We Play Games – New Console Memories

We Play Games

shaunShaun: People say gaming is expensive now, which it is, but back in the day it wasn’t exactly cheap. This always had that little extra silver lining of making it extra special to get something new to play though.

There used to be a little independent video game store just around the corner from where I live. It had been there for as long as I could remember, and every time I could afford to I would go and rent something for the weekend. Sometimes even I would have saved enough money to rent a console. but having to take it back on the monday was always a depressing experience.

One of these weekends I rented a Nintendo 64. This was way back in the day and little Shaun mind had been blown by Shadows of the Empire; who couldn’t play that Hoth speeder level and not be amazed at the time. It was the only game I could afford to rent with the console, so I had spent all weekend playing levels out of order on the save file of whoever had had the game before me. Then came the Monday and time to take it all back, but as I packed everything away back in the box my parents decided to tell me that they had spoken with the people at the store and bought the console for me.

Just the console mind, they couldn’t afford the game as well, though when I had saved enough money to buy one there was only one choice – finally playing my own copy of Shadows with a brand new save file.

It may not have been a new console but it was my new console, and is still one of my fondest memories.

weplaygames_kirstenKirsten: On my birthday, at the end of November in 2005, I moved into a new home. I had lived in a tiny flat for ten years and now here I was in a spacious, sunny, two bedroom home. Along with all the boxes of books and bin bags full of my clothes sat an unopened XBox 360. I was one of the lucky few to have the console a couple of weeks before launch because of my job. I entered my thirties, slid up the hall of my new home in my socks on my new laminate floor, and dived into the next generation of gaming all in one day.

Gaming and my whole life in general became bigger, shinier, more complex, with more connections and communication than I had ever experienced before. I bought my first HD telly. I had space for the first time for shelves of collections of books, magazines and toys. My son stopped being a toddler; every conversation was now two-way. Gaming now allowed me to build a whole community of friends. I met a guy on Xbox Live and he came to live with me and we got married. Inspired by our network of Xbox Live friends Ready Up was created and now I’m writing this here on Ready Up and you’re reading it. That day in 2005 changed everything in my life. No console purchase before or since could ever come close to meaning as much to me. ‘Cept that time the Dali Llama sold me his Dreamcast.

scottScott: I was introduced to gaming when I was only three years old. By this point, in early 1990, we were reaching the tail-end of the life-cycle for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but that didn’t stop me being blow away when I first saw Super Mario Bros. running on a demo unit in our local Dixons. To my young mind, the colourful planes of the Mushroom Kingdom represented infinite possibilities, and I was a convert for life.

From that day on, I pestered my parents to go into that shop every time we were in town. Eventually, my parents figured that I wasn’t going to stop, and so I was lucky enough to receive a NES and a Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt combo-cart for my third Christmas that year. That system formed the basis of my gaming sensibilities, with fantastic (though often difficult) titles like Super Mario Bros. 3, Digger T. Rock and “Shadow Warriors” (Ninja Gaiden) leaving a heavy impression on me.

And here’s a follow-up tale: 20-something years later, that Dixons became a GameStation (and now a GAME), and that same Nintendo M82 demo unit was found in the back of the shop and then put on display. Sadly, it was sold shortly after (for far too little; those things can command £500+ to the right buyer), and not to me. Doh!








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