Gamer Girl Musings: My Childhood of Gaming

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By Jaime Whittaker, (@JaimeW912)

Welcome to another Gamer Girl Musing! Today I am going to be talking about gaming throughout my childhood: What systems I played on, what my favorite games were, and what I enjoyed about gaming. There’s just something about the feel of a controller in my hands, the challenge of a good game, the various emotions that a gamer feels when playing. Some games just really stick with you.

Players become attached to certain characters while despising others; both love and hatred are equally important emotions to feel while playing a game because it’s better than feeling nothing at all. If you feel complacent about a game rather than engaged by it, then you are not playing the right game. Every gamer has his or her own style and genre of game that is preferred, even more so than what system they are playing on.

The first gaming I ever remember experiencing was on the Atari

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This was such a classic! This was my hand is sore from wiggling the joystick and mashing the button all day good. We had quite the variety of cartridges in our entertainment center.

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Some of my favorite games for this system included:

1. Pac Man
2. Dig Dug
3. Donkey Kong
4. Joust
5. Centipede
6. Asteroids
7. Space Invaders
8. Pitfall
9. Barnstorming
10. Frogger
11. Ka-Boom
12. Star Ship
13. Q Bert

There were times my brothers and I had to fight over who was going to play with the Atari, either alone or as a two player. This system was definitely the root of my love for gaming. I loved trying to figure things out on my own, but I think even more I loved when things got too hard and my big brothers would help me out. It really was a bonding experience in our family. Even my parents are still gamers to this day so gaming is just a part of my life.

The other form of gaming I remember from my childhood came in the form of the family Adam computer.

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I am talking old school here. Some of you are probably thinking, WTF is that thing?

I really only remember playing 2 games on this system:

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The Smurf Paint ‘n’ Play Workshop. This was the Minecraft of my day kiddies. I would spend hours creating houses, rooms, and whatever else I could imagine using only pixels. This game was the shizz…

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I remember actually being kind of afraid of this game as a child so I didn’t really play it myself but I loved watching my big brothers play it.

I remember when we bought our first NES System

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Now it’s getting real!

Games were getting longer. There were still very few games on this system that would allow a player to save his or her progress. This meant many players were lost in their rooms for hours if not all day or else face the sobering reality of having to start all over again the next day. #GamerProblems

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There were so many games I’d consider favorites on this system, including:

1. Punch-Out
2. Final Fantasy
3. Rampage
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
5. Kirby’s Adventure
6. Batman
7. Jurassic Park
8. Super Mario Bros. 3
9. Tetris
10. Dr. Mario
11. Castlevania
12. The Legend of Zelda
13. Bubble Bobble
14. Contra
15. Any of the Mega Man games
16. Metroid
17. Battle Toads
18. Duck Hunt
19. Maniac Mansion

So many hours spent blowing into cartridges…..(Since I started writing this article I’ve had to excitedly come back to this list several times already to add more games. That’s how much I loved my NES.)

Then came the Sega Genesis. Ooh snap we’ve got 16 bits y’all! Now we’re talking.

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Can we talk about how many hours I spent playing SONIC!? I loved all the Sonic games! And the cartoon! (Blue streak speeds by, Sonic the Hedgehog! Too fast for the naked eye, Sonic the Hedgehog!) Sorry, I just can’t get that song out of my head. Moving right along…

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My favorite games on this system included:

1. All the Sonic games
2. Toejam and Earl
3. Golden Axe
4. Altered Beast
5. The Lion King
6. Shinobi
7. Road Rash
8. Splatterhouse 3
9. Zero Wing
10. Bubsy the Bobcat
11. NBA Jam
12. Double Dragon
13. Aladdin

The next system we got was the Super Nintendo.

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Alright, Nintendo! Back then games weren’t about the graphics. It was about the game play and the challenge. Now we were at a point where almost all games would allow you to save your progress. Thank you Nintendo! I can have my life back! But who am I kidding, I still spent just as much time playing video games.

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Some of my favorite Super NES games include:

1. Zombies Ate My Neighbors
2. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
3. Final Fantasy VI
4. Super Mario World
5. Donkey Kong Country
6. Contra III
7. Sim City
8. Mortal Kombat
9. Mortal Kombat II
10. Street Fighter II
11. Earthworm Jim
12. Star Fox
13. Super Metroid
14. Super Mario Kart

Solid, solid system.

The next system we got was the original Playstation. Discs, not cartridges, but discs. And you saved your games on……..wait for it……memory cards?! What is this sorcery? This was the console where we started to realize what graphics were. Even audio quality was substantially better. No longer did we have to listen to MIDI music and our characters now had voices!

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This was basically my oldest brother’s system but he was nice enough to share it with the rest of the family. Watch through this video someone put together of their top 50 Playstation games:



My favorite Playstation games include:

1. Final Fantasy VII
2. Castlevania: Symphony of the night
3. Crash Bandicoot
4. Crash Bandicoot 2
5. Resident Evil: Director’s Cut
6. Resident Evil 2
7. PaRappa the Rapper
8. Parasite Eve
9. Silent Hill
10. Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage
11. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
12. Dino Crisis
13. Dark Stalkers 3
14. Gran Turismo
15. Twisted Metal
16. Medieval
17. Oddworld Abe’s Exodus
18. Rayman
19. Skull Monkeys
20. Tekken 3
21. Wild Arms

And of course let us not forget the Nintendo 64. We’re back with more cartridges, guys!

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Nintendo finally stepped up their graphics game here, folks. Okay here we go with the obligatory list of Jaime’s favorite games for this system!

1. Super Mario 64
2. Golden Eye 007
3. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
4. Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
5. Banjo Kazooie
6. Nightmare Creatures
7. Donkey Kong 64
8. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

(What can I say, we just didn’t have many games for this console)

I shall end here because my love of gaming continued and still continues to this day on, but this post is all about nostalgia. Do you have any requests for games that I should play? Leave them in the comments below. As always, stay nerdy my friends!

~Jaime


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