What Shaped You As A Gamer?

  • I was talking with a friend from school the other day about gaming preferences and he said something interesting about his preferences with games. He told me that he tends to like games where the characters are bound more out of duty or a shared objective then out of liking each other and then grow to be friends. He gave examples like the Shin Megami Tensei Series and the Uncharted Series. This is due to how he grew up and formed friendships with the people he's closest to now. He was a member of student council all throughout high school, and most of the members hated each other initially, but once they all realized that they shared the common goal of improving their school, they started to work together and eventually became friends. He said that relationships like that just seemed more realistic to him then people automatically liking eachother or working together. In real life, before people get to know each other, the butt heads and fight, but once they realize that they have something in common, they're able to move forward together.

    That got me to thinking about my own gaming preferences and habits, and how they may have formed.

    My question is, do you know why you like the games that you do? What do you look for in games, and why?

    An example of how I would break this down is:

    My Tastes and the Reasons Why I Have Them:

    Single Player Games: I grew up playing games by myself since I didn't have many friends who were in to games, and whenever I would play multiplayer with them I would just beat them miserably which is no fun.
    Handheld Games: Only one TV in my house growing up and gaming was the lowest priority. The only way to play games was to play them on a handheld.
    Games with Good Art Direction/Style: Before I considered myself a gamer, I was an artist. As I grew up people always praised me for making things "pretty" and I came to understand something being pretty as being good. I've learned not to be so hung up on outward appearance when it comes to people and such, but how aesthetically pleasing something is generally determines my opinions of it. Buildings, cars, food, book covers, aesthetics is very important to me in almost every area of my life, so with games it should be no different.
    Music that Sounds Modern: I sang in choirs and musical theater for like 10 years and all I ever heard during practice was classical orchestrated music. That's fine for competitions or concerts, but for solos I always preferred jazzy or upbeat songs. This is a bit narcissistic but one of the key factors that determines my enjoyment of a song is whether or not I think I could sing it or dance to it myself, so orchestrated tunes meant only to set the mood of an area or event don't do much for me. I always find myself more invested in the world through music that I enjoy or want to perform.
    Games That Rely on Strategy Over Reflexes/Aim: I can't aim to save my life. You could give me a gun in game that would hit anything within a 30 foot radius and I would still miss my target. Beyond that my hands just have terrible response times. If you handed me a rhythm game I would hit the buttons approximately 3 seconds after I was supposed to every time. If a game is slower paced and relies primarily on your ability to create strategies or adapt to new circumstances but not in real time, I'll have a much better time playing.

  • I'm forever inquisitive about peoples habits when it comes to the games they like, play and buy. My first major series I got into was Dizzy; a series which had you investigating the area and figuring out where things went. This went on to the point & click adventure genre and just about every type of detective/crime game that came out. It was also shaped by countless Proiot, Taggart and Miss Marple episodes I used to watch.

  • I got into gaming at a young age due to staying in my cousin's houses a lot growing up. They were usually a couple years older than me so there was a super Nintendo lying around that I play super Mario all stars on, a Nintendo 64 where I played Mario 64 and a ps1 where I learned to have a love of crash bandicoot and Spyro the dragon. I was generally into platformers, I loved getting lost in those worlds.

    I still love those games today but I remember distinctly as a kid hating turn-based games. I never understood why anyone would like playing a game through a menu, so I always skipped games like Final Fantasy and Pokemon (Diamond and Pearl were my first). I got into RPG's around 2006/7 it was when I was becoming full weeb and started getting into games like Persona 3(I think P3 was my first ever turn-based RPG I fell in love with, that music, emo protag, and dating sim life <3) Disgaea, Final Fantasy, Pokemon and so on. Nowadays I'm tending to lean towards niche RPG's and just generally weird indie games. Also hugely into stealth games, with Dishonored being one of my favorite series' now.

  • Easily accessible, not excessively violent, clean art style, high production values, strong focus on gameplay. These factors drew me to Nintendo, genres like 3D platformers and arcade racers, and series like Halo and The Elder Scrolls like a supermagnet.

  • Games have always been there when no one or nothing was for a very long time, so I've always depended upon them to pass the time, to pick me up, and to get lost in. For my tastes, I prefer single player over anything else because I outright don't like multiplayer in general and with few friends, co-op is not really appealing to me. Platformers, shooters, and RPGs stick out to me for being diverse styles of play, but also having the capacity to provide unique challenges and story delivery. Spyro, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Super Mario Bros., and Pokemon were my first games and those styles, albeit in different and evolved ways, are the cornerstones to my foundation in determining if a game is appealing.

  • Well the first gaming present I got as a kid was a Gamecube with Super Mario Sunshine, which I had seen my friends playing and wanted. However by chance the Gamecube SKU my parents picked out came with the Zelda Collector's Edition disc: The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and three different 20 minute demos for the Wind Waker.

    I definitely played Sunshine, but I remember Ocarina much more strongly and Zelda quickly became my favorite series after my friend told me where to find the Kokiri Sword.

    I still haven't finished Zelda 1 or 2 and I care exactly as little about 2D Zelda games and 2D gaming in general today as I did then.

    I also don't care that much about graphics unless they're gaudy like some games can be. Like, as long as you're trying to create levels to an earnest extent like Ocarina did, then your game is beautiful to me. I don't mind the way PS3 games look at all, and with enough attention to detail some 5th gen games still look great. The bad faces meme always seemed really cynical and stupid to me, not every AAA game needs to spend its financial, development, and processing power resources on human facial animation. Not every game is about self-important little human beings.

  • For myself its all about fantasy and role playing. When i was younger, and maybe it was because i was left alone a lot I always acted out fantasy's or imagined them in my head. I remember really liking the choose your own adventure books. That's honestly probably my first introduction to the idea of playing an interactive role. Video games back then were a lot of 2d or platforming games which did nothing for me. I played them, and enjoyed them for what they were.

    Eventually i would start to find games like point and click adventure. I remember Rise of the Dragon for Sega. In my mind i became the detective. The game came to life for me. As it did for other games like that. Eventually i remember playing a game called Angel Devoid. It was almost like face off but cyber punk lol. Walking around the city, trying to figure things out, talking with people and solving puzzles. For whatever reason, and when i look back, i have no clue how these two linked together but I saw a commercial for Final Fantasy VII. It made me think it was just like Angel Devoid because of the CG and Cyber Punk aesthetic. The games were nothing alike lol, but it didnt matter. for the first time i was transported into an amazing open world. I didnt play JRPG's before... the game came to life. The characters and the world were so amazing to me and i felt like i was in a real living world. I know it sounds crazy to look back at now but that was me back then. I would let my imagination take over and the games really filled my sense of adventure. I was able to live another life.

    All this being said makes me wonder if this what i miss about games today. Im no longer that person trying to run away into these worlds. Its definitely shaped me, and I love role playing games. I love being able to be the character and experience the world they're in. But my imagination isn't what it once was. I also don't have countless hours like i did when i was younger to play these games. Maybe their not the best games to be playing given my life now, but they will always be the games i want to play lol.

    There's so many games I skipped over but I wanted to keep it short.

  • Haha, the easy answer for me is divorce.

    My parents divorced when I was 3 and it really impacted what games I could play when. My mom and dad individually bought me a Gameboy, each with a copy of Pokemon Red/Blue, so I got very accustomed to playing handheld games! It also meant I had something just for me that I didn't have to share with my sister. My mom prefers the outdoors, so game consoles weren't big in our house. We had an NES and that was basically it until we convinced her to buy a PS2, a few years after it released, because it could play DVDs. Mario and Duckhunt and NES Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were probably the most played games in her house. I tried so hard to play The Adventure of Link, the only LoZ game we owned, but child me was terrible at it. I pinpoint that as the reason that the LoZ series never worked its way into my heart. We didn't have a PC until I was almost done with elementary school (so 1998-ish) and most of the games we had were freebies we got from cereal boxes and fast food restaurants. I played a lot of Clue. Beyond those we had a lot of The Sims games/expansions and I loved that series.

    At my dad's house though, they pretty much had every major console that wasn't an XBox. Atari 2600, NES-Gamecube, Sega Genesis, and PS1 and 2. We also had a PC that was capable of playing better games than my mom's. So every other weekend, and during the summer, I would just binge on games at my Dad's. Sometimes we would go out and rent a game from Blockbuster for the weekend, but usually I just had to pick from whatever they had available. That is how I ended up playing Kingdom Hearts, which I was convinced I would hate, and Animal Crossing, one of my favorite games of all time. We had a lot of Pokemon games, even Hey You Pikachu! I hated being at my dad's though, so games were really an escape for me. Animal Crossing became the perfect game because I was living out a happier, more positive life in that little town.

    When it comes to my tastes though, I was actually thinking about it the other day and I used to read a lot as a kid, it was probably a bigger escape for me than video games just because they were more accessible. Much like CGamor7, I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books though and I would make it a point to read to through every possible scenario. A lot of my favorite games today are ones with branching narratives that need multiple playthroughs to fully enjoy (Night in the Woods, Undertale, Oxenfree, Life is Strange, Until Dawn, ect;). I also like a lot of adventure games and tend to gravitate towards narrative heavy experiences. Visual Novels and Life/Dating Sims end up on my play list a lot as well. The life sims are probably largely in part to being a very introverted person, it gives me a way to test out social situations without the pressure and anxiety involved with actually talking to people. My current top tag suggestions on Steam are Exploration, Story Rich, Single Player, Atmospheric, and Survival but usually Female Lead is in there too... I think all the hours I put into Sunless Sea this past month bumped Survival onto the list.

  • Global Moderator

    So many great posts in this thread!

    Looking back I can see bits that shaped me but also how I change during the course of growing up.
    When I was young, as many others I spent a lot of time with my gameboy. Playing Pokemon and a bunch of other games.

    When being young I also prefered games which I could get lost in and disconnect from the outside world for a while, which lead to a lot of Final Fantasy being played. My dad had a super nintendo which me and my brothers spent time playing super mario all star and sim city on. Me and my younger brother even had what we called "the death level" in one of the mario games where we ran, jumped and just tried to die in the most creative and fun way.

    When growing up gaming was kinda frowned upon where I was living and people around me kinda treated it like it was just another fly that soon would go away. It was not often I could afford to buy games so I often had to play games I got for christmas or could pick up in a second hand store somewhere. Lucky for me, my stepdad was running a second hand store for a few years. This gave me a chance to play a whole bunch of PS1 games I otherwise would miss. Somehow he also decided to give me a PS2 which one day had come into the store. On this console I spent most of my time playing RPGs and racing games which was my biggest call. I never was a big fan of FPS games and I only had access to a terrible internet connection on my old PC.

    I guess mainly what had made me into a game was if it had good characters, good story and a world I could invest myself in. I often thought about games when I didnt play them and thought about "cool scenarios" that could happen. I guess anything to distract me from my normal boring life.

  • 6 years old, Well, I was always a weird, outcast kid with a vivid imagination. While other kids player more grounded games like catch, hide-and-seek and shop, or mommy-daddy-child, I was out in the woods pretending to fight off ... giant.... chibi tanks with my giant..... glowing garden hose. So obviously Nintendo drew me in, because I thought 'YEAH! These guys are just like me!!" whenever I climbed a mountain .... to become a spring in order to.... shoot myself from a star to a giant cake guarded by angry soap boxes. Or decided to venture inside a giant fish... to get a boomerang ... in order for someone to start an... interracial marriage with me... after giving me a sacred jewel ...

    Or just being able to turn into an alien basketball and blow up the entire roof.

    And I've never changed, and, fortunately, neither has Nintendo!

  • my first console was a PS1 and i used to play things like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the year i got it for Christmas.

    i got my N64 for the next Christmas a year later with games like Banjo-Tooie, Pokemon Stadium, Mario Kart 64 and Super Smash Bros for it. Super Smash Bros is probably the game that's shaped me as a gamer the most.

    I'm living proof that Smash is a fantastic marketing tool. Me and my brother used to love playing that game together doing things like beating the shit out of Pikachu in it. by playing Smash, not only was it a fun game that had some cool characters i recognised in it like Mario, Pikachu and Donkey Kong, but it also had Literally Who Characters in it that i had no idea who they were, characters like Samus, Like Link, Captain Falcon, Kirby and Ness were all characters that i had never even heard of before as an 8 year old. the curiousty of knowing who these characters were and what they were all about led to trying out games like Zelda: The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, and F-Zero GX etc. and that number of characters and games only grew as the series evolved.

    Smash has been a big influence in helping direct my interest towards games because of all the cool characters it advertise's.

  • Well that would be a complicated ever-evolving answer. Maybe I'll edit this one day to explain some of it. For now I'll just say the cop out answer of games themselves plus my very life shaped me as a gamer.