For this week's guest blogger we have Kali, full time SEO Queen, gamer and mother to a Miniature Dachshund called Frankfurter, writing about her life with gaming.
I have been exposed to games of all genres and abilities throughout my life especially when I was younger. I’ll show you how it all began and where I’m at today with my gaming interests.
Coming from a rather poor upbringing we weren’t able to play many video games in our younger years. My parents were able to buy a desktop computer that used dial up internet, which had to be turned off after 8pm. Being the rebellious child I was I became addicted to a very old PowerPuff Girls game on the Cartoon Network website that caused a temporary ban on using the computer.
Time passed and the very first Xbox console came out – something my dad had secretly pre-ordered for us. The day before its official release it was at our door and my brother and I were ecstatic to finally try out a game on the latest console of its time.
The Xbox was our salvation, our gateway to new worlds and experiences. It was our version of a portal and we were open to being so immersed into everything that was thrown at us. One game I remember vividly (one I also have on my current console) was Blinx The Time Sweeper. Even when I play it back now I forgot how difficult certain elements of the game were, but it was probably one of the first games I grew to genuinely enjoy, and I wanted more.
It took us some time until we were able to have a GameBoy Advance. My parents got me and my brother a console each and we mostly used them when we went on holiday in our caravan. We had the classics mixed with the standard platformers but this was also the era of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. This was my first LoZ game and I became invested in the story and the characters from the get go; this was also the era where if you bought a second-hand game you tend to find the previous users’ game save on there as well – a win?
I was then able to save up enough money to buy my own console which was the Nintendo DS – at the time I played Super Mario 64 DS and Mario Kart DS, as well as Pokémon, Cooking Mama, Professor Layton and Kirbygames.
I had a lot of consoles and interactions with other consoles during that time, with many games I dipped in and out of, but the Xbox 360 was the one that gave me the most memories. The Elder Scrolls V: Oblivion, my favourite of the Elder Scrolls games, came out when I was 12 and I became engrossed in this new world which, for its time, had some of the greatest graphics. It took over about 2 years of my life until Fallout 3 came out.
My brother initially got this game, and it took me a little while until I got into it; he told me it was also a Bethesda game (the people behind Oblivion) so I gave it a go. I was hooked on this post-apocalyptic world where my personalised characters wandered the wastes finding where your Dad is. None of it related to my life, but it became the game I would play to get my mind off school and other problems at the time that I had to deal with.
For its time the world was so vast and yet so harsh – I was breaking new ground in my gaming life where scarier and more violent games became a part of my collection. I then wanted to see where this would go and began to play other games – Mass Effect, Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed – and then I began to appreciate the classics where reboots were made such as Bethesda’s and id’s reboot of DOOM in 2016.
That’s when I knew video games were a real interest of mine that I wanted to invest time in, but I also had a lot of things to do in school and other activities. To that end gaming became a planned reward for me – if I revised for an hour I would get half an hour to play a game. It was a way I’d use to control how much I played games versus my important school work, and when it was all over it paid off!
Fast forward to modern day and we own multiple consoles in our home, with different game drawers for each platform. The newest edition is the Nintendo Switch, which has been the greatest purchase I’ve made in recent years, and become one of my most used systems. Fallout is still my favourite game of all time and I have time to dip into some classic games as well with the NES mini now taking centre stage in our home.
My favourite games are usually open world or role-play games, but I also love sandbox type games like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing. In between console-based games I also dabble with board games – especially Dungeons and Dragons as of late. I love that there are now board game/gaming cafes that are popping up attracting new and old players to all array of games.
Either way, a new and exciting game is always welcome in my world and one of my goals for this year is to look at buying games from indie developers. Do you have any games that you recommend? I’d love to hear them!