☆ Gaming Memories: Sarahsharkbait And The Power Of Video Games ☆ #Retrogaming #GamersUnite

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This week we are happy to welcome you to another Friend Of The Freezer and their very own video games memories story to share with us all.

Say hello to Sarah (Sarahssharkbait) from www.gamesleaks.net

Today Sarah will tell us the story of how video games have always been in her life and how it has helped her through difficult times.
"The first time I picked up a controller is still very vague to me.
Cheesy as it sounds, I can't really recall what life was like before gaming literally fell into my lap. Of course, I was only three at the time, so the majority of my early childhood is an absolute blur with only specific events coming to mind.

One of them was watching my Aunt (an avid gamer herself) and my dad play through Golden Axe 2. I remember the iconic intro scene leading up to the main menu, where my Dad would choose Gillius and my Aunt chose Tyris Flare (also my personal favourite to this date) and watching them co-operate through the levels kinda sealed my fate as a gamer.

I'm unsure if it was that day which I actually picked up the controller for the first time, but I know my first game was Golden Axe 2 on the Sega Megadrive and my character of choice was Tyris.

I don't know why I chose her over Gillius and Ax but I've come to the assumption that it must have been her fire magic in which she could conjure up a freaking dragon on the screen that intrigued a three-year-old Sarah.

From that day onwards, I was a toddler obsessed.

Whether I was just playing the same level of Golden Axe 2 over and over or watching my dad try his hand at R-Type, my parent's Mega Drive was always the centre of my early childhood.

At the time, my priority as a tiny gamer wasn't to complete every level (although I was bloody proud when I did) but the exploration aspects of it. Not just exploring the 2D levels but imagining what else could be lurking in the landscapes in the background.

It's weird I know- but I often found myself wondering, what could be on that island in the background of Ecco the Dolphin.

I often wondered that in the majority of the Master system and Mega Drive titles I played. There was so much that needed to be explored, not just admired as you went from start to finish.

Roll onto the PlayStation era.....

Christmas is ALWAYS a big occasion in my family and despite what financial situation they found themselves in, my parents always ensured we received the best presents.

One year they really went all out. It was December 1998 and I remember banging on about wanting a PS One for Christmas that year, after watching my Aunt play Tomb Raider months previous to this.

I remember being in a girly prom dress, (it was weird, my mum put me in weird dresses) and I was sat with her in her bedroom, just watching her play through the first level.

It was the first time that I had seen a fully fleshed out female character with a take-no-prisoners attitude blended together with an upper class personality, exploring a 3D environment and it blew me away!

How could I not pester my parents for one of these?!

On Christmas day, I can recall being so freaking ecstatic, what eight year old wouldn't be, I had just received a PlayStation One and despite not receiving Tomb Raider, they got me Spyro to go with it.

These parents knew what they were doing. <fist bump to them>

They knew exactly how to get me out of their hair.
I don't think that I got off of my PS 1 for that year, it was my life. So much so, that when my birthday rolled along about 8 months later, I invited a few girls from my school round my house to play it!

It was my birthday and a few months prior, I had just started a new school and it was okay to say that I was the 'it' girl for a short while.

On these rare occasions I actually made a few friends, so what better to celebrate turning 9 than by inviting a few of my then-friends round to my house.

Being one of the hottest days, we had a pool party, BBQ and a cake, chocolate, of course, but Sarah had a different plan. I gathered the girls around my PlayStation, loading up Spyro and got them all to play!

I just loved guiding the girls through the level that I had completed months before: 'Use your charge attack on him'. 'Go through there'.

If I could repeat that day, I would. Obviously, these girls later went on to flesh out into everything I'm not, but for that short time, I had turned them into gamers!

That was the last time I went onto have real-life friends as two years later I started secondary school (high school). I was 11 and my only friend was put into a whole different class.

Everyone around me was boisterous, mean and unfriendly characters whose innocence was probably ruined in the Summer!

The boys assumed me to be a freak because I wasn't like the other girls, who reeked on cheap impulse body spray whilst carrying a fake Burberry handbag.

I loved video games and despite these days, I do take care in my appearance, back then I didn't really care.

You could say that senior school was supposed to be a lonely time for me, but it really wasn't! I already loved who I was and didn't want to compromise my hobby for the sake of being popular.

And I'm ultimately glad I didn't.

Despite school being full of more down's than up's, I came out of it alive.The advice I want to give all the readers who are currently going through High school hell at the moment.

Yes, it sucks but hang on in there, stick to what you love because it will numb the temporary pain and get you out of there faster than you know it!

Video games pretty much got me through those darker times.

Half way through senior school, I received a PS2 for my birthday bundled with Armoured Core, admittedly, it wasn't the most exciting game I ever played but at the time the PlayStation 2 was 'IT'.

Backward compatibility and improved graphics meant that this thing was the Don of consoles according to the canteen chatter.

Now I could play the new Tomb Raider game that was soon to be released, GTA 3 (naughty) and it was the first time I played The Sims!

Yes, my first Sims title happened to be the one they released on the console and for someone who never played the PC version beforehand, it was honestly not bad!

Many hours were lost throwing house parties, creating soap opera-like enemies and sitting in the hot tub on The Sims- which to some sounds sad, but it was here that I generally got into creating stories.

At first, I started off with a short story of how Mortimer Goth killed his wife, Bella.
An irony, considering years later for the Sims 2 she went missing!

Then, I got really heavy with the story writing.

With GTA 3 sauntering on into my life with a free-roaming, open-ended game, full of violence, sex and plenty of swearing- I was gripped as a thirteen-year-old!

It was here I created this long 200 page, handwritten story influenced by GTA and the stories I had of Liberty City.

It was god awful. Cheesy. Cheesier than what I write today and somehow full of supernatural elements.

Yeah, I have no idea either but I like to think that my brain had developed.

Video games were the main fuel behind my stories back then and they still are today, there is a story that I'm currently finishing up at the moment which probably won't appeal to my gamer audience but it takes influences from The Urbz: The Sims in the City (an underrated game).  

Yet, I didn't want to just be influenced by them when it came to writing, I wanted to write about them, mainly Retro titles.

Back then in 2009-2010, I opened up 2 blogs that no-one remembers:
one was called the GirlyeditionUK (later named Makeuprehab) and the Gameredition (later merged with my beauty blogs and named ButtonBashingBeauty).

This was the early attempts at reviewing video games, coming at you with cheesy one liners and nostalgia-fuelled reviews that could be seen as biased.

I think I wrote about Rugrats: The Search for Reptar, Pokemon Snap and going through a brief history of Tomb Raider, whilst declaring the reboot would be rubbish, that everyone would pan! (Boy, I was wrong).

It wasn't read by many but eventually, it lead to what I am doing today, writing about video games, going to conventions as my favourite characters whilst finishing up stories influenced by games I have played!

If it wasn't for my parents starting me off with video games, I probably wouldn't have got so heavily into them and wouldn't be doing what I do today.

For me, they are influential, playable pieces of art that guided me through the darkest of places and lead me onto a path of creative writing and cosplay.

You Can Find Sarah At Her Website www.gameleaks.net

OR on Twitter & Instagram Where She Shares Lots Of Cool Retro Gaming Related Posts!


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