Today I am just going down memory lane to share some of earliest memories of video games. I was really lucky because, due to a family member who happen to get into the electronics industry at the right moment in time in Spain – you know back in the day – my household, despite being rather modest, always had cool things like computers and the likes. My parents, as the geeks they were, of course had a machine in their room (years later in the living room) where they nerded out in front of the computer screen for hours on end. I remember them being very keen of the very first Civilization, and me watching them play. Dad would always be scheming with diplomacy and commerce, mum on the other hand…What can I say, that woman and the Aztecs were just meant to be, and whilst everyone else had spears, she was killing with laser guns and stuff like that, cause you know, she was just Better… Both my parents were fond of strategy games, though dad preferred the more militaristic ones, whilst mum was more in tune with resource management and tycoons. But there was one thing mum loved and was kick ass and that certainly had an impact in the game I learnt to love: platformer. I remember one of the very first games I ever played was Rayman series…And I failed miserably.
Granted I was like 7 at the time – at best – and mum was a pro so I could never do better than her, but the mouse and keyboard know I tried! Years later this paid off though, and as I was given my first console – Nintendo 64 ftw! – endless hours at Mario 64 and Donkey Kong 64 got me a step closer to my mother – who would sadly not be beaten from her score until I reached my teens…I think one of my fondest memories of Rayman was this particular screen where you had to save those little creatures, and you through that punching glove at the cage and I kept on falling into the abyss…I swear I tried 100 times before I run to mum upset cause I couldn’t beat the game…
Another game that I played a lot in the computer – and I know this may come as a shocker! – was Barbie Fashion Designer PC Game…Yeah…I know…But I actually found it quite enjoyable to be able to do creative things and pieces on the computer. You see, I’ve always been super clumsy with art and things like that, so this was a nice way of actually being able to create cool things – my Barbies did, of course, look pretty badass and our of the ordinary – Just In Case There Was Any Doubt….XD I find this interesting because it is one of those games that I remember quite clearly, but I have never known anyone that ever played it apart from me…Oh well! Now, two other games that I became incredibly addicted to – and that I have played for years ever since – were Theme Park and Theme Hospital. I remember the little…what was it? An Ant? Helper bag bug thing? Telling you “yay your rollercoaster is so awesome people are puking a lot when they come out of it” was, for some reason, just a very comforting thought! I remember spending hours into upgrading the rides, changing the menu of the cafes and other places. It was fun. I think the Halloween one was my favourite – sceney. And Theme Hospital…I still hear the soundtrack in my head depending on what you were doing, what you were building and what cycle it was. That’s how Much Time I spent on this.
I remember debating between putting more benches for people to seat on or plats to make them happier cause they were crowded. I remember scrutinising my doctors profiles to make sure they were not like that one psychologist I had who was so deranged and badly himself that ended up sending all my patients crazy XD Those were fun days. These were in most cases the games mum taught me to play. And then there were the games with dad, which mostly consisted back then in a lot of PC Futbol and PC Calcio. Dad wasn’t very keen on platform video games, and some of the strategy games he played were a tick on the difficult side of things, but we really enjoyed making our football teams together, as well as climbing up the league and training everyone to be the very best. I remember one of my greatest achievements was hiring Michael Owen from Liverpool when he was still young to go to play at the Ancona, a poor whatever B division was in the Italian league, and watch how I suddenly won matches. Fun times.
These were the games I was allowed to play. There was, of course, a lot of watching mum and dad play DOOM and Duke Nukem…But apparently, as much as I was a quirky child, they didn’t seem apt for a little person like me. Once the N64 got home though, an entire new array of possibilities open up, and that is when everyone discovered I was actually a top-tier racer and drifter…But, that is, as they say, another story 😉 Stay tune if you want to find out!