How AmmanTT and Video Games made me write my longest post ever!

I myself am a passionate gamer, always been and know I always will be. The news that next week’s Amman Tech Tuesday is going to be centered around gaming, released the gamer within me. At first glance I instantly compared it to the globally renowned E3 Expo held yearly in the states but then reality kicked in and I came to my senses. This week’s AmmanTT is surely going to be a blast, nothing to the caliber of the E3 itself of course, but none the less; it’s still a huge step forward for the gaming industry in Jordan and even the Arab region itself. This has brought much memorabilia rushing back and much nostalgia towards the game consoles we once owned.

My first game console was the age old Atari 2600. The Atari itself was a brick to say the least, graphics were non-existing, the so called joystick was literally a stick with a button and game play... well; let’s just say that the kids of today won’t last a good 10 seconds, to say the least. I loved the Atari; Space invaders, Tetris, Pac-man, Donkey Kong, even Pong, they were all remarkably fun to play (I even want to stencil Space Invaders on my bedroom wall).

A couple of years later, we upgraded to the Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom). This was a huge upgrade cause not only did the Nintendo have exceedingly better graphics, but it also had a joystick with more than one button! This alone gave the player the ability to actually excel in the game itself rather than just have good timing; as in the Atari. The ultimate game on Nintendo for our family was Super Mario Bros. Countless hours were spent in front of the TV with my sister and brothers just playing Mario, none of us wanted to stop but were forced to when it was lunch, dinner, or bedtime. I would wake up 30 minutes earlier to school than everyone else just so I can play all by myself without having to pass the hand around when I died or completed the level. My mom would however prevent me from doing that during the day and always say “il door, door… Omar 5alas doorak 2a3ti 7ada tani” (We are playing by turn, Omar yours has ended and now it’s someone else’s). The only other game I remember being addicted to when owning the Nintendo was Captain Majed(Captain Tsubasa) which was in Japanese but after playing it for several hours you get to know which button is ‘kick’ and which is ‘pass’.

Our Obsession with the Nintendo ended once our dad bought us a Windows pc in ’94, and the reason for that is because it hand Fifa 94 on it and that game beat the now obsolete Nintendo in every aspect comparable. I think that was the last time I saw our Nintendo as it was stashed away somewhere, just like the Atari once was. Not only did the computer have games we enjoyed more, but it also had other programs, things that although we still didn’t understand but were still fascinated by.

Our fixation with gaming on the pc was short lived, less than 2 years later; we were introduced to the ground breaking PlayStation. The PlayStation raised gaming to a whole new level with its superior graphics, outstanding game-play and a just better all around design. The first game to catch our eye on the PS was Crash Bandicoot, which we happen to see as a demo in a game store. That game instantly became the substitute for our once dead Mario obsession. My sister, who wasn’t very involved with Fifa ’94, came back to the gaming scene and, to my annoyance, turns were once again shared. The summer would come and we would take Crash along with us to Amman and introduce him to our cousins. The infinite hours once wasted on Mario, are now spent on Crash. Believe it or not, my frustration with sharing doubled because instead of sharing the handle between 4 people, now it has increased to 7, which means that it would take almost double the time for me to catch a bit of the action. My sister made things worse when she started her own save with our cousin and no one was allowed to play with them two (I really don’t know how that slipped past my mother). So hours would pass by, with me just waiting for my sister and cousin to stop playing and pass the joystick to some other hungry soul. Other games enjoyed on the PlayStation were Metal Gear Solid, Tekken 2 and Fifa (don’t remember which year it was).

This time, the PlayStation held its ground the longest, not until 2001 I think did we upgrade to the PlayStation 2, which obviously is the successor to our beloved PS. By this point we have already had internet access for a couple of years, and my sister left the gaming scene once and for all and became part of the then small online society. The PS2 provided superior game-play, enhanced graphics and a better multiplayer. Not much can be said about the PS2 as it was very similar to the original PlayStation except for the mentioned differences. The PS2 was a huge part of my life growing up, basketball and American football were made familiar through playing them on the PS2, though rules were still vague, I was still able to grasp the main idea behind them. That burning fire of being gripped by a game wasn’t present in the PS2 games as they once were, and as the years went by, my older brother Hisham also left the gaming scene. As mean as that sounds, I was fine with that, if not pleased. That meant I could spend more time playing which ever game I wanted to play. My younger brother Ghassan was the only one, besides me, who was still playing and enjoying video games, and he I did not mind as he provided someone to play with/against when I felt most like it.

My latest video game console is the Xbox 360. It took a lot from me to make that leap from Sony’s PlayStation, which I now supported for over 12 years, to Microsoft’s Xbox line. It is a change that I grew to like and whenever anyone asks me which console I advise, I don’t hesitate when I recommend the Xbox. Truth be told, they’re not very different from one another and either choice you go with, most of the games you end up playing are available on both consoles. The new Kinect by Microsoft is almost out, that should give the Xbox a slight edge over the other consoles, more on that in another post once it’s released.

My sister has recently lit up that video game fire she once possessed by getting, what else, a Nintendo Wii. Once again, Super Mario has come back to life and not just in her, but also within all of us, including my mother and many of our friends who never were that into Mario. After some of that fire was extinguished, I bought Super Mario Galaxy 2 and handed it to her as a birthday present. Now whenever I come back home, I find loads of people sitting in the living room, sharing turns (:S), playing Mario.

I left out much, like the Counter Strike and the Strategy games Era, but enough about games for one day. That is more or less how video games have always been a part of my life, I grew up with them and whenever anyone asks me I always tell them that I'd rather be living 50 years from now just because video games would be a great deal better then. This is just me saying that when Amman TT announced that the next meeting is about gaming, all that rushed back to mind.

8 Responses to “How AmmanTT and Video Games made me write my longest post ever!”

  1. # Anonymous Gus

    This is brilliant. keep it up, tall brother. :)  

  2. # Anonymous Chris

    I went berserk for Berzerk when I had a 2600! :D Yeah, I also switched from PlayStation to Xbox, I just like 'em better for whatever reason. Now, I guess while I'm here... Leo's the man! He's my favorite actor. I never get tired of watching Catch Me or The Departed. When Mark Wahlberg did his thing at the end of The Departed, I felt a little bit better about things, if you know what I mean... I haven't seen Inception, but I'll definitely find time next week... to do so! :P Oh, my bad, Omar, I think I should have just switched things around here just a bit and posted this on your newest one. :D  

  3. # Anonymous MohannadT

    This is great. Mario galaxy 2 is one of the best games also extremely trippy in a good way of-course. Great article omar!  

  4. # Blogger omery15

    Thanks gus

    Chris I think that the xbox's gameplay is just better and I definitely know where your coming from on the ending of the departed. Go watch Inception and tell me what you think of it

    Mohannad wont go as far as to say it's one of the best games, but its really good  

  5. # Blogger The Burdened Mary

    Haha I remember the good old days of the NES...we only had a few games, like Mario 1,2 &3, Duck Hunt, and Bart vs. the Space Mutants (we used to looove the Simpsons). However, since then, I've been stuck using PCs and my faithful Mac. I'm not impressed by the Wii at all...I agree that the 360 is a great console.

    Great writing; it was a pleasure to read.  

  6. # Blogger omery15

    The Burdened Mary, you actually just reminded me of Duck Hunt, I used to love that as a child. I actually think the Wii is a pretty good gaming console for the casual gamer or family oriented video games, other than that like you said Xbox all the way!  

  7. # Blogger The Burdened Mary

    I actually have a Wii here at home and besides the potential for awesome downloadable content (like old NES, SNES, and Sega games) I don't really like the game choices for it. A lot of games, especially the Wii[insertwordhere] games, actually get old very quickly. I even tried WiiFit and all it did was make me feel miserable because I leaned slightly to the left!
    Duck Hunt was awesome as a kid as long as the gun worked!  

  8. # Blogger umaroy

    make friends and interactively play chess through the TracersChess with other players while you wait for your resources to replenish.  

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