Gaming DNA

Hello!  My name is Jeremy, and this is my blog.

The things I enjoy the most are gaming, computers and learning stuff.  I have sort of a random-access way of interacting with reality.

Welcome to my Gaming History Description page!  Here, I’m going to describe my history as a gamer, because it’s an easy way to connect with those who have had similar experiences.

Chapter 1: The Ancient Past

My evolution as a gamer has mostly involved consoles.  Ever since my first awareness, I had an NES and an Atari 2600.  I remember playing plenty of Mario + Duck Hunt with my Dad.  He played a lot of Castlevania 3 and Operation: Wolf.  I could never figure out the latter, but CV3 is deeply rooted in my psyche because of Konami’s incredible composers.  The NES era certainly sparked my love of music, both as a vehicle for creative expression and a tool of thematic value.  Another title of notable musical impression is Blaster Master!

The first game I ever finished was Mario 2, and the day my parents brought home Mario 3 was a glorious celebration!  I played it to bloody death, but I was never able to finish it in that age.  I always stalled out on World 8 and the farthest I remember getting is about 75% through the spotlight-zone.

We also had Marble Madness, Destination Earthstar, Monopoly, Tetris (Nintendo-published).  No Megaman, Metroid or Kirby.   I don’t even remember beating another NES game except Captain Skyhawk.  However, my Mom definitely defeated StarTropics, which is a massive point of pride for me because that game is not easy, and not friendly.

I bet your Mom never beat a classic-difficulty NES game!

We have like 50+ Atari 2600 games and all sorts of paddles in a dusty old box somewhere.  It had its share of exploration, and provided some early-gaming background.  It was before my time, though.  😉

We also had an old IBM 286 machine, somehow.  MS-DOS, DOSSHELL, CompuServe and never even Windows.  That ugly little machine is what truly initiated my fascination with computer technology.  It allowed me to experience MS Flight Simulator, Commander Keen, Jill of the Jungle, Crystal Caves, Duke Nukem and an infinite gauntlet of computer errors to learn how to fix!

A was always interested in the computer, but it was never mine.  I spent immense amounts of time exploring any possible thing it was capable of.  Our first modern PC was some kind of Cyrix 80686 based machine – with a CD-ROM and Windows 3.11!

So yeah.  Regarding consoles, I subsisted on the NES (with a supplemental Game Gear) until Christmas of 1996.

The day our parents gifted us the Nintendo 64.

Chapter 2: Joining the Modern Times

Yes, my household somehow completely skipped over the SNES era.  We rented it a few times and I had a few chances to play Super Mario World, Star Fox, Mario Kart and Stunt Race FX.  I watched a friend play Final Fantasy 3/6 very briefly.  Also, many many visits to our other friends’ place for SEGA Genesis sessions!

Fortunately, I had ZSNES.  Sorry, but it happened!  I don’t even remember what was played on there.  It’s mostly a blur since having a thousand ROMs tends to diffuse attention.  There are stories here for another time.

1996.  I think that it was during this year that we signed up for cable internet.  So during that time, I started learning everything I could about gaming, since that’s what I was interested in the most.  I remember frequenting N64.com, which led me to asking for one.

Anyway, December 25th. 8AM.  Everything under the tree had already been opened, and my parents sneaked away to get the Final Super-Secret Present.  There must have been a lot of boxes, it’s impossible to remember in detail now.

The treasure was, of course, an N64!  With it came Pilotwings 64, Cruis’n USA, Wave Race 64, and of course Super Mario 64.  Also, a second controller.  Turning the console on for the first time, hearing that crisp coin-sound and Martinet’s historic & iconic “It’s-a-me, Mario!” was the most magical thing ever.  It all just blew me away and I was hooked – forever.

This is when I really started to enjoy gaming.  I collected all 120 Stars.  I attained Gold in all Wave Race 64 races, mastered Cruis’n USA.  Pilotwings was mostly my Dad’s game; he spent so many hours in the Hang Gliding missions with that peaceful music!  I think I did have Golds on most of the missions on my file, though.

When the initial set of games got old, we were treated to Mario Kart 64 and a couple 3rd-party controllers.  It was a blast!  Of course, it only snowballed from there.

AT the end of the N64 era, I had around 24 of the highest quality N64 games.  It was my pride and joy, mostly because of the epic multiplayer sessions that it allowed my home to host.  The games I remember playing the most are GoldenEye 007, Super Smash Bros, Perfect Dark, Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Kirby 64, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Mario Party, F-Zero X, Pokémon Stadium, Star Fox 64 and Ocarina of Time.  We also had Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, Command & Conquer, Eternal Darkness, Jet Force Gemini, Hybrid Heaven and others.  Rented games include Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, WCW vs NWO, Blast Corps, Bomberman 64 (and Hero), The New Tetris, Gauntlet Legends – and many others!

It’s hard to describe the sense of ‘flow’ that is felt while gaming in the optimal conditions.  The immersion factor, excitement and pure thrill of the moment is always so primal and fulfilling.

Tangent–

I think it’s important to point out that I see gaming as a medium for sharing creativity.  From the graphics, technical programming, sound design, music, inventive gameplay mechanics, scripting and even physical products and through to marketing – I appreciate and respect all of this as art.

Each element is undeniably an expression of someone’s creativity, and this concept is incredibly valuable to me.

It is obvious and noticeable when a game is truly imbued with the passion of its creators.  When a production combines a huge amount of love, it sings to the soul of the player.

–/Tangent–

There you have it, my foundational gaming experiences.  I’ll expand on this when I feel like it.  Because in the future from this time, we have the GameCube, Dreamcast and Rhythm Gaming era!  Very important.  I also gained access to a capable PC during that time period.

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