At some point or another, we all had our gateway drug. That first time we picked up a controller or jabbed at a keyboard and realised we could actually control what was happening on-screen. For a lot of people who’ve been used to entertainment as a totally passive experience, whether that’s watching TV or listening to music, it’s incredibly intoxicating to find something you can interact with in this way.
But we all had to start somewhere; appropriately enough, we start at the beginning. Our first ever game. We’re interested in a couple of things here. Firstly, the first ever game you can remember playing; and secondly, the first game you can remember owning, whether you received it as a gift or bought it for yourself, but basically just that first time you had a game that was 100% yours.
I’ll start things off, and the first game I ever played is a bit of a toss-up between three titles, none of which I’m 100% sure were my first games. These were Worms, Labyrinth of Time, and Hugo’s House of Horrors. If I had to guess I’d say Hugo’s House of Horrors was the first, but I played all of these on my family’s first Gateway PC. I think it had a 133MHz Pentium CPU or thereabouts, and this was in the days before graphics cards were really a thing. I had zero idea what I was even doing in Hugo’s House of Horrors, but I figured out how to load it up in DOS and that was enough for me.
While I spent a fair bit of time messing around with the limited games I could get my hands on, the first that was ever actually bought for me was Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World on the SNES. I got the console with that bundled in on my 6th or 7th birthday, so around 1994 or so, and I still think it holds up as one of the greatest game collections of all time, and certainly the best pack-in with a console.
Enough about me, what about you? What was your earliest gaming memory? And what was the first ever game you could call your own?