Me & video games

I never had any problem in admitting that I always preferred video games over real physical games and sports, such as football.

Since I was a child I used to hang out and perfectly know all the arcades of the area, and whenever new place I was going, I always tried to locate the nearest spot in which there would have been some coin-op game.

It’s a tradition in Italy, and sure in the late 80’s was still like that, that male kid had to plat football, or better, the more affordable version of five-versus-five, every afternoon, every day, with almost every kind of weather. Just to be out of the house the whole time.

People like me preferred be at home and spent the same amount of time on fantastic journey through imagination on Commodore 64 and, later on NES that was really a sort of break-thru for me.

2361717-nes_faxanaduI was 10 or 11 years old at that time when my first console entered my life and I still cannot imagine how much time I have spent in front of its fantastic games such as Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, Faxanadu, Wizards & Warriors just to name a few. Even then I knew that when I was actually purchasing these games, they were already outdated, because the era of the 16-bit home consoles was already there, but I didn’t really care because I knew my parents already bought me and my brother the NES and for a lot of years I should have been ok with that. Only.

It was early 90’s so no Internet to look for help in case you got stuck somewhere or you missed the X-tool necessary to go on on your journey, there were instead a lot of magazines and the telephone hot-lines for this matter, but I never used any of those, infact many of the above mentioned games remained unfinished to almost this time.

Final Fight

During that golden age of video gaming of mine, I continued looking for arcades for games such as Street Fighter 2, Golden Axe, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (after a lot of practice I could beat it with just one coin),  Final Fight, Sunset Raiders, Raiden X, and many more that I have forgotten. That was really my time!


The amazing The Secret of Monkey Island

At the same time I remember I came in contact with one of the best gaming series of all my life: the majestic LucasArts point-and-click adventures: The Secret of Monkey Island was the first title I could play on Amiga (to a friend of mine, because at that time I had no PC). I remember I was literally amazed by such colorful world, to which Day of the Tentacles and Sam & Max followed some years later.

Then it came SNES in September 1994 for my 15th birthday with Super Street Fighter 2, NBA Jam, Best Of The Best, and so many other more. At the time I considered myself a highly skilled and experienced player, and I think I could have been, although back then there was no possibility for me to join any tournament to play against other kids to see who really was the best.

In the second half of the 90’s I was given my first PC, so I could finally enjoy some games I always wanted to play but I never been able to before. Besides all the LucasArts chapters, I soon got into strategic games (such as Warcraft,  Age of Empires and Empire Earth, to which by time to time I still play) and shoot’em Up (Doom, Hexen, Duke Nukem, Quake… how many memories, and how many keyboard keys snapped…) especially, although other interests started to take over (specifically girls and heavy metal music).

At the end of the 90’s Playstation entered my life towards my brother’s, and I allowed games such Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Metal Gear SolidDino Crysis, and Final Fantasy 7 enjoy sometimes my afternoons, but the big crush with console videogaming was getting cooler.


Silent Hill (image courtesy of Silent Scape)

For almost 12 years I basically stopped playing with console games, I just continued being a PC game aficionado but only because I was using the PC for my work and study.

Then a series of coincidences ended me intertwining my path with Sony again at the beginning of 2013 when I bought the PS3 and I became addicted again to Call Of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Dead Space and many more, to which I let PS4 follow at the end of 2014, reversing the proportion between PC and console gaming back again in favor of the console.

First love never forgotten? Perhaps, fact is that although I am no longer a kid,  I am still enjoying nice time with my loving video games!


BTW: this is my username on PSN




About Gabriele Frontini

I share my time between Italy, Belgium and UK. [ music critic since 1999, gamer, historian, pet lover ]
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