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My Evolution As A Gamer

Everyone's tastes change as they grow up, it's just a fact of life. Music, movies, clothes, friends, all change over time, and it seems video games are no exception.

I haven't been a "gamer" for very long, really. I played games on friend's playstations and my cousin's NES when I was little, but never got really into any of it. I'd much rather throw rocks at a frog or something.

Then I found Need for Speed III. I thought it looked neat, so I asked my dad to buy it for me, was told no, and saved up my allowance for 5 weeks to get it. I LOVED that game, played it constantly, and I then started playing every racing game I could get my hands on. Driver, other NFS games, NASCAR games, everything, I loved the feeling of going fast. I was like a miniature, game-playing Ricky Bobby. I was satisfied with this for a long time, until I played GTA: VC...

Now, game haters would love me, because I immediately fell in love with the virtual violence. I never acted out in real life, of course, but explosions and guns and violence of all sorts suddenly became a big interest. I watched more action movies, had pretend gunfights with my friends, and started buying shooters. I got my Xbox when I was 13, and started playing Halo, and fell in love with it. I played Halo 2 online nearly every day for a year, before moving on a bit to PC gaming.

I still love my violence, but lately I've been noticing it's not enough to keep me interested, I've got to have a REASON for the violence, and back stories and character development in particular interest me. It may just be because of my interest in psychology (my major), but I absolutely love analyzing the main character and any supporting characters, figuring out why they do what they do. Bioshock and Half Life 2 are exceptional for this kind of analysis - both are dark, twisted, but incredibly deep and feel very "alive" - whether it's the Little Sister/Big Daddy relationship or Alyx's drive to impress Eli. I've also recently started playing Mass Effect, which is another gold mine of backstory and character information, and is sure to keep me occupied for some time.

I don't know if there's any real point to this rambling, but I thought it was interesting looking back at the games I've played at various points in my life, and how they've changed as I've grown.

(For a brief timeline, the "racing" stage was from about 9 - 12, the "violence" from 13-16, and my recent story-driven infatuation started around the time I left for college at age 17.)


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