For me, gaming became a major part of my life when my babysitter’s son let us play on his Atari 2600. He had well over 100 games and since she babysat for a living, there was always someone to play with. Combat, the pack-in, was amongst my favorite games. I wanted to shoot everyone else’s plane down. Then there was Pitfall with its alligator mouths to fall into. Demon Attack presented wave after wave of weird aliens trying to shoot me. And Megamania presented enemies in ways I had never seen before. It was a land of sound and motion and competition.
A little while later he received an NES and I saw Super Mario Brothers for the first time. It was magical. the graphics blew Atari out of the water and with each new game he got I was more entranced. Standouts from that time were Mike Tyson’ Punchout, Metroid, and Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest. Man those games were fun.
Finally my father bought my brother and I our own NES. We got us the Power Set which included the Nintendo Power Pad.
Once we had our own system I never looked back.
Today I own the following:
Atari 2600 (including my babysitter’s son’s game collection, had to replace the original console I had)
2 NESs with a Power Pad, Four Play, Zapper, and aftermarket equivalent of the NES Advantage
Super Nintendo (Won at an Applebee’s)
Sega Genesis (original from childhood)
Sega CD (original from childhood)
3 Sony Playstations
2 Microsoft Xboxs and a working Steel Battalion Controller
Nintendo Game Cube
I will always self identify as a gamer. No one will take my identity away from me.