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My mom was really into the arcade scene as a kid/teenager and continued on when home consoles became the norm. As such, I had a controller in my hand before I was even walking! There is even photographic evidence of me trying to understand how to play the NES. However, my first real gaming memory is Mortal Kombat on the Snes. I can distinctly remember sitting on the living room floor at one of my mom's friend's house, wrapped up in one of those striped indian blankets, yelling at Sub-Zero to "GET OVER HERE!" as I fought my way to Shang Tsung. I've had a loving relationship with the fighting game genre ever since.
As I got older and got an N64, I expanded my horizons beyond Mario, fighting games, and side-scrolling beat 'em ups. Quest 64 was the first RPG I can remember playing. I had so much fun exploring that game, but I never managed to beat it. (Something I should probably get around to doing!) I would love to say much like MK this sparked a love for RPG's. But for some reason I didn't really get into the genre as a whole up until one fateful evening at the local video store. I've now experienced the sadness that was the Dreamcasts failure, winning a ps1 copy of Madden from Fox Kidz and my great-grandma buying me a ps1 to go with it! GTA III at my uncle's house on the ps2. My decision to get an X-box instead of a ps2...
And now we reach that day at the video store. I was perusing the X-box games for something to rent when "The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind" caught my eye. I had never heard of the Elder Scrolls before and was concerned to just jump in at 3. However, reading the back changed all that. First of all, the screenshots looked amazing. I could be anyone I wanted to be? My own character? A huge open-world like GTA, but in a LotR fantasy setting? Oh, wait! The first two games in this series were released in '94 and '96? Well, they are way too old to be that relevant to the story. The decision was made, I was about to set off on a grand adventure.
I absorbed every detail in the manual on the car ride home, put the disc in, and proceeded to be in awe until dinner time. I probably spent thirty minutes just on character creation. I ended up going with a Nord because they seemed like Vikings and I was pretty into Norse Mythology as a kid (still am!) I had no idea what I was doing, got completely lost, and overall was totally overwhelmed. And I loved every second of it! I loved it so much we returned the game the next day and my mom bought me my own copy. That was when a love of the RPG genre was born and to this day I still consider Morrowind my favorite game of all time. I make a point to go back and replay it every few years. No game or media has ever given me such a sense of wonder. I was at the perfect age to experience something like that for the first time.
Now I'm an adult with an awesome little gamer of a sister. Later this year on her birthday I plan on introducing her to Skyrim. She'll be a little younger than I was when I discovered Morrowind, but I think she will love it.