My Video Game Biography [quick list]

I love personal lists. I love to keep track of the books I read or the music I discover.

My gaming biography, though, is pretty depressing:

In 1992, when I was 9, my dad got me a Sega Mega Drive for Christmas (I wanted a Super Nintendo, but he changed his mind inside the store).

In 1994, I bought a second-hand Super Nintendo and in 1995, a second-hand Game Boy.

I never installed video games on my family’s computer. I never bought another platform/system after that.

In October of 1999, I bought the first Pokémon game, “Pokémon Blue”, the very weekend it was released. I completed the game in 37 – magical, exciting, happy – hours over that same weekend…

…and that was the last video game that I’ve ever completed (or extensively played).

I loved video game culture (still do) and gaming magazines – and I’ve read almost all of them from 1993 to 1995: Mega Fun, Video Games, Man!ac, Total!, Gamers, Megablast, Sega Pro, PlayTime.

I read just about everything there was to read about the 16-bit-era (plus: this is where my interest in critics and written reviews comes from).

But I was never a very passionate gamer.

For what it’s worth: Here’s my video game biography… ca. 1990 to present-day.

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Puzzles, Classics and Arcade Games:

Pong, Space Invaders, Snake, Solitaire, Sabotage, Tetris, Columns, Dr. Mario (1990), Mario & Yoshi (1992), Mario’s Picross (1995, but I only played it in 2002)…

…and, as recent, free browser games:

Blöcke verbinden (play it here)

Blowfish (play it here)

and Plants vs. Zombies (Demo, download it here)

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Games I completed:

Sonic the Hedgehog, 1991

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 1992

Super Mario Bros, 1985

Super Mario Bros 2, 1987

Super Mario World, 1990 [my favourite game.]

Super Mario Kart, 1992

Zelda 3, 1991

Zelda IV: Link’s Awakening, 1993

and also:

Sim City (SNES), 1991

Quackshot (Mega Drive), 1991

Street Fighter II (SNES), 1992

Thunder Force IV (Mega Drive), 1992

Lemmings, (Mega Drive), 1992

Tiny Toon Adventures (Mega Drive), 1993

Rock N Roll Racing, (SNES), 1993

Star Trek: The Next Generation (GB), 1993

Aladdin (Mega Drive), 1993

Aladdin (SNES), 1994

Cool Spot (Mega Drive), 1994

Animaniacs (SNES), 1994

Shadowrun (SNES), 1994

Donkey Kong Country (SNES), 1994

Pokémon: Blue (GB), 1999

.

additional games that I started, but never owned or finished:

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, 1988), Mystic Quest (GB, 1991), Super Mario Land 2 (GB, 1992), Monkey Island (PC, 1990), Fantasia (Mega Drive, 1991), Legend of Mystical Ninja (SNES, 1991), F-Zero (SNES, 1992), Kirby (NES, 1993),  Day of the Tentacle (PC, 1993), Mortal Kombat (SNES, 1993), Secret of Mana (1993), Puggsy (Mega Drive, 1994), The Lion King (SNES, 1994), Super Mario 64 (1996), Zelda 64 (1998), Banjo-Kazooie (N64, 1998), Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2, 2000)

.

games I WANT to play someday:

Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid II, The Sims, Scribblenauts, Super Mario Galaxy… and a good, recent Sonic platform game… if something like that exists.

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and one last thing: Here’s a free, extremely well-designed Mario browser game I can recommend:

Super Mario 63.

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8 comments

  1. Have you read the Final Fantasy VII letter series by Leigh Alexander and Kirk Hamilton?
    Hamilton and Alexander are among my favorite writers on games and they do a back and forth letter-thing about FFVII, coming of age, nostalgia and the weird effect of gaming culture as community.
    http://www.pastemagazine.com/tag/ffvii_letters

    Speaking of Hamilton: he’s an amazing writer and he wrote a wonderful piece on LA Noire for Kill Screen:
    http://killscreendaily.com/articles/reviews/review-l-noire

    And speaking of LA Noire:
    Tom Bissell, who’s an interesting writer to follow as well, has written a lengthy criticism of LA Noire and writing in videogames, which might be interesting for you as well:
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6625747/la-noire

    I think it’s a very, very exciting time for games criticism. The games haven’t necessarily gotten better (no good new Sonic game as far as I know) and the attempts at “serious” storytelling have often been hamfisted at best, but the essays inspired by videogames are oftentimes insanely interesting.

  2. Ich glaube den Wunsch mit Final Fantasy und Metal Gear Solid könnte ich dir erfüllen. Wir hatten doch auf unserem ersten PC so ein Winterspiel (Olympia), hattest du das nicht gespielt?

    1. Das Winterspiel kenne ich nicht, nein: Eines dieser Spiele, wo man möglichst schnell die Space-Taste drücken muss, damit sich die Figur nach vorne bewegt?

      Aaaber, auf Papas erstem Laptop, und noch in guter Erinnerung (so Sommer / Herbst 1997): Ein 3D-Autorennspiel (bei dem man auch Quads, Roadster, Buggies fahren konnte)… und in dessen Level-Editor man eigene Strecken entwarf? Mit Rampen, Schanzen, Loopings (?) usw.? DAS hat Spaß gemacht!🙂

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