Growing up, I was proud, and still am proud, to call myself a gamer. A true gamer. The one that was hyped for all the franchises and would grind countless hours in a game. Games like Mario, Pokemon, Duck Hunt, Super Smash Bros, and constant flash games on the Internet were my life. I never had systems like PS1, PS2, Gamecube or Xbox. My family was still in an apartment, so all I had was an N64, a Gameboy Advance SP and a plug in NES to my name.
My lifelong friends of 8 years now are gamers as well. Ever since I went to one of their houses for the first time, and seeing a GameCube for the first time and playing all these new games, I never went back. I would constantly research and familiarize myself with gaming. I craved it, and it was something I could always turn to during the darkest of times and the brightest. I remember inviting my friends over and we would just spend time talking and debating about games, playing classics like Gex, Rayman 1, Donkey Kong Country, and so many others. I was insanely jealous because growing up, my parents did not approve of gaming in the slightest. There were constant arguments over it, and to this day, there still are. Seeing my friends games was the highlight of some of my days, and then the drive back home would be the worst thing to happen. No matter what, I always did my best to maintain my passion, and using money I have gathered over birthdays, Christmas, etc., I started a collection. This collection started off with me purchasing a PS2 from a person that I knew from school. It came with 2 controllers and 15 games. This would be the kickstart to my love for PlayStation.
Later on, I would acquire systems like the Wii and original Xbox, and my friends and I would play them all day. However, when they left, I would turn them off and go to my PS2. Playing games like Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Crash Kart Racing, Simpsons Hit & Run, Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, and Splinter Cell were so much fun.
Over time, I began to lose my passion for gaming. My parents were more controlling than ever over the situation, and I just could not fight it that much. It took 4 years of begging my dad for a PS3, and despite achieving their level of expectations, he would not buy it, and being a pre-teen, I had little to no money, and was so depressed; not just because I could not have one, but because seeing my friends get one each tore me apart. Them playing games like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction was so heart-breaking. This was when I focused less on gaming, as my old games were becoming less and less interesting. I did not want to lose the passion, but I felt as if I could not keep it up and sort of drifted off from picking up a controller. Then, one weekend, I had nothing to do, and decided to play some Kingdom Hearts 2 after several months of not playing. It was overwhelmingly fun, and brought back all of the memories I had.
After that, I knew that gaming was back in me, and I had worked several odd jobs, just scraping dollars and cents together. After about a quarter of a year, I had saved up enough for a PS3, and the Uncharted 1 & 2 bundle. After that, it's history. I am a proud PS3 owner, and have overcome a clinical depression simply by playing Uncharted 2. Thank you so much, Sony, for sparking the passion I had lost.