Video Games: Why Do I Love You So?

I’ve been an avid gamer since I was old, and coordinated enough to pick up the controller. I couldn’t hold a conversation, but I could play a game or two! That being said I grew up in a household full of gamers. My own mother being one of them. I have memories from a very young age of my two older brothers, my mom, and myself sitting around our family room television gaming for hours on end. I remember being infuriated when they’d hardly consider giving me a turn. Sure, my hands were tiny, but my ambitions were big and I really wanted to play like everyone else. Eventually, I would get my short-lived turn and cherish every moment of it.

Years went by, new systems hit the market, and we had each one shortly after its release. Usually my brother who’s closest in age to me(About 3 1/2 years older) was the one who’d beg for them. I remember being so excited whenever he got the new system, and very curious as to what new games I could bug him to play. Some of the most memorable games over the years I recall watching/begging to play? Mortal Kombat, TMNT , Contra , Duck Hunt, Jet Grind Radio, Mario Paint, Super Mario Brothers, Mario 64,Goldeneye 007, Spyro, Banjo Kazooie etc. I could go on and on recalling childhood games. I’ve played so many, and have so many great gaming memories growing up!

Over the years I’ve grown more fond of shooters(First & Third), and MMORPGS. More recently linked to the PC, or my Xbox 360. My first true love shooter-wise was definitely Halo: Combat Evolved on the PC. I played that game for hours, and even restarted campaign over and over once finished. Multiplayer-wise(Other than MMORPGS) I didn’t become addicted until Halo 2 was out for the original Xbox. I recall spending hours every night, if not ALL night, sitting up glued to my television playing Team Slayer or Big Team Battle. Oh, how I LOVED BTB! I found most of my Xbox friends through my brother, and I’ll still never forget how much fun I had with my original group of Xbox friends.

Then came the 360 along with promises of Halo 3 in the future, and a few new 360 exclusive games. I played so many different shooters it’d be difficult to name them all but a few of the more memorable ones are: TC’s G.R.A.W, TC’s Rainbow six Vegas 1&2, COD 2&4, Battlefield:BC, Perfect Dark Zero, Bioshock etc. I put a lot of time and effort into video games over the years and it’s safe to say I’ve definitely earned my status as a gamer.

Now that things have advanced substantially my Xbox 360 slim with kinect not only provides me with two different types of gaming(One where I sit on my ass, and the other where I get a workout) but also entertainment of a different kind! Netflix, Hulu, and more recently Epix, and Last fm, I never run out of things to do! I can play, watch , listen, chat, tweet, and update my Facebook.

Now, this brings me to a bigger point. With all the new features, and games coming out for Xbox including new releases having DLC’s shortly after purchasing them, I’m not going to lie… This is draining my wallet! I want to stop, and I always tell myself I can hold out, but then the gamer in me takes over and I end up getting whatever it is anyway. Unfortunately, this can’t continue for me. Times are hard, and as much as I love video games I can barely afford them. If only I could go back to a simpler time, when my only worry was whether or not I could defeat my older brother in Super Smash Brothers. Not so! Now I’m deciding between saving my money for needs, or blowing it on that new DLC I’ll need because EVERYONE will have it. I always tell myself oh it’s just 10 or 20 dollars… Per month. Oh, and then there’s that new game that came out. Should I invest in a better headset? Oh, wow Fruit Ninja is half off! New skins for my guns on Gears? Hell yeah! Wait… Why am I broke?

It’s a vicious cycle of which I can no longer continue! As a gamer, I feel extremely saddened and I ask myself, Video games: Why do I love you so?! So from here on out, I’m going to manage my gamer spending habits according to when and if I have the spare change AFTER everything is said and done. This might mean waiting another month or two for that sweet DLC everyone else has, or holding off on a game for a special occasion such as my birthday, which is fairly soon!  Just saying..

A lifetime of happy gaming shattered by a lame recession, and cost of living increasing by the day. Okay, so maybe not shattered, but definitely put on hold to an extent. In the end, video games will always be close to my heart.. Just not my wallet. *Tear*

What are your most cherished gaming memories or games in general? Are you or have you had to put the brakes on your gamer spending habits? Similar tragedies may help ease my pain! Let us know!