That’s Why I Like Games

(This post is an answer to a question posted by Mrs. Brenda Brathwaite over her blog)

“Why do you like games as much as you do?”

Mmmm… let me think about it.

Right. Maybe the “why” could be translated into “how”, which could be explained with a brief history of my gaming experience.

I’m not sure if I these memories are truly mine, or if they were created on my mind based on family’s stories (afterall it seems that I was around 3-years-old by that time). Either way, my first memory of something designed only for gaming is from my father’s old Magnavox Odyssey. I remember the keyboard, the controllers and the cartidges (specially the one that had a volcano with flying skulls, or something like that. scary). Although I don’t actually remember seeing my parents playing it, I bet I used to. In the coming years I remember playing a lot like any other kid. Hide-and-seek, Tag, Cops and Thieves, and some board games. By the way, I’ve always been keen to drawing, thus I played a lot of Imagem & Ação (Brazillian version of Pictionary). Oh, and I loved War (Risk).

By the age of 10 my parents gave me a Master System. Suffice to say that it entertained me for some years, until I got a Mega Drive (Sega Genesis) and then a Game Gear. Yes, I was a SEGA fanboy, but I also spent several weekends at my cousin’s, playing (alongside my own systems) Phantom System (a NES clone), Super Nintendo, Game Boy and Nintendo 64.

When I got my first computer system (an Intel 486) the first program I got installed was a game, obviouslly. And I kept only playing them until I got into college. I need to state here that being as naive as I was at that time, I thought “Hey, I like drawing, I like games, and I like computer-animated films, so I should go for a Computer Science Degree!”. Poor me. Even though my first homebrew program was a text-adventure based on LoRD written on Basic, by the third semester I discovered that my course would actually teach me (at most) how to create graphic tools, not how to use them. But I was already hooked by algorithms and objects, and thus I was lost (at least that’s what I thought at the time).

Some web-development and Java jobs later, I found myself as a former-gamer, that haven’t been playing games for a while and have had some weak attempts on developing games. Life was doing well until I stumbled upon an affordable On-line Game Design Basics Course. It was a begining of a new era.

During that course, the gamer that was dormant in me woke up, and evolved (leveled up?) into something else. I discovered the mechanics within the games, and recalled my childhood, creating live-action games with my friends, building levels with Comandos em Ação (GI Joe) and dungeons with He-Man action figures. I even remember the comics I used to draw, the stories I used to create. There it was, all those joyful activities mixed together.

Upon the course completion I took the plunge into this vast sea of Game Development. The tide took me to some nice shores, which I return to daily. One of them, the aforementioned blog, even presented to me more on Game dev that I hoped to find, that within digital games, there are only games. Board games, word games, real games. And I kept myself on the learning road.

Up to now I’ve created my first game, and have been trying to create another couple of them. And I won’t stop. Maybe I might never get to work on the Industry, maybe I’ll only create a few games as hobby. It doesn’t bother me at all, because all I wanna do is to create things that might bring a little fun into other people’s life.

So, why do I like games? I like them because they’re fun. They’re fun for me and for a lot of people, and they have been present in the most joyful moments of my life.

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