Born in 1977, I’ve been playing videos games on and off since the mid-late 80’s. Living in the UK my first experience of this revolutionary new entertainment media was either playing Cruising On Broadway on a 16K ZX Spectrum given to my parents in 1986 by our next door neighbour, or playing a version of Galaxian on one of my primary school’s BBC Micros.
My interest in video games was developed through a six year period between 1987 and 1993 when I had a green screen Amstrad CPC 464 which I acquired a ton of, mostly budget, cassette based games for. Most influential of all was the monthly magazines Amstrad Action and A.C.E. (Advanced Computer Entertainment). At the end of my time with the Arnold AA magazine were expanding my library with incredibly high quality covermount givaways.
ACE magazine, and a high school friend, made me covert the Commodore Amiga which I finally acquired using College grant money in 1993. An Amiga A600 with (thanks to old friends) lots of, ah-em, pirated games and a fair few decent Public Domain disks (Amiga Assassins). The A600 was upgraded with a Hard Drive, replaced by an A1200 and connected to an early (Demon) Internet. At the same time my brother and I flirted with secondhand consoles (Master System, SNES, Game Gear, Binatone Pong, Tomy Driver).
In 1997 the big switch to the revolutionary Sony Playstation happened. My brother and I agreed to go halves on purchasing the seminal 3D home gaming system and…Tomb Raider! We soon discovered a world that included Final Fantasy VII, Soul Edge, Pandemonium, Tenchu, and Crash Bandicoot.
After the PS1 my interest in video gaming waned for a good half decade, although I did still purchase both the original Microsoft XBox and the XBox 360 on launch day. The first Halo, despite my general distaste for first person shooters, blew me away. I moved on to the Playstation 3 only because I could play an imported copy of Rock Band on the Sony console and not on the 360.
Really I just played rhythm games until the infamous PSN hack of 2011 which lead to a months subscription to PS Plus being given away. A subscription to PS Plus lead to playing the first Assassins Creed game and with that Batman: Arkham Asylum reignited my love for the medium. I soon got a second original XBox softmodded and rediscovered a lot of games from that era, like Hitman and True Crimes, that I missed out on the first time round.
I now concentrate on playing one modern game each month and am re-experiencing an idealised history of UK video gaming on a game a week basis.