Obsess Much?

Why, yes, I am trying to save the universe.
No matter how hard we try, many of us will never be able to forget our “firsts” – our first crush, our first day of school, our first crush, our first pet, etc.  And that is just in the childhood years.  There’s also our first dates, our first loves, our first house, our first kid.  Subaru’s current ad campaign is even about sharing the story of your first car.  How many of us remember our first gaming obsessions?

In high school in the '90s, I became a favorite among the guys as soon as I showed a propensity for Halo: Combat Evolved.  I had already played SNES when I was younger, and had owned a Nintendo 64 in junior high, but I had consistently played Mario Kart or Star Wars: Rogue Squadron more than anything else.  I rarely delved into FPSs (besides GoldenEye 007, which was wickedly fun in its own right but probably now wishes it could be Halo or Call of Duty).

However, Halo addicts all know that you just need a chance for a first play, and after that you must satiate your desire with continual fixes.  As it happens, I got my first play at a friend's house and went home depressed that I could not continue shooting Grunts and marveling at this odd, new ringworld.  After a few months' of life without Halo, I realized there was only one way to fill the void: I bought myself an XBox solely so I could play the game.  Now I'm not saying I wasn't obsessed with my N64 games; at the time, I thought I was.  Then Master Chief made me realize that my N64 friends were like those friends you hang out with in high school whom you vaguely keep in touch after graduation, whereas he was able to live the moments of my life along with me, for the rest of my life.  Kind of like a spouse, except not really, because of obvious reasons.

No amount of rehab can cure me of my addiction to this series, but I don’t consider this a limiting, or even a negative, situation.  If anything, Halo opened up the glorious gaming world for me in ways I never thought possible.  I was thrust into the personal stories the game creators had slaved hours on end to write, and suddenly I realized that games could be so much more than mere entertainment, more than some pew-pew-pews at the bad guys.  Many reach the level of art.  And thus my desire to explore the world of video games expanded.

So thank you, Bungie, for introducing me to one of the loves of my life, and I'm not just talking about Halo.

How about you?  What was your first gaming obsession?  I would love to hear them, and I will collect some of the best and write them up in a future "Obsess Much?" post!


Phendrena said...

I wouldn't say I was obsessed by any particular game but I did enjoy making maps for the games that I was playing. From adventure games to aracde adventure games I enjoyed making maps, sometimes fairly detailed maps for the games that I played.

On the ZX Spectrum and other computers in the 80's making maps was part of the fun and something that you definitely needed to do as some games had quite complex layouts (Fairlight, Head Over Heels) and you could very easily got lost without a decent map.

But if I had to pick a particular game that I was obsessed by then it would be...


The greatest game ever made on any platform ever. Flying around in 3D space engaging in trade and pirating. Bettering your combat skills, improving your ship. Elite wasn't a game, Elite was a way of life. Starting from the Lave Coriolis Space Station with a basic Cobra MkIII ship and 100cr and a Harmless rating could you work your way up through the ranks and achieve the ultimate goal and reach the Elite rating?
Explore strange new worlds, seek out new civilisations and boldly go where no one has gone before.

HazMatt said...

Here are the games I spent the most time in (obsessed over, in other words)…

1) Sonic the Hedgehog

2) Starcraft - I played it for 15+ years and thoroughly enjoyed the Korean tournament games on YouTube

3) Marathon - Primarily a Mac game (yes, I know) but it was arguably a better FPS than Doom at the time, as it had better gameplay and a much better plot. Also made by Bungie, and it was the predecessor to Halo. You can see the Marathon ring-within-a-ring logo in many many places throughout the Halo world.

4) Halo - I too bought an Xbox to play all of the games (except Halo Wars). Excited for Halo 4!

Geoker said...

(I know it's late, but I feel compelled to comment!:) )

When I was a kid we only had the good, old fashioned NES system! I used to be able to pride myself on saying that I could beat all 3 of the Super Mario Brothers Series in 1: 15 minutes, 2: 15 minutes and 3: 10 minutes! Granted I used shortcuts, but it was a legitimate method to beat the games!

In middle school, as if to fuel my other obsessions, I was given an original Playstation with the Xena: Warrior Princess game (if I had an SNES, it would have been both Xena and Hercules)and played it obsessively for hours until I won, not an easy task for such a simply built game!

For the next platform, the next line of obsessions went on, and for the PS2 (new era, silver edition, btw!) I was given ,again as a present, "Lord of the Rings: The Third Age". Its similarity to characters of the Fellowship we know and love was awesome (a Steward's Gaurd of Gondor sent to deliver Boromir a message, an elven female warrior of Galadriel to protect him, a Dunedain ranger and his best friend dwarf, a cast away horseman of the Rohirrim and a theiving, yet insanely feisty female warrior of Rohan were all in the cast!) and the Final Fantasy RPG style of gaming was never boring due to the LotR themes. With a journey in the footsteps of the fellowship, they soon join the fight against Mordor and aid in quests with Gandalf and Faramir among others! It also had an interesting, yet amusing "evil mode" that you could play and gather items in regular mode by killing off your heroes! Classic RPG upgrades, experience points and leveling up were applied here as well. I never finished the game due to time constraints, but I will be honest in saying that I wouldn't mind playing it right now! ;)

Joseph Ramirez said...

Star Trek - Hazard Team. First person shooter. Star Trek universe. Heaven.

JeriWB said...

Can't say I've had a gaming obsession, but I did bash in my husband's computer monitor quite a few years ago due to his gaming obsession. Never fear though, it was an old monitor and no bodily harm was done...

Rolando Garcia said...


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