You never forget your first time. Yes, all kinds of weird meanings can be pulled from this statement, but its one that rings true in virtually every aspect of our lives. Particularly in gaming, a hobby rife with so many unique experiences and opportunities that it offers all number of standout firsts." Remember when you first discovered your lifelong love of Final Fantasy? The first time you realized your most anticipated game was terrible? The first time your console died?
Some will be happy moments that leave us giddy with joy, while others might lead us further down the path of jaded cynicism. No matter the impact, these first moments are the ones that form some of our most important memories. Here are the 10 that virtually every gamer will experience at some point in their gaming lives.
Your first console
Finally, after months of incessantly nagging your parents or reminding everyone of your upcoming birthday, you had a first console to call your own. No longer did you have to stand idly by while Nintendo vs. Sega debates raged during recess, jealous of the kids who staunchly defended both Sonic and Mario in front of your awkwardly uninitiated self.
Maybe it was a neatly wrapped PlayStation tucked away behind the tree at Christmas, a Genesis given to you by a rich grandparent, or even a dirty SNES you inherited when your older brother left for college. No matter the means, you finally had the console of your dreams and a portal with which to access all number of fantasy worlds. Outdoors be damned; you were a gamer now, and the sun wouldnt be warming your skin for quite some time.
Your first game completion
After hours of grinding for XP, fighting gargantuan bosses with intricate AI patterns, and braving all manner of precise platforming sequences, the first time you reached an end game screen was nothing short of gratifying.
You sat back, feeling a strong sense of accomplishment as the pixelated citizens of the world youd saved danced around in celebration. You were a protector of worlds, an all-powerful hero who had conquered towering odds in the face of dire circumstance. In the back of your mind you knew youd have to wake up in real life and go to work or school tomorrow, but in the moment, you savored the fact that all of your hard work had finally paid off.
Your first love affair
Your first love affair began casually, at the introduction of a friend or a random encounter from a gift card and a used game sale. You played the game, initially admiring it for its beauty and later becoming completely enamored with it and its finer details. Everything about it spoke to you; the story, the gameplay, the visualsyou simply couldnt get enough of it.
Soon, you were absorbing additional fiction, attempting to squeeze every bit of canon from the universe in order to get your fix. You gained an encyclopedic knowledge of the franchise, debated its hypotheticals and nitpicked discussions with other fans, ran a fan site, and maybe even put up the money to buy limited edition statues. It's possible that there's also a tattooed portrait of a character on your forearm. Like a first love (hopefully without the heartbreak), your devotion to the game may eventually fade, but the connection you felt to it will always be with you in some small way...especially if you did get that tattoo.
Your first convention
Booking hotels and flights were hard on the wallet, but all financial loss was mitigated by the sheer excitement you felt toward attending your first convention. Finally, youd be surrounded by people who loved video games as much as you did and spend the entire day absorbed into the hobby you all shared.
You took selfies with both Master Chief and Lara Croft, attended a panel about your favorite indie games, picked up free stuff, played demos, and spent the following week nursing a nasty bout of pink eye youd picked up from a filthy controller at a demo booth. But eye drops and agony were only a small price to pay for spending a glorious handful of days indulging yourself and spending time with other people who shared your love of video games.
Your first disappointment
Youd been anticipating this game for months, watching every trailer and reading every preview you could find about it up until release day. When that hallowed day finally came, you purchased your copy and took it home, tossing the box to the side and gingerly placing the disc in your console. It started up, warmly greeting you with its menu screen and dulcet music. You started a new game and began to play.
Seeing the world for yourself and experiencing everything youd been waiting for was awesome at first, but the more you played, the more things feltoff. The voice-acting was middle school drama club levels of bad, the story was dull, and many of the characters actions had been reduced to cheap quick-time events you couldnt master. It was a terrible game, an experience that had completely subverted your expectations for the worse. You set it aside and sat back, bitterly regretting the money spent on this garbage and feeling just a little bit jaded.
Your first multiplayer game
Something changed the first time you played Mario Kart against your friends. The second Lakitu waved the checkered flag, only one thought entered your mind: you had to win. There was no other option. You simply could not allow yourself to be defeated by anyone else. Your pulse pounded, eyes gained laser focus, and you handled the controls with a precision that had never before manifested itself during your single-player runs.
It was then that you realized how powerful and fun it could be to pit your skill against other players instead of stock AI enemies. For many, this has led to a lifetime of playing online matches in Unreal Tournament, working with friends to take down ominous teams in Dota 2, or even led to obsessively trying to maintain a respectful kill/death ratio in Halo. You love a challenge, and multiplayer has offered it to you in its most extreme form since the first time you were taken out by a wicked blue shell.
Your first troll interaction
All you wanted was to have a nice conversation on a forum or jump into a Call of Duty multiplayer match while waiting for the pizza to arrive. Your intentions were good, but it wasnt long before you encountered the infamous irritant known as a Troll.
People whose online existence is based solely on poking the proverbial beehive, Trolls are the ones who intentionally bring out the worst in everyone around them for their own amusement. Whether it was the forum member writing in all caps and incorrectly exchanging "youre" for "your," or the person screaming all manner of obscenities and horribly insensitive slurs at their every headshot, your first Troll interaction kindled your rage and brought with it a sense of annoyance unlike anything youd ever felt before. The silver lining, however, is often found when the Trolls headset mic picks up on his mom walking into the room and announcing that its a school night and time for bed.
Your first rage quit
You had spent hours upon hours honing your skill, leveling up your character, and gaining the finger dexterity of a concert pianist all for this particular level. People had warned you before of its difficulty, but you knew you could do this. You tried once, and quickly failed. Tried again, and made it a bit further before falling into a spike pit. Tried a third time, and just before bringing your sword down for a fatal blow, bid your head farewell as it was claimed by a rogue fireball.
Suddenly, white-hot rage surged through your blood, your grip tightening on the controller as you contemplated snapping it over your knee. Instead, you growled and cathartically flung it across the room as you stormed out, hoping in the back of your mind that you hadnt broken anything so youd be able to try again later.
Your first console purchase
Countless hours of bagging groceries or clearing dirty plates off of restaurant tables finally paid off when you had enough money to buy the shiniest new black box on the market. Marching down to the store, you all but threw your hard-earned money at the cashier, cradling your console on the drive home and clearing a space for it in your room.
Eternal system updates, account setups, cable untangling, and searching for missing parts wouldnt even hinder the newfound sense of independence and accomplishment you now felt. Before this moment, youd had to rely on the ever-fruitful birthday and Christmas in order to get your hands on new consoles or games. Now you were an employed worker, a person who could solely dictate where their money went and how many hours a day theyd be playing games. Suddenly, you felt just a little bit grown up.
Your first console death
You had only just turned on your Xbox 360 when it happened: like a tiny eye of Sauron glaring at you from across the room, a red ring emerged around the power button. Your heart had jumped into your throat at that moment, the world briefly caving in as you debated your next step. Customer support was contacted, your precious console was boxed up and shipped off to the care of engineers somewhere who promised to fix it, and you spent your newfound free time in the interim debating whether or not to watch crappy reality shows, pull out older consoles, or even read a book.
This same feeling of dread has been shared by those who have experienced the blue screens and yellow lights of death. Its a frustrating and disappointing time to be sure, but everything is made right again when these precious black boxes return from the console hospital in good working order.
No, you never do forget your first time, or the precious memories attached to them. Have you had any significant first times that didnt make it on this list? Share them with us below!
And if you're looking for more, check out the Top 7 Major game features you didn't know were originally glitches or 6 games that might actually save your life.