Out of the all the games you played what game made the biggest impression on your life?
Louise: I know a lot of people are going to mention older games like Super Mario Bros., but when I think of the game that’s made the biggest impression, it has to be Team Fortress Classic. It wasn’t that the game was amazing, but it opened my eyes to the entire concept of community. I had started playing on random public servers when Team Fortress Classic came out and prior to that, never really played any games too competitively. I happened on a fairly unique server with mature (not your typical 12 year old) players and had a great couple of games. I kept returning to the server because eventually, it became a place where everyone knew my name. Most of the regulars on the server were welcoming and civil, unlike a lot of people you’d meet on XBLA.
Growing up without siblings, I’ve always played video games by myself, so having people who liked the same games I did was completely new to me. This was also a bit before I started practically living on the internet. Through TFC, I made a few good friends, learned a lot about gaming online, and I hadn’t started that first game, my life would have taken a different path, as corny as that may sound.
Jenni: I’d say it’s a toss up between Phantasy Star 3 and Phantasy Star 4. I never really played RPGs before either of those games. It was those two that really got me into the genre and hooked on playing. I remember replaying Phantasy Star 3 multiple times, trying see what would happen to each generation depending on which heroine I’d have the previous generation’s hero marry. As for Phantasy Star 4, I just remember loving the artwork, characters and storyline, though I didn’t actually beat the game until I was in 8th grade.
Laura: For me, it’s probably way back to Suikoden II and Final Fantasy 7, for different reasons. FF7 got me into gaming in general, as well as introduced me to RPGs. It was a big “first” for me, so I guess it’s influential in that way?
Suikoden II, though … I mean, it has an amazing story, great graphics (imo, lol. Go 2D sprites!) and amazing characters. But the reason it really influenced me was that it actually sparked my first idea for a story, which I had written in eighth grade. And ever since then, that story has gained a life of its own, growing and changing even now. In fact, this story has brought me into way too many different fields for my own good, in the name of “references for the story” or “idea fodder”: various areas of sociology and anthropology, old classics, history, architecture … and those are only for writing. I don’t even want to think about what I’ve gotten for art references.
Spencer: I don’t know if I can cite a single game, but Mega Man left a lasting impression. The first game was challenging and if anything I learned the art of persistence to beat it. When I finally got through it I felt a sense of achievement, maybe even a little pride for memorizing all of the block patterns and defeating Dr. Wily. I think that feeling is what got me initially interested in playing video games and eventually (way down the line) to the creation of Siliconera.
Ishaan:Wow, this is a tough question. It took me a while to actually decide which games were most influential to me, just because every game I’ve really enjoyed has influenced me in some way, whether it’s shaped the way I write about games or my outlook on life or even opened me up to new genres.
I’m going to have to go with this 1998 PC game called Outwars, published by Microsoft and developed by Singletrac. Outwars is a game that, in my opinion, helped shape shooters today. It was a third-person squad-based shooter where you fought off aliens using high-tech suits that you could customize with different kinds of rifles and grenades and missiles. The suits themselves could emphasize agility, armour or firepower. Each suit also had a built in jetpack that would allow you a few seconds of flight before requiring to cool down and recharge. You could give a limited set of commands to your teammates, and every mission allowed you to approach it in multiple ways.
I picked Outwars because it was the first game that made me really think about how to approach ingame objectives and try out different strategies. I must have played it over and over again for well over a year.