The video game experiences of our youth. Tell me yours!

Every single video gamer has all sorts of special moments in gaming and life in general, of course. From our first time playing video games to those special moments in certain games, just so many events to remember. I will not go into detail for everything here, but some moments for me would be playing the mulitplayer games like Combat (for the Atari 2600) with friends to having ten people over playing NBA Jam and Super Street Fighter 2 on the SNES. I could never forget my first online game Phantasy Star online on the Dreamcast to the greatest pvp mmorpg ever made, Dark Age of Camelot(which I played for 10+ years on my pc).

But most of my games have been solo games, as I like rpgs, srpgs, action adventures, and other single player games like the godly Elder Scrolls:Skyrim. I could go on and on and on about the Final Fantasy series too. But that is for another time.

Today I would like to talk about one of my early gaming experiences I had at a place called Dan Nicholas Park and with a game simply called Vanguard.

Dan Nicholas Park is a great place to visit in Salisbury, North Carolina. There is camping, fishing, trails for walking about, and much more. They have a great place to see all sorts of animals, a carousel and mini train for the kids, mini golf, fields for softball and horse shoes, and places for small or large gatherings. And this is just a small sample of what it has to offer. One place many people love are it's very pretty lake where you can ride paddle boats on. The small boats seat two and you just paddle all over the small lake with your partner. I haven't been there in a while so it may not be there now, but just about 50 yards from the lake was a small store that you could buy food or drink, paraphernalia or maybe stuff to feed the ducks. When you walked in the small store the first thing that you noticed was the cold air from the air conditioners. It was so good because here in North Carolina not only does it get hot, but it gets very humid too and that can suck at times. Really. To your left was a counter and all it had to offer. Keep walking to the back of the store and there was a small room that held 2 or 3 stand alone arcade machines. One of them was a game called Vanguard.

Vanguard was an awesome side scrolling shooter. Your goal was to travel through all the levels shooting everything you could to make it to the boss at the end to win. The screen moved from left to right and your ship could shoot from all 4 sides. It had cool levels and enemies to fight. Just a fantastic game.

As a 10 year old kid , I got tired of paddle boating. Sometimes I just wanted to jump in the lake and swim, which was not permitted. Walking around the park or trails got boring and you can only see the animals so much. We went there every month, in the summer, as a kid. During this time I had an Atari 2600 with a good amount of games. Loved playing it. To be honest I loved playing it more than I did going to the park at times. But the Atari could not hold up to the arcade unit's graphics. In fact no gaming system could back in those days.

Every time my family went to the lake, I always headed to the small store with the arcade games. And I always played Vanguard.

As the world did it's thing, I did mine and and played that game. I finally beat the boss one day and the world was good for me. Ha! But man, not too many played there because they were outside enjoying my mortal enemy, the sun. Grrrr. So I practically had the entire room to myself almost every time I went. With the cold air keeping me cool and the sounds of the arcade machines, I was just in another world that I seriously loved being in, even today.

I have many more memories from those days and many different experiences. Perhaps I will share them. Funny how well I can remember them. Some in exact detail. This one was one of those "My moments." that I experienced alone as a kid. But all gamers have had this same type of experience. If you wanna share a story please do!

Keep on gaming, gamers. Remember that life is the greatest of games and you only get one shot. Have fun.

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Community102d ago
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theXtReMe1102d ago (Edited 102d ago )

Where do I start?

I can remember so many times when videogames took me away to my own little world, from the time I was 5. The Mattel games wisking me away to be a pro football or baseball player. The Pong unit hooked up to my black and white TV. Arcades in every corner of the planet that sucked up thousands of hours of my friends and I’s time. So many memories that are crystal clear, to this very day.

I can remember every Friday night, heading to Supercade at the Capitol City Mall in Camp Hill, PA with a friend and just getting lost for hours playing the dozens of games they had. Star Wars arcade gave us our first hint of 3D, with vector graphics that still look great today! Putting us in control of our own X Wing to take out a slew of tie fighters, before heading into the Death Star to relive Luke Skywalkers shining moment. I can remember the day I first saw Mat Mania in Murphy Mart at the same mall, when my grandma was checking out and being amazed at its realistic graphics. So much better than Tag Team Wrestling. I can still smell the smells and see my grandma in line.

It amazes me how growing up n the 70s and 80s, those memories I created are still so fresh in my mind today. To see my grandma, who’s since passed on. Enjoy the world through my inner child’s eyes once again and experience the greatness of growing up in videogames youth. So many great times, games and friends. I would do anything to be able to do it all over again.

Drithe102d ago

Very nice. I absolutely LOVED Star Wars the arcade game. A truly great experience.

Tetsujin102d ago (Edited 102d ago )

Street Fighter 2
Altered Beast
Players Choice 10
TMNT arcade
Samurai Showdown

Edit - And the #1 place of the 90s - Aladdin's Castle
NES with Super Mario Bros
Game Boy with Tetris

Drithe102d ago

Street fighter 2 tournaments.
TMNT arcade was awesome.
Love the Samurai Showdown fighting series
I cant get that damn Tetris music out of my head!

MWH101d ago

Back in the days the fighting game tournaments in our local arcades were mostly exclusive to titles like Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes, Fatal Fury, King of Fighters and Samurai Showdown. until one afternoon and on my way out of the arcade I noticed this 3D sword fighting game that was sitting there for weeks and no one is touching. I stopped and I watched its flashy demonstration and thought to myself "hmm! this looks like a 3D Samurai Showdown. i'm going to try it". when renowned gamers play a game attention is automatically drawn to it by other players, that's what happened and the game entered the competition mill. I became one of the prominent players in it, in fact, I had my initials in all of its score tables. highest winning streaks in a row and the top-10 fastest clearing times where also mine. I was the undisputed champion of Soul Edge. but like life itself, nothing is forever.

in the early of 2000's, the arcades were disappearing and one by one they were replaced by LAN and internet cafes. the place next to my house where I spent much of my youth and met most of my friends was also closed and everything became another forgotten page in the book of time.

one day, i think it was 2003, I was in a nearby town when I saw an open arcade. I couldn't resist the urge to go in and check it out even though I felt I was too old for this now, but I went in. Inside, there were a bunch of old classics that we all love; Shadow Dancer, Metal Slug 3, Ultimate Moral Kombat 3, Golden Axe 2 and few others I don't remember. Of all, one game drew me toward it like a moth to a flame, and that was Soul Edge. I don't know how else to describe it but when I saw it I felt a fire in my heart reignited and I also felt a bit of sadness because it brought back lost memories.

anyway; I stepped in and there were two boys competing and a bunch of others gathered around them like the old days. one of the players was acing the others and he was living the moment bragging and taunting and what not, yea he was one of those. the fire in my heart wasn't coming down and I was challenging myself not to play but I found myself getting some coins and coming back to test my skills and perhaps briefly go back to bygone days.

I waiting for my turn then I sat next to Mr. Bruce Lee, he looked at me with a smirk on his face without me saying a word. I was pumped.

Round 1; I lost, he was good and I was reloading my skills and downloading his. this is how we always play in fighting games, in a new challenge both players test and psych each other in the first few rounds before the real fight start. for me, a veteran, this round was enough for me to be ready for the next round.

Round 2; he lost.
Round 3; he lost. I remember how infuriated he became around the boys he was beating. so he inserted another coin. and he kept losing them. after maybe the 5th try he stepped down silently. I was able to hear the words of his silence saying "this guy is in a whole different league".

he didn't leave, instead he stood behind watching me playing against the CPU. when I finished, and it was fast, I was prompted to enter my initials and when the score table rolled there was the Surprise! my initials all over it! this was the same machine of our old arcade somehow ended up in this town.

this now is the highlight of this story; as I typed in my initials and was about to leave, the boy looked at me with his eyes and jaw wide open and said: "you are MWH?!" I smiled and nodded then disappeared into the daylight.

this was a small and insignificant moment in time but it was mine, and I will never forget it.

Drithe100d ago

Awesome story. I fought in fighting tournaments too. Back when Virtua Fighter 2 came out in the arcades, I beat the number 2 guy from japan, well according to him. Lived for Street Fighter Alpha and MK. Great story.

MWH99d ago

Thanks buddy. I hope those famous tournament players know how lucky they are for having the opportunity to shine. there are great players out there that don't have the chance to be known. Like we all say; there's always someone better, somewhere.

Anyway, good post and it deserve more attention in my opinion. Where are the original gamers?