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My Journey Into Games

 Hi, Sutmae, I’m Leah! I’m here to talk about my journey into games.

A lot of my earliest gaming memories involve both my parents. Playing on my dad’s Master System trying to get the slightly faulty console we had to boot up Alex The Kidd (which didn’t always load even though it was pre-installed) and later on in front of the TV in the living room with my mum shouting encouragement at me to collect all the gems in Spyro! Being from Porthcawl, which is a small seaside town in Wales, allowed for most weekends and school holidays to be spent in the many Arcades at Coney Beach (which now reminds me of The Warriors, which if you haven’t seen you definitely need to check it out!).

Aside from Arcade games such as House of The Dead, I was very lucky to be introduced to video games from a very young age, and a lot of my childhood was spent in front of a screen – both hand-held and console based. Parts of my childhood were tough (my best friend passed away at aged six and I spent a lot of time being bullied) so video games became a great form of escapism for me. Playing Pokémon gave me a sense of closeness with my best friend and playing games like Spyro with my mum let me have that valuable time to just be a child and forget what else was going on at the time.

I was also very lucky to have parents that supported my gaming habits. I remember receiving my first Gameboy Colour which my mum saved up for weekly until Christmas as we didn’t have a lot of money at the time. Then a couple of years later I was gifted my Gameboy SP which meant I could finally play games in the dark thanks to its backlight! The last hand-held that I was given by my mum was a DS which she bought for me and my brother whilst out on a day trip down West Wales.

My brother and I spent a lot of time playing the PS2 together, with the Eyetoy games being some of our favourites. However, my fondest memory has to be opening up Guitar Hero 3 on Christmas morning in 2007 and spending the rest of the day after our meal playing it with my brother. We attempted to take it in turns but mostly it ended up with me hogging the guitar and hoping he wouldn’t notice.

Fast forward a few years, I was still playing my PS2 but had moved on from Crash Bandicoot and Spyro and had developed a love for the psychological horror of Silent Hill 2. I spent many a night awake because I couldn’t sleep from playing the game! Although I don’t think it helped that my bedroom was in the garage and all you could hear at night was the howling of the wind in the massive trees that dominated our back garden. The story and how it developed was phenomenal and the ending I achieved has stayed with me for years. I still find myself returning to that foggy town from time to time.

I met my first boyfriend at 15 who introduced me to Fallout 3 on the Xbox 360. I ended up playing over 1,000 hours on one play-through and found myself constantly going back to the game to find secrets, quests and chance encounters I had missed over the following years. I played pretty much this game exclusively until I landed a job in GAME at age 18. I had just started University and had some spare money for the first time, so I took the opportunity to catch up on games that I had missed during my Fallout Haze, including BioShock 1 & 2 which are now some of my firm favourites.

Eventually, I took the plunge and invested in a PS4 and I was also lucky enough to receive an Xbox One as part of the Student Ambassador programme that Microsoft was trailing at the time. A standout game for me at the time was Sunset Overdrive. I loved the artwork, sense of style, as well as the gameplay. The game was really fun without taking itself too seriously and very different from previous games I’d played. Of course, we can’t forget the phenomenal The Last of Us either! This was one of the first games I purchased for my PS4 along with Infamous Second Son. I really enjoyed both games for very different reasons, Last of Us had an incredible storyline and I’ve always had a love for anything Zombie related since I was small.

Not a lot has changed for me except I now have a Switch and I plan on saving up for a PC soon. I still use gaming as an outlet for me, often coming home after a stressful day at work and allowing myself to get lost inside a gaming universe of my choice.

Thank you for reading this far, I will leave you with these important questions; what is your favourite game and what is a game that has shaped you as a person and why? This can be a video game, or board game, either way, I would love to hear from you either in the comments below or over on my twitter @Leahlemoncakes !



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