I played my first video game in the early 1980ies on the IBM 5150 of my father, it was called Big Top; climbing leaders, collecting things, jumping over ledges, compared to todays games a joke, but it left a lasting impression and paved my way to become a lifelong gamer.
my first own console was a nintendo gameboy, i bought it in january 1991with the money my grandmum gave me for christmas. I had only one game, Tetris of course and i played it literally day and night (at least as long as the batteries lasted). i saved money for 6 months to buy a second game, super mario land. I changed games with my friends in school everyone was happy.
my christmas present 1992 was a super Nintendo. I loved this console. I asked the older brother of a friend to buy mortal kombat II (it was rated 18) after its release and we were thrilled, we secretly played it the whole summer, and tried every finishing move (we had a sheet of paper where we noted them).
I also played games on my dads PC, the Lucas Arts Adventures, Civilization, Sim City, Doom, we shared tons of game copies on floppy disks in school, everybody who could get his hands on a new game and share it with the boys was king. the first DOS game i actually bought was UFO Enemy unknown (xcom).
hardware and graphics became better almost every year and a big thing (for me) happend in 1996. id Software released Quake, the first "real" fps with mouse aim. this game changed a lot, we started to build our first gaming PCs, we overclocked our cpus, we bought bigger monitors, 3D graphic cards (3dfx voodoo) and badass 64Mb ram modules. We organized LAN parties, played Quake I, II, III Arena, Halflife, Unreal Turnament, counter strike and Command and Conquer (red alert mostly). at this point consoles were something kiddies play with.
at the time when i moved to my first own apartment I found my nintendo consoles again in a box. i played the old games every now and then and started to buy games and consoles on ebay, they were cheap and I enjoyed it to get my hands on things that were unaffordable in my youth.
My collection includes about 5k+ games (I dont know exactly) on different systems, Nintendo, Sega, Neo Geo, atari... and Playstation*, which makes me the coolest dad for my kids friends.
I always enjoyed playing games as long as I can remember and I always enjoyed to play with other people independently of their age.
Meeting older (my age or older) gamers is strange even for me (in rl) , not like the "weirdo living in mums basement with 40+ years" strange, more like I am astonished how many of my age still playing on a regular basis and call it a hobby. funfact: almost all of them are very reserved with this information in the first moment, because they think it doesnt fit an adult, but they begin to shine in the moment they realize someone their age has the same interests.
"Nice coffee cup! whats that? Black Mesa, I loved Half-Life and still do!"
"What?? it was 'um a present from my nephew... 'um, how do you even know??? "
*and Xbox *shame shame shame*