If you consider yourself a gamer, chances are you grew up as one as well. And you probably have a lot of fond memories of the games you played as a child. If you are anything like me, you even consider some of the games you played to be a major influence on who you’ve become.
Anyway, your childhood was the one phase of your life when every single one of your friends played video games too. They were good times, I know. And there are probably some things more than others that you remember from this time. Here are some things you probably remember if you grew up as a gamer.
1. ROM cartridges
There is no way anybody, gamer or not, who grew up in the 80s or 90s can’t remember these babies. What you, a gamer, should remember is that you probably had a whole box of these. Some of these claimed to carry 9999 games in them, and regardless of the fact that they unfortunately never actually did, you spent hours playing all the games that they did carry.
Super Mario, Ninja Turtles, Duck Hunt, and Mortal Kombat were some of the best games you ever played. If you’re an avid gamer like me, chances are you still have a few of these lying around somewhere in your old bedroom!
2. The Game Boy
Admit it. This was once your most prized possession. Every gamer owned a Game Boy in the early 90s and, coincidentally, this is also probably when gaming became a full-time thing for you.
You took it everywhere — to school, to church, to the mall, and many times this got you in trouble. Ah, memories! The first Game Boy was an 8-bit handheld video game device developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was a part of the 4th generation of video game consoles. You probably owned a few more of the successors, including the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance.
Whoa! It’s been 22 years since the first Doom came out and how could I fail to include this monster on the list. Doom, in many ways, revolutionized video games. Every gamer played this game growing up and it was the best thing ever.
In the 80s, video games were primarily targeted at kids, but as these kids grew older in the 90s, they were still playing games. Doom, when it came out, particularly targeted this audience. Finally, video games weren’t just a kid thing. So we owe more to Doom than we give credit for. Who’s stoked about the latest instalment coming out this year?
4. Prince of Persia
Another thing every gamer remembers is playing Prince of Persia in the 90s. Originally released for the Apple II in 1989, it was soon ported to most consoles and to the PC in the early 90s — and then virtually every computer had this game.
It was my first PC gaming experience and I still remember playing this for hours on my dad’s old computer. Since then, the game has obtained legendary status, spawning a franchise of movies, 3D games, and more.
5. Brick games
Who hasn’t played these at least once in their lives? This was the mobile game of the 80s. Kids spent as much time on this back then as they do now on their mobile phones. And some consoles held 100 different brick games in one, the most popular of them being (of course) Tetris.
Personally, I’ve owned a Game Boy since I was 5, but I stumbled across my older brother’s (another gamer) old hand-held brick game once and remember being hooked on it for a while. It’s a thing every gamer, regardless of what generation they belong to, remembers.
6. “Don’t put on too many games or you’ll break the computer.”
Oh, the endless quarrels you’ve had with your parents over using the computer for games. That’s something today’s kids will never understand. Computers were actually a lot more expensive back then. They were also a lot more prone to failure than they are now.
Every gamer my age can remember at least a few arguments they’ve had with their parents concerning games and the home computer. Sometimes, I even think I take what I have now for granted. Boy, the younger me would love to own his own PC and put all the games he wanted on it.
7. Games on a floppy drive
Anyone else remember carrying tons of games on a 1.44 MB floppy drive? You tell this to any modern kid gamer and he’ll laugh his pants off. But we old-schoolers do remember this. This was one of those experiences only the most avid amongst us had.
Not everyone used floppy drives to carry around games. But boy oh boy, did we love one with “Games” written on the label. I carried a lot of games on these back in the day. Mind you, this was back in simpler times when games didn’t really require the complicated installation processes they do today.
8. Multiplayer gaming with one keyboard
This is another classic experience that only old-school gamers will remember: multiplayer gaming on a single computer. We’d split halves of the keyboard for controls. One would choose the arrow keys and the other would go with WASD.
Depending on the game being played, the screen might also be split. We’d wreak havoc on our halves of the keyboard trying to beat the opponent. Not too many people remember this, and it’s hard for some gamers to remember when you have the best gaming keyboards that you can have for yourself these days. But the most avid amongst us have definitely had the experience — and boy was it incredibly fun!
9. LAN Parties
LAN parties do still exist, but only gamers remember having these back in the 90s or 2000s. Most multiplayer gaming these days occurs though servers and, in a way, this has made the whole experience a lot more convenient. There’s still nothing quite like carrying your computer to your friend’s house, sitting it next to their computer, connecting them with LAN cables, and battling it out. This was mostly before the Internet took over, but it still makes for a lot of fond memories.
10. Faulty CDs/DVDs
Oh, these were the arch nemesis of all gamers of my generation growing up: faulty CDs/DVDs. Be it in your PC or your console, you’ve had a few bad experiences with a faulty disk. I once kicked my PlayStation 2 — that must be my worst experience associated with crappy CDs.
I’ve snapped a lot of these faulty CDs/DVDs in my day too. Luckily, they’ve gotten a lot better these days, and most games offer a digital download option. So, we can safely say that the days of faulty CDs/DVDs are behind us. But nevertheless, it’s an experience every gamer has had growing up and something they will never forget.
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