As a little kid, my family was not entirely rich, or at all even close to being rich. We lived in a community which was quite small, but we still had our friends. That being said, the first ever video game console we had was an NES, which I think only one game caught my eye on, and that was Metal Gear.
Anyways, then we bought a Sega Genesis, and I got hooked on Phantasy Star 4 which I had the opportunity to rent from the video store nearby. After that though, consoles didn't hold onto my attention span, so my family decided it was time to invest in a computer.
First computer we bought was a prebuilt Gateway machine, which was about on par with all the other computers you could buy in that day. Finding games like Rise of the Triad and Doom for me made the 1500$ purchase of the computer worthwhile. As time would go on, I simply did not remember any need to buy a console, although I did buy a Nintendo 64 for somewhat of the nostalgia aspect, but also for the fun of games like 007: Goldeneye which today is seen as a joke. Other than that, back in the day the computer and watching games develop and stuff like PC Gamer demo cd's kept me in the mix.
That's how I learned mainly where games were coming from and how the industry was moving. Also, my dad had a friend who had sold him a copy of Quake that was burnt onto a CD, which forever changed gaming to me. Diablo was also a time killer, but not as much as Quake was. Just playing Quake online with other people competitively gave me a whole new outlook on gaming, and look now, as it's what is the most popular trend in gaming ever.
When Quake started getting mods, the gaming scene to me was completely over for consoles. Not once did I see this immersiveness and online community until then, and it changed the way I seen gaming forever. After most of my Quake and Quake II online "career," I had a Dreamcast which Street Fighter Alpha 3 was consistently being played on. Always itching to improve my characters, it was a lot of fun, and Skies of Arcadia upped the bar a lot too.
Come down later when I'm building my own computer, Counter-Strike took up much of my time. There was something about being the last guy alive and having to take down a whole enemy team that was adrenaline junky stuff, and I was one of the few who could do it consistently. Needless to say, a lot of my life was clocked into Counter-Strike. One of the first day Counter-Strike players right here.
Well, I put down gaming for a bit, and joined the military. Built a new computer, even bought a Wii, Xbox 360, AND PS3 so I had it all. But still, my heart stays with computer gaming and the way that it continues to shape and evolve the entire gaming scene. Now, I'm just patiently awaiting the return of the greats, so that we can have stuff like Gamespy browser again and skip the online lobby matchmaking junk. We'll see...