Like most gamers of today, I started out as a young child at age 4 with a little system called the Atari 2600. It all started when my father gave me his Atari system when I was around 4 years old (26 years ago since I am now 30). Now while I cannot say this is when I fell in love with video games, since i was only 4, but this was my first time actually playing games. The first game I ever played was called Kangaroo. This was your basic old school platformer where you have to make the mama Kangaroo reach her baby at the top. I played this game, and many others such as Pac man Jr, Dig Dug, and Missile Command, which simply added to my future love for gaming.
So come age 5 I finally received my own Atari 2600 Jr... but that's not where it all began. This is simply because in Christmas of 1988 I received my NES. This is when gaming got its hooks in me and would from then on never let me go. Now growing up as an only child, I was spoiled rotten. While my parents didn't buy many games for me, they sure as hell rented plenty of them. Twice a week my dad would swing by the local Major Video (which would later become Blockbuster Video and then later become an empty building) and get me a new NES game. I would play games for hours on end after school right up until bed time. I still went outside and played with friends, but as an only child, when my friends weren't around, what else was a boy to do? Growing up I owned MAYBE 16 or so games during the NES's actual lifetime (I now own 253 NES games thanks to my game collecting addiction), but renting was the thing to do. I must've killed hundreds of NES games as a kid and I definitely miss it more than you know.
So then we move onto the SNES/Genesis generation. Good lord what a time this was! I remember waking up on Christmas morning (not sure on the year) and opening up my SNES and hooking it up all by myself to our TV in the den and playing Spider-man/X-men and Super Mario World. Now this was not the first time I played the SNES, I had previously rented the console 2 times from some mom and pop video store. Both times playing Joe and Mac and Super Mario World. Renting consoles was a thing many people did since they couldn't afford to buy them unless it was a holiday. But I definitely remember the day I played MY SNES for the first time quite well. I rented the Sega Genesis about 3 times, playing the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog, Altered Beast, and Dick Tracy. I also rented tons of games over the years, the same as NES, for both consoles.
Long story short, I moved through the ranks of every major console. I chose PS1 over the Saturn (I own one now, however), I got an N64, Dreamcast, and everything in between leading up to the Wii U. I have every major console or handheld released in the US and played thousands of hours on an original Gameboy playing such titles as Tetris, Quarth, Gremlins 2, and other such obscure titles as well. But the time that got me into gaming was that time between NES and SNES.
So here we are, 26 years after playing my first video game, and I still love it. I currently own 2,614 video games spanning countless systems. I own an Atari 2600 (2 of them), Atari 2600 jr, NES (top loader and 2 front loaders), SNES, Sega Genesis gen 1 (with Sega CD gen2 and Sega 32x), Gameboy (and a Gameboy pocket), GBA SP (NES style), Mario Kart edition Nintendo DS, DS Lite (2 of them, one black and one Zelda gold edition), 3DS, Turbo Grafx-16, N64, PS1 (original and a PS One with monitor), PS2 (last fat model made), Sega Saturn, Sega Master System, Atari Jaguar, Gamecube, Xbox, Wii, Xbox 360 (2 of them one non-HDMI white and one halo 3 special edition), Virtual Boy, PS3, PSP slim, and a Sega Dreamcast. I might be leaving some out but I think that's it.
So to say I am serious about video games is quite an accurate description. With the dawn of digital gaming, I am sadly losing interest in the next generation of video games. I will always have my games to play, however, as my backlog is over 1000 of these games. If 26 years later I am still into gaming, it's pretty obvious I will remain so, whether it's with new games or simply playing all my old games. Either way, gaming is who I am.
I can't say what the future of gaming truly holds and if I will embrace the digital age of gaming for sure, but I am definitely not as in love with the games of today as I was when I was a child. With having to work 35-40 hrs a week, spending time with family, friends, or my fiance, and the fact that many of my friends aren't as into gaming as me and never really was, there's not nearly enough time to play games as I would have liked. I do try my best to game at least 1-2hrs a day if I am lucky but such is life. While my gaming addiction may have started with the NES, it will not end until the day i die and that is a truth that you can bet on when it comes to me. Here's some fun stuff I drew a few years back, for some classes in college, thus further showing my love for games. Here's some Atari characters (and its 3ft by 4 ft in size), 3 megaman drawn with alternating mediums (based on a pic I found online but hand drawn not traced), and a close up of Chris Redfields alt attire from the RE1 remake)