A lot of people enjoy playing video games, but only so many consider themselves “gamers”. Regardless of whether or not one would consider themselves a gamer, people tend to know what kinds of video games they like to play and what genre they prefer to be associated with. A lot of this personal knowledge comes from personal experience, and it usually roots back to the first video games they’ve ever played. Strangely enough though, I know tons of people that do not recall the first video game that they ever played was. Which begs the question: Does Your First Video Game Matter?
If you read my introduction to the blog that I posted about a little over a week ago, you may recall me saying that the first video game I ever played was Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island for the Super Nintendo, and that to this day, it remains one of my favorite video games of all time. Some may claim that my opinion is heavily influenced by nostalgia. Though that may be true, I can usually back up why I think it’s such an important game, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that it was not only the first video game I ever played, but it was also the first video game I ever beat. I was around five-years-old and it was 1997; some of my friends at the time and I were trying to see the game through to the end. We managed to make it to the final boss battle, but none of us were able to successfully defeat it. One morning, after breakfast, I decided to give it another shot. This time, I was playing all by myself. It was a glorious moment when I finally thwarted the final boss. It was the first time I felt like I legitimately accomplished something. Even though I did not know what this feeling was, (I was five, after all), I knew that I liked having this feeling. I sought to experience the positivity again in other games. Henceforth, I started collecting and playing games. In a way, finishing Yoshi’s Island got me into the hobby of playing and collecting video games. I feel that I owe it to the game. So, at least for me, I do feel that the first video game you ever play does matter. But does this apply to everyone?
A personal friend of mine who also writes for the blog, Myst, mentioned to me that the first video game she ever played was Super Mario Kart, also available on the Super Nintendo. In my opinion, it is a very fun multiplayer game and she concurs. Though Myst personally does not consider herself a gamer, she acknowledges that she enjoys playing video games from time to time. Whether her personal lifestyle and the frequency of playing video games has any relation to Super Mario Kart being her first video game is up in the air. Though, one thing is for sure: Both that game and Yoshi’s Island are highly acclaimed titles for the Super Nintendo and are very assessable to players of all ages. Though video games serve the typical purpose of bringing enjoyment to its players, they also serve the hidden purpose of acting as a sort of gateway into the media form. People continue to play video games because they enjoy it, and they enjoy it because the first video games they’ve played were enjoyable. Whether or not your first video game matters is certainly up to the one being questioned, but if you ask me, the game needs to be fun and assessable. It needs to be a “good” game; something that we can clearly associate with the word “good”, despite the fact that we are unable to explain or sometimes even comprehend “why” we would consider them good. That’s the beauty about video games: We play them and enjoy them, but it takes a lot more to understand them. And at the end of the day, if video games are a thing you like to explore, learn about, sometimes going back to the roots of your initial experience with them is what keeps us asking.
What were your first video games? Do you think they lift an impact on your habits?