Ahh, video games! The love of my life for as long as I can remember. Early memories of my childhood include staying up late with my N64 and begging for the newest Mario and Zelda games. I'm a mid-90's kid, so my collection of older games is a little less broad as most. However, my older sisters were at least somewhat interested in gaming, so I owned my precious, precious SNES. I would play games till my little kid hands sweat, and boy did I enjoy every second of it.
Although I'm not really sure HOW I got most of my game systems, I know exactly what I loved about them. My earliest of memories include playing Super Mario World like a 5-year old boss, playing OoT and thinking I was about to beat it when I got the third spiritual stone, and ticking my sister off after getting the wrong star when she collected 100 coins on a level in Super Mario 64. My childhood was full of games, and my childhood helped me become such a smart person. I'm only 15, but i think that video games helped my development as a child. Games like Paper Mario, Zelda, and Animal Crossing help me develop reading, people, and vocabulary skills.
With my introduction to the gamecube in my child-to-teenager transition age, games started to become a lot more complex. Gone were the collect-a-thon days of my N64 filled youth, in were the stunning visuals, increased focus on storytelling, and a new controller to learn. I learned that as video games got more mature, so did I. Themes like death, horror, and sex were all things that I eventually learned though video games.
As me and my friends got older, I was always "the great one." i would humble them in every game in our collections, wether it be at Smash Brothers, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Street Fighter, Tetris, Pokemon. I bested them at everything, always humbling them, showing them that if you put enough hours into video games in general, you then have a knack for all of them. While I almost nearly destroyed my friends, I always boasted, making my friends try harder and harder every time. And in recent years, I have found that I'm just not as good as I once was.
I was never really great at one type of genre, I loved EVERY type, and played all of them. From RPGs to platformers, I beat them all. I would play them all the time, didn't matter to me. If you gave me a controller, I would play it, probably beat it too, (the only exception I can think of is Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, because that game was just stupid cheap.)
That brings me to my point. As I entered my teen years, I think that video games in general took the backseat in my life. From ages 11-13 I was obsessed with the online game Runescape, spending most of my days after school doing homework and doing quests. I was obsessed with the atmosphere, themes, and social aspects of Runescape. My friends played, and I even joined clans. I was on and off for a year or so, and cut the cord just as recently as July of last year. There are still times where I've been bored out of my wits at home, and long for the days where I would long for the PK-ing (which is slang for player-killing) and doing quests with friends from school. Around that time, I hardly touched my consoles, and all I thought I needed was $5 a month, a computer, and internet.
Around a year ago, my friends started to quit and I generally just lost interest. I wasn't very good at Runecape, I didn't have much money in Runescape, and I had no friends in Runescape, it was dumb too. By that time, I found sites like Destructoid and Screwattack, and these sites constantly talked about retro-games. That got me thinking that I actually owned those games, so I started to play them more and more. However, they seemed increasingly more difficult then of when I was a kid, so I just kept playing.
Nowadays I play my Xbox360 till my hands cramp. Playing Call of Duty with my friends from school. I think I'm decent, but I am CONSTANTLY humbled by everybody online. My days of showing my friends whats-up was gone, I learned that there are people better than me, A LOT better than me. This showed me that video games weren't always about winning, however enjoying the game for the happiness that it brings you.