Video Games
and Me

The Beginning
My gaming history & evolution

by @amitgiant


Video Games literally shaped who I am today. Whether I’m designing, creating or solving, it was the experience of facing challenges, competing, accomplishing and conquering in games throughout my early life that helped mould my desire for perfection and strive for progression. The nostalgia for those timeless games impacted me greatly and the work I do daily, almost like a drug, that makes you go back for the first hit, my gaming past fuels me.

I believe gaming at a young age fueled my knowledge about computers, influenced my appreciation for digital art, and desire to pursue it professionally when the time came.

We didn’t have a computer in our household till I was 16, nor was I “computer literate”. But I caught on really quickly, almost like jumping on a motorcycle not long after learning to ride a bike, thanks to my earlier years of gaming.

Some of my friendships were bonded through gaming encouraging longer-than-normal interactions.

The industry now is very different from when I last took solo gaming seriously I’d say. While I don’t see the appeal to watching others play video games, live-streaming or it being considered merely as a sport, I think it’s a category on its own. I do understand and have a deep, intimate history with video games.

The Beginning



I grew up in the 90s, born in the 80s, “pyonging games”, as we liked to call it. We had an Atari, with a number of games, like Asteroids, Pac-Man, Combat, Centipede, Super Breakout, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Ms Pac-Man, Vanguard, Solaris, Joust, and even the worst game of all time, which apparently crashed the gaming industry, E.T., or that’s what people claim, broke the camel’s back in 1983.

I always appreciated the very detailed artwork on the cartridges, despite the games being very 8-bit, two-toned and nothing like the art. It sparked the imagination in me and I believe I understand the use of cover art and the power of suggestion thanks to it.

There was a time during the July-August vacation my cousin, Sandeep, who was staying by us would play Ms Pac-Man or Asteroids, make a high-score and I would come back home from lessons to try to beat.

I absolutely loved those simplistic games and cherish those days. I time-to-time play Ms Pacman in the Arcade with my son now.

The Early 90s


Super Nintendo


Then we got our Super Nintendo, a gigantic leap from the Atari, where I discovered timeless games like Super Mario World, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Star Fox, Mortal Kombat, Contra 3, ActRaiser, F-Zero, Final Fight, Mario Kart, U.N. Squadron, Pilot Wings, Out of this World, Joe & Mac, Donkey Kong Country, NBA Jam, TMNT: Turtles in Time, The Legend of the Mystical Ninja. I unfortunately never played Legend of Zelda much; I was but a mere observer mostly.

I remember waking up extra early on weekends just to play games before anyone else, so I could have time to myself to play in silence. There was something special about waking at hours most weren’t and became a behaviour I continued throughout my life till this day.

Like most, I could not predict those 16-bit games would become forever classics!


We never had a Nintendo System (NES), but some family members and friends did, so I experienced the likes of Duck Hunt, Mario 3, Ninja Gaiden and Turtles occasionally.


We never owned any of the Sega systems either, but I did experience some of it over at family/friends’ houses as well, including the Game Gear.

Back then there was no widely available internet much less for Downloadable Content (DLCs), heck even the controllers weren’t wireless; it wasn’t even fathomable in those days. Games still came in cartridges and you could rent them if you couldn’t afford to buy them.

Who remembers those RF switches you would use to switch between the TV antenna/cable and game input?





Then came the PlayStation, which changed everything! CD-Roms were all the rage, and modding or “cracking” your PS, which most were doing in our country, was the only way to access the vast library of games available. It was so widespread, Trinidad in those days felt like some shady Shanghai knock-off market.

We had a few originals, such as Oddworld, Gran Turismo 1 & 2, Metal Gear Solid and Tekken 3, but mostly “pirated copies”. I lived on Gran Turismo 2 and Tekken 3 back in those days. I also have fond memories of Street Fighter: EX Plus Alpha, Need for Speed 3, Driver, Dino Crisis, Resident Evil, Soul Reaver, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and I will forever remember Final Fantasy 7, though I never finished it, since I borrowed it from a school friend.

Sandeep and I “played” Metal Gear Solid non-stop for 2 days. Well, I played and he observed and assisted which he willingly wanted to do. Weird for me at the time, but I get it now.



Nintendo 64


Not long after we got the PlayStation, we had a Nintendo 64 with only a limited number of games, because you couldn’t modify your system to play pirated games, so most of the games I played were rented.

Such as Starfox 64, Mario 64, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Banjo Kazooie, Mario Party, Smash Bros., Wave Race 64, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Turok, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, F-Zero X, Beetle Adventure Racing.

I have vague memories of those games, the more memorable ones were Mario 64 and also Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which I never finished because it was the time my father had passed away.

Mario Kart 64, Mario Party, Smash Bros., Perfect Dark and GoldenEye 007 were games we lived on because of the multiplayer gameplay, allowing up to 4 players at a time—something never really experienced widely on a home game console.

It was a good time; game companies weren’t all about franchising like they are now and some of the greatest games ever made I believe came out of the 90s.

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