Regardless of whether you primarily play on a console, gaming PC or mobile, or whether you’re Team Xbox, Sony or Nintendo, we’re all gamers. We are all different, from our taste in games to the journey we have taken to become gamers.
The love for gaming had to start somewhere. These are our first game consoles – the pieces of hardware that sparked our interest in gaming and lead to a lifelong love for all things video games.
Our First Video Game Consoles
Tom Svalinn: Nintendo 64
I suspect I share my first game console with a great number of other gamers – the old-faithful Nintendo 64. Perhaps those were simpler days, when we had to play with others in the real-world. None of this online wizardry, lightning-fast connection speeds or high-performance GPUs powering slick graphics. Instead, it was the simple pleasure of racing around a track in a go-cart driven by all manner of outlandish creatures that captured my imagination. So began the slippery-slope that has kept me entertained with gleeful joy, moments of wonder and gut-wrenching narrative for the next two decades.
However, my greatest early moments were in the game Perfect Dark on the N64. You know, the one that was so advanced for its time that it required that memory pack addition. I was a terrible shot mind you (and still am), but those precious moments taking on the game in co-op mode with my dear brother will always be treasured. That game knew how to do co-op properly because at the end of the day, win or lose, it’s about who stood there beside you blasting away and covering your pixilated back. In fact, we still do so, albeit our backs are now in high definition and at 60 frames per second.
As the holiday season approaches, I wish you all a well-deserved rest and time to treasure those who are your beloved player 1 or player 2. Whether in-game or in life.
Johnny Godwin: Game Boy Advance
Trying to recall my first console brought me back through some of my best gaming memories, all leading back to the Game Boy Advance. This pocket-sized gaming machine brought me through hours and hours of driving while moving states and looking for a new house.
With classic titles that include Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda, there really was no going wrong with this console as a kid. My most vivid memory of this console is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song (I know, kinda weird) which was a banger before I knew what that meant.
Lizzie Fourman: Nintendo 64
My first console I remember getting was the N64 when I was like 12 or something like that. The game my dad got with it was Mario Kart 64.
I still remember the rage I held when I got anything less than 1st place, which was more often than not. My brother played it a lot more than I did but it got me started down the rabbit hole without me realizing it until now.
Fran Poggi: Nintendo Entertainment System
My first console was the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, which came with Super Mario and Duck Hunt. I must have been around 10 or something. I have good memories of my time with it and the catchy Mario tune and the mischievous dog in Duck Hunt.
The memory that—to this day—is the very first I think of when I think about NES, is of Duck Hunt. The game came with a zapper gun, so that you could shoot the ducks when they came out of the grass. Me and my brother used to love playing this! Our dining room was very small, so quite often we used to point the gun directly ON the screen in order to get a perfect score. I’ll never forget the sound of PERFECT 10000! It was so much fun, and it was an awesome way to spend time with my brother.
John Santina: Atari 2600 Jr.
Gosh, I’m about to show my age, but…the Atari 2600 Jr. was my first game. I was 7 or so and we’d gone around my Aunts house soon after my birthday. She’d forgotten to get me a gift, but my cousin had just got a PC, so she asked if I wanted a computer. My response was “WICKED COOL, MAN” followed by a boogie dance (which is still how I react to people offering me literally anything for free). I was over the moon about having a console, even one that was borderline “retro” by the time I got it.
Throughout my time with the Atari 2600 Jr. I had several games, including Combat, River Raid, Frogger and Pole Position, but it is Pitfall that will always stand out. Running sidewards through the jungle, dodging obstacles, the robotic Tarzan-influenced yell when swinging on vines, and falling into pits and having to outrun scorpions – I loved every single moment.