One of my largest passions is gaming and it has been ever since being introduced to the Nintendo Entertainment System in the 1980’s. My earliest Christmas memory is opening that console at my grandparents house in Michigan and I remember it vividly. I waited patiently as it was hooked up to the small (by today’s standards) television in the basement and proceeded to stomp Koopa Troopa and Goombas and shooting flying ducks in spite of a laughing dog. I was introduced to computers at an early age too and I truly miss the days of typing “Walk North” in King’s Quest and getting stuck in Space Quest. It was only a matter of time before I had upgraded equipment and had the Super Nintendo, Gameboy, and N64. Our computers advanced over the years and we were cruising the internet in hyper speed with an unprecedented 14.4k modem.
During these years as I moved into high school, I was introduced to Magic the Gathering through our local gaming store. This is when my passion truly ignited. I’m sure my parents would say that I was passionate all along, but it wasn’t until this moment when I knew I had this passion. It wasn’t the card game itself or the collectibility, but the people I was interacting with at the time. I went into college leaving many of these friends behind and with no surprise I made new friends through gaming as well. It was during these years, going into 2000, that online gaming became a reality. With games like Ultima Online, Everquest, and Asheron’s Call breaking the barrier, I found myself interacting with complete strangers with one thing in common. The desire to come together as a group and play games together. For someone that was not the life of the party, this leap into online gaming was incredible for me and the interactions with complete strangers bolstered my confidence to a high degree. To this day almost 15 years later, I am still in contact with many of these people that I first interacted with through a gaming platform that linked one end of the planet to the other.
Over the years I have found myself continuously going back to local gaming stores, not to be the best competitive player in the area or in the game but to enjoy great company and friendship. I have been fortunate to have a great group of friends to enjoy this passion of mine and look forward to many gaming days ahead. Life is hectic these days, our twins are growing so fast and we have moved into a rural area far from friends that I have gamed with for years. It’s frustrating at times not being able to drive down to enjoy Thursday night board game nights or make it down for a Saturday. I’m thankful for the capability to stay connected through our distances and I am watching the face of gaming change from physical to digital. As all of us are getting older and our lives get more complicated, this new age of gaming is amazing.
The games we have played for years are becoming available online, communities are forming on TwitchTV, Google Hangouts are becoming popular, and through it all gamers are uniting and having some incredible moments together. I will amend my previous statement that one of my largest passions is gaming. The more accurate statement would be that one of my largest passions is gaming with friends. Without them I would not be where I am today.
Thanks for all the memories, I look forward to more to come!