I apologise for the obscurity of this particular thread, it’s already been a long week and I’m already feeling explicitly groggy. What follows will likely have no substantial relevance nor any decisive resolution, but is something that has become somewhat of a troubling curiosity. So let me begin with a question; do any of you remember the first time you experienced a computer game? I’d personally relish the opportunity to regale you with a sentimental anecdote about inheriting the families NES, being presented with my first games cartridge or narrate the time I was baptised in the accumulated tears of my father, shed through disappointment at trying to complete “Echo The Dolphin”. But with all honesty I don’t remember. I can recall brief images and vaguely distinctive periods of interacting with a game in my formative years, but nothing solitary that can be specifically defined as my first.
Some incipient dementia or perhaps good old senility has likely diminished my nostalgia leaden experiences. If you are in your early 20’s or younger, particularly if you regard Pokémon Diamond and Pearl to be “retro”, then relating back to your first gaming experience may be easier to perceive. But for me, a man in his 30’s, with a number of late nights and copious amounts of alcohol consumed in the interim it’s a far more difficult moment to recollect. It is however evident from my parents favourable affinity for gaming that my exposure would have occurred from a very young age, with a very limited capacity to fully understand what I was watching. Exactly what games console it was is in itself hard to clarify?
The NES is the most likely candidate, certainly the more prevalent console that I recall. But it could just as likely be the SEGA Megadrive too, as this would have been available at a time when I was more self-aware. Memories of playing “TMNT II” “Super Mario” “Donkey Kong” and “Captain Bucky O Hare” are all clearly defined memories. But so to are playing “Sonic The Hedgehog” “Cap Attack” “Mickey Mouse And Donald Ducks Fantasy Of Illusion” and “Cool Spot”. It’s maddening not being able to recollect a moment of such significance. To attach a visual narrative to such a profoundly intimate influence of self discovery.
Perhaps there isn’t one singular moment , but rather a series of amalgamated experiences that form “that first moment”. It maybe that the pleasures of gaming presided through repeated collaboration as opposed to one isolated eureka point. Whatever the case is I find I’m afflicted by a deep vexing sorrow for the absence of such a hugely defining moment.