I’m new to the boards(lurked for awhile but want in on the action now). I was just recently thinking about my first gaming experiences and thought it might be interesting to hear from all of you here what sticks out in your mind about what you remember about starting in this hobby.
The below is actually an exerpt from what I came up with for a cover letter that I just submitted:
I remember sitting in my friend’s basement staring at the screen of his old Vic20 or Commodore64(I can’t remember which) while he copied lines of BASIC code out of a book that was going to eventually become a game for us to play. I don’t actually remember the game itself, but I do remember thinking “Wow, we’re building games.”. The first gaming experiences that I remember were booting up the original Civilization and starting my first game as the Germans(which, due to genealogy, have been my Civ preference ever since then), and also the summer I spent with the same friend as above playing through the first two Dragonlance Gold Box games. We had created our Pen and Paper characters on the PC and they were actually IN Dragonlance.
There are other memories that stick out in the years following, but that seems to be the first recollections I have of playing these games.
I’m not really as “hardcore gamer” as I’d like but I’ve been watching and playing for awhile and have loved growing up with these games.
I can’t remember the first time I played a videogame. I would have been around 4 years old and it would have been something on an Atari VCS (aka Sears Telegames). Probably Circus Atari or Skydiver or Video Olympics or something like that.
There was a time during college when I actually thought I had “outgrown” videogames, but a few years after I graduated my brother introduced me to Half-Life and I fell off the wagon bigtime. Actually I kind of had already (played Baldur’s Gate and did some retrogaming/emulation in early 99) but Half Life really sealed the deal. That and Age of Empires. Oh daddy.
The first time I played a video game was Combat on the Atari 2600. The first time I ever felt that I became a game, on the other hand, was when I got my C64. I was sick, so my brother had the responsibility of picking out our first game. He came back with Bard’s Tale III and we were instantly hooked. I’ve truly loved gaming ever since.
My first gaming experience was on a console of some sort. I was 4 or 5 years old at the time, so I remember very little about it. I think the games were built in to the box and included a couple of pong-clones and a primitive jungle game of some sort.
When I was six, I got an MSX with some taped games like Zaxxon, Avenger, Hero and River Raid.
I have a hard time recalling my very first time playing a videogame. I remember being about 6 or 7 and seeing an arcade Pong machine in some restaurant and being fascinated by it. My uncle had one of the original home Pong machines which played a few different games, and another kid who lived down the block had an Odyssey 2.
Eventually, I got an Atari 2600 for Christmas with Combat and Space Invaders when I was 10 (I think it was 1980), but by then I’d already played a lot of arcade Asteroids, and had a bunch of the Mattel Electronics handheld games like Baseball, Football and Basketball. It’s hard for me to pinpoint which was first, but they all sort of stick out in my mind.
I forgot all about the early consoles… We had an Intellivision that my cousin(lived with us for University) used to play all the time.
I still pull out the Atari 2600 every so often for some good old gaming “fun”
It recalls a much more simple time. No discussions about graphics, story, immersiveness, monster closets… we just sit and stare at the radiation box for hours on end…
One of my earliest memories of gaming is wanting a NES when they were relatively new. I was about 7 or 8, couldn’t afford one, and my birthday was months away. I was going nuts. One day I came home and my dad had bought me one out of the blue. I still remember that day fairly well. I was a damn happy kid.
For computer games, I remember the first game I ever played was a nethack type ascii based game on a computer at the local University. I think it was in the late 80’s. My aunt took me to the lab one day and let me play around. I was hooked.
My father brought home a Magnavox Odyssey in 1974 or 1975–you know, the one with all the plastic overlays for the TV screen. I used to love Haunted House. We got an Atari 2600 when that came out, and then it was on to computers.
Assuming by “gaming” you mean computer gaming, the first computer game I played was Pong, in a pinball/skee-ball arcade on 52nd street and Broadway in New York City. I played it the year it came out, so I guess that would be 1971 or so: my dad had to take me to the arcade. I got hooked on Space War, though, a year later. This version of Space War wasn’t the classic one with 2 players and configurable gravity options, it was basically Asteroids without the asteroids – you’d fly your little vector ship around an empty screen, and occasionally an asteroids-type alien ship would come out to shoot at. I believe you can see this game as a decoration in an apartment in the Soylent Green movie.
First home game was some hardwired 1976-ish RF-converter game that ran 2 “tanks” through a simple maze. It was sufficiently lame that I still haven’t bought another console lo these many years later, though I just might get an XBox or PS2 soon.
The first programmable computer I owned was a 1977-vintage Ohio Scientific Instruments C24P with BASIC in ROM and 4K of RAM running on a 6502, with secondary storage on audio casette tape. “Video memory” was a 25x80 array that could be addressed by poking printable characters into memory at the apppropriate address. I taught myself BASIC by reading listings in the back of Creative Computing magazine.
The first computer I had that at least vaguely resembled a modern consumer device was a 1985-ish Atari ST with its vast 512K of RAM and an honest-to-god 68000 CPU. The superior hardware combined with its windowing OS to make it about 10 times as powerful as any of the crappy IBM PCs available at the time. My favorite game (for the tech level) of all time was available for this machine, Sun Dog from FTL games.
Hard to remember that far back but it was probably Pong or Space Invaders. Around the same time I was playing non-electronic games like D&D and Tactics II which have probably much more to do with my taste in computer and video games today. First electronic game I really got obsessed with that an old tape-cartridge Star Trek game with no real graphics. Numbers were arranged to represent different sectors and what was inside them with X’s or question marks indicating unknown places. There were seperate tactical maps as well, also alpha-numeric. First graphical addiction was Asteroids probably. Then the usual string of Defender, Battlezone and Robotron, etc.
First home game would be the Pong console, where you could play Pong, Jai Alai, or Target practice with the light gun. Went from there to Atari 2600, Colecovision, Commodore 64, PC, NES, Super NES, Playstation, Dreamcast, XBox, Gameboy Advance. I probably spend more time thinking about games than playing them now that I’m firmly entrenched in the Married - With Children mode, but soon the kids will be old enough to play video games with.
My friend had that game, and My God, did I love it. This is the same friend who’s father worked at the Argonne National Labs as some kind of nuclear scientist. I remember reading a dot-matrix printout my friend had brought home, basically a print echo of him getting to play Adventure or Colossal Cave (whichever one had xyzzy) on the mainframe when his dad had taken him to work. That was amazing to me.
I cannot remember which was first - Pong at my father’s friend’s house, or the original text Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe my A.T. (that’s Academically Talented, an extra class they used to put supposedly smart kids in to teach them how to adjust their monocles and curl up into a tight ball when beat up for their lunch money) class bought.
The first game that ever really captured my attention was Brattacus for the Atari ST.
The game was made by Psygnosis, and it took me over six months to figure out how to play (I was quite young at the time, and the game was played with a mouse, a foreign and bizzarre object to me).
When I finally figured it out, I played obsessively all the time. It was a free and open world game where you wandered around an asteroid mining collony. you could go to bars, sneak into the police station, murder people in cold blood, and join the mafia.