you have read previous community-related articles I have done Ains is always on board to be a part of my piece. He shares his story and tells us about what got him into gaming.
I can distinctly remember a few occasions that really planted gaming in my mind when I was but a little, skinny geek. My first memory of gaming was going to the arcade with my dad and watching him play Missile Command. I was fascinated that he was moving something on the screen to try and counter what the game was doing. It’s difficult to explain to today’s generation, who have grown up with gaming, just how incredible of a concept it was. By far the largest stand-out moment for me was first seeing and playing Super Mario Brothers on the NES.
While my family had an Atari 2600, and I had played games previously, Super Mario Brothers was revolutionary. I spent the night at a friend’s house and his family had just gotten the NES. I was awestruck watching him play it. We played well into the night and from that moment on, I begged my mom for an NES. My mother was a single mom and didn’t make much money so I had to wait until the next year. That’s when I saw the Sega Master System at a department store and to me, it was “cooler” than the NES.
My mom bought me the Sega Master System as a present and thus my Sega origin story was born. Since that age, I have been fascinated with gaming in all facets. I took every computer course in school, began coding, built PCs, and bought and sold games from all around the world. I’ve been a member of dozens of gaming communities, and have owned/played more games than I can count. It’s a lifelong passion and is obviously still a focal point for me today forty years later.
Pac-Man From The Host Of The GRG Podcast, Kmega
If you have ever heard of Sunday Night Fight Night, then you know who Kmega is. Kmega is the host of the GRG Podcast, a member of the NEXT Podcast, and co-host of the Dev and the Gamer. He has a lot of love when it comes to the fighting game genre and welcomes all challengers to fight in almost any game. Always welcomes guests to come on his show as well the share their love and knowledge of gaming. Kmega’s fun-loving attitude always makes it fun for people to be around. Pacman is what got Kmega into gaming and he shared his story.
Kmega’s gaming history:
What got me into gaming? When I was around three to four years old going to the laundromat with my mom. I remember coming to the laundromat on a weekend and seeing this weird-looking table over where the old pinball machines used to be. I had never seen anything like it and I remember asking my mom what was this thing was and she said it called Pac-Man. It cost a quarter to play and the owner of the store gave me 8 quarters. I went through those quarters so fast cuz I didn’t know what I was doing and I remember getting mad. I wanted to get more quarters from my mom she said no. All I could think about was going back and trying to play Pac-Man and figure it out.
Normally I had a really short attention span but it was something about that table arcade game that kept me coming back. I kept playing getting better and better until I made it to the next stage. I looked forward to going to the laundromat and kept playing Pac-Man until one day the Pac-Man table was gone. In the corner of the Landry mat now were three tall machines that looked similar to the arcade table, but they were just bigger. The names were Defender, Joust, and Ms. Pac-Man. The first game I ran to was Ms. Pac-Man. When I got older I was allowed to ride my bike to the laundromat to go play arcade games with friends or alone. Either way, I enjoyed myself. When I had my very first gaming experience it was in 1978. To this day I’m still a gamer all because of Pac-Man in the laundromat.
The NES and Super Mario Brothers From The Ericutz4thewin Youtube Channel, Ericutz4thewin
If there is a person with a proclivity for Soulsborne games like Luca it is Erica. She has shared her love for Souls games plenty and has several videos out about them. you can even find some guides to fighting certain bosses among other great content on her channel. You can find her streaming periodically when she isn’t busy enjoying her newfound motherhood. Erica shared her love of the NES and Mario Brothers and said this:
Erica’s gaming moment:
The moment that got me into gaming was the first time someone passed me the controller. I was 5 years old when my uncle was showing my family and me Super Mario Brothers on the NES for the first time. After being mesmerized by what I was seeing on the screen, he handed me the controller. I remember moving Mario across the screen, falling in love with every jump. When it came time for me to jump over the first hole, I couldn’t do it and fell. My family started laughing and I’m sure they just thought it was cute and funny, but I remember feeling upset and wanting to try again.
I had such a competitive gaming spirit when I was young, and it started with that moment. Thanks to my uncle, I grew up around gaming and played so many different games because of him. He was like the older brother I never had, and gaming was our way to bond. Same with my sister and cousins. Gaming was a huge part of my life and still is. I’ve been gaming ever since that first run with Mario, going on for almost 30 years and counting!
Pong From Co-Host Of Living Splitscreen And Panel Member On Other Podcast, Pong Soul
If you have ever heard someone mention the phrase “The Golden Age of Gaming” it came from Pong Soul. The hardest-working man in the podcast world and you can catch him on a show almost every day of the week. Living Spliscreen with his other co-host Steel Reign can go over four or more hours on Saturdays. His love and knowledge of gaming and gaming history are vast. Pong always oozes great energy which perks everyone up no matter where he goes. He is another person just like Cog who I look up to and who continue to motivate me to be better. Pong Soul is always there to interact and talk games with everyone. He wanted to share his love of gaming and especially Pong ironically when he said this:
Pong Soul’s origin story:
Asking myself “What moment got me into gaming?” is akin to pinpointing the location of rustling leaves in a forest. The echo of video games can be “heard” in some of my earliest memories and never stop reverberating throughout my life. Thinking back to playing with the Pong paddle, staring wide-eyed at the 12-inch black and white TV. All the while my Grandpa fiddled with the wires and R/F switch, as excitement built to see the “magical” sticks and dots appear.
This has to be the closest point I can articulate as THE moment that got me into gaming. Ever since that little 4-year-old me first experienced controlling an object on the screen, I have been hooked. However, as with any long-lived passion, one moment isn’t enough to sustain, and I can recall countless points along my timeline that continued to push my love of video games forward to right now. That is what makes this hobby special. As I’ve grown up so have the games I’m playing and I expect there will be many more magical moments until I can no longer play.
Suikoden 2 From Senior Writer For Lognet, Chris Jones
The moment that got me into gaming was Suikoden 2. When I was young, I played games on the Sega Game Gear like baseball at my former stepmom’s brother’s house. I also remember playing games on the original NES like Excitebike, Mario, Faxanadu, and even Zelda. Those never made me love gaming even though I did have fun. My click moment didn’t come until one day I was at my mom’s house on the weekend. I was in my bedroom and heard loud cursing coming from the living room. Naturally, I went to see what it was. My mom was struggling with a one-on-one duel in what I found out to be Suikoden 2.
Mom and Suikoden 2:
I watched for a minute and was like come on it can’t be that hard mom. Visibly irritated she said, “You do it then.” So I grabbed the PS1 controller and began to read what they said on the screen. The duels are rock, paper, scissors based on what they say you just have to select the option. Needless to say, I got lucky because I didn’t know what I was doing. Afterward, I turned and told her, “See I told you, mom”. She smiled at me and said, “Ok smart one”. I sat down and watched her play for hours. Then after she went to bed I grabbed the controller and started to play a new game for myself. I also saved over her file which she wasn’t too happy about.
From the moment I started, Suikoden 2 had me hooked. The unique characters I could play while organizing my party of 108 heroes throughout the game was amazing. The game’s soundtrack was phenomenal and made me understand even at that age the importance of certain situations and pulled me in. Now I played pretty much all the home consoles and arcades after that, but that was the moment that got me into gaming. That’s when it all just clicked. After this, I grew to love and appreciate gaming.
Family and Final Fantasy 2 From The Host Of The Crossfire Podcast, Mooch
When it comes to Mooch, I have been listening to him since I entered the podcast space. Mooch is a great friend to many people and an avid game lover of all genres. I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention that Mooch is the king when it comes to food comparisons as well. You can find him hosting The Crossfire Podcast where people fire back and forth as they talk about games and things going on in the industry. Mooch has great energy he brings when discussing games, hobbies, and the Mets of course. He wanted to tell us about his family and the moment that got him truly into gaming.
Mooch goes back to the origins:
In order to get to the moment of how and when Mooch got into gaming we’ll have to go all the way back to 1985. Nintendo was king and gaming was still something that was only intended for kids to play and adults wanted nothing to do with it. Even with the lack of internet, gaming was still able to bring a group of friends to enjoy a game together. The only difference was it required you were sitting 6 feet or less from the base of your television. Games like Super Mario Brothers, ExciteBike, and Double Dribble (along with many others) brought gamers together. With that brought a lot of smack talk and good times. We would keep track of our own wins and losses in anything.
We were competitive and had notebooks full of diagram codes that would get you to your last boss fight (looking at you Mega Man). Even with all these great stories and memories with friends it still isn’t the true “moment” that got me into gaming. Fast forward to 1991 and my interests in gaming changed from strictly plat-formers to JRPGs. The ones I’m primarily talking about are Final Fantasy 1, 2, and 3. These games offered depth in story and characters as well as requiring your dedication to the game. Game cartridges used to come with a fully detailed map and guide which at the time I felt was standard (now that is nothing more than a dream).
Mooch went into more detail about his time with Final Fantasy:
One day I was going back and forth between playing the game, mapping my surroundings on the game map (given in the purchase), as well as looking at the guide to research what potions would be needed as I desperately tried to level up. Not to mention I was reading up in the strategy guide to better my understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents as I entered a new area of the game. My family saw that I was taking a lot of interest in gaming and decided to offer assistance while I played the game (FFII to be exact). So within a week or so we had a family gaming experience versus just a single-player experience which included me fighting with maps and strategy guides.
I was always the one on the controller, my dad was on the map, and my little brother was on the strategy guide. We would spend hours a night sometimes just farming and leveling up (not even attempting to move the story on). Some of my best memories were of exploring the world and finding useful weapons and ingredients needed to make stronger potions. These are parts of the game that you have to explore and take your time farming otherwise you would be met with a difficult challenge when you reach the boss fights. The memory of how I got into gaming or more importantly why I knew gaming would always be a part of my life began with this family experience.
Mooch talked about not waiting to get home to play:
I found myself excited to get home from school, complete my homework, and dive back into the world of Final Fantasy with my family next to me and enjoying all the good times (as well as the bad times when bosses literally sent me packing). The games and family bonding were so great we continued to enjoy JRPGs such as Dragon Quest and other Final Fantasy games (mainly FFIII & FFIV). I knew at a young age that gaming was a part of my life and I always wanted to bring that sense of family gaming to my kids.
Today we enjoy The Legend of Zelda and Luigi’s Mansion as family games. We try recreating the same experience I had with my family as a kid. The only difference is now I’m the dad and I’m the one with the map and guides. My kids are now the captains of the controller. Life has gone in a full circle and I couldn’t be more proud to be the dad of two gamers that will hopefully grow up to continue this amazing pastime with their children in the future. This is what gaming is all about family, friends, and fun. This is the memory that will always be first in my mind when it comes to gaming.
You can see from all the stories you read above that these people all share one thing. We all share our love for gaming. Doesn’t matter what time or era we all love coming together to talk about and share what we love. We all have unique stories about how we got into gaming. Our community, the gaming community, can be an amazing place when we treat each other with respect and can have positive discourse. We don’t have to tear people down to share what we love and have discussions. A great person I know once said, “Play what you love, love what you play!”