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Social Community Growing up gaming and poor

Hulk_Smash

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I don't know how anyone else fared, but it was tough growing up poor and gaming. Just so you understand, when I say poor, I mean "no extra spending money". My mom and dad both made sure I was fed, clothes on my back, roof over my head. We were bordering on poverty when I was born, living in low-income apartments and living on food stamps. So we were poor but not homeless-poor.

Eventually, we were able to raise up to lower middle class when my dad got a new job and we moved out of the apartment and into a crime-ridden neighborhood where my dad bought our first house.

Still, I never wore name brand clothes, drank powdered milk with my cereal, never went on a vacation, and a treat for me was going up to a 7/11 and spending my $2 allowance on a pack of baseball cards or a slurpee. Video games were out of the question.

I grew up in in the early 80s so I knew what video games were. They were those awesome things you played at the arcade. I think I played Donkey Kong a handful of times, Pac-man once or twice, and Super Mario Bros (arcade). I had no clue that you could own these games on a home console.

Until that is, I was about 8 years of age and my dad and I were out yard sale shopping. One guy was selling an Atari 2600 with 8 games: E.T., Defender, Circus Atari, Pole Position, Pinball, Combat, Asteroids, and Space Invaders. Dude was asking for $20 and my dad talked him down to $15 and bought it for me. My very first console. Man, I thought it was awesome. It wasn't even my birthday or anything but it sure felt like it was.

And when we moved into the slightly nicer neighborhood, there were a ton of boys my age that lived in that 'hood and they used to love coming over and playing Atari with me because none of them owned video games either. So, I didn't really know how "gaming poor" I was. It didn't feel like it in the slightest.

That is until the Christmas of 1987 when my buddy that lived two blocks down from me got an NES for Christmas and the entire neighborhood it seemed was crammed into his little bedroom watching him place Life Force, Kung Fu, and Super Mario Bros...

It would be 4 more years before I got an NES. Crazy to think about it like that. Now I have a Switch, PS4, Super Nintendo, 3DS, and a beefy gaming PC and I own hundreds of games. If only I could go back to my 8 year old self and tell me just to be patient. :)

So, if you were to finish the joke, "I was so gaming poor" HOW POOR WERE YOU? "I was so poor I would..." how would you finish that line?

For me? I was so poor I used to pretend all my different Atari games were just different levels in an NES game and when I "beat" one "level", I'd take the game out and put another "level" in.
 
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Krappadizzle

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I grew up in similar circumstances. Got an NES from a yard sale in 1991 I think. Loved it. Got a Genesis years after it was out, we rented a lot of games or borrowed a lot from people. Mostly second hand and borrowed all my gaming needs. Things got a little bit better as I went into my teens, but it was never easy.

When I became an adult I really got to relive some of the things I missed out on as a kid, went back and bought all the old consoles and games I could never afford. It's nice now though, gave me an appreciation for what I DID have as a kid and more respect for the things I own now.

Sucks though when you are young and can't fully understand why you sometimes have to go without the niceties that you'd see other kids at school have.

But as an adult it's awesome as I learned a lot from my folks as to how we got into that situation when I was a kid and have avoided all the mistakes they made. Now I just kind of buy the shit I want when I want it. Well, within reason I guess. I don't need a new GPU now really, but I'll pull the trigger on a 3080ti the minute I can get my grubby little paws on one, same goes for a Switch Pro if they release one with BOTW2. Haven't really felt the urge for a PS5/XsX, but when their libraries build up, I'll pick one up.
 

Gouty

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I grew up middle class but my parents spoiled me so I usually had a few of the new games the other neighborhood kids wanted.
The kid that delivered our paper always stopped at my house during his route with some kind of bullshit story to get inside to play Street Fighter 2. His stories involving needing to call home or being too tired to ride any further were always cringe but I was just happy to have someone new to play against so none of that mattered.
 
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My family was more lower middle class, I guess. Can't complain about my youth and what we had. Still, we had our own ways of saving money so we could afford other things as well. Our GameBoy games consisted mostly of those bootleg 999 in 1 cartridges they had back then. There were a bunch of Japanese games on there, which was pretty cool. Later, we bought a PSOne just because it was easier to pirate games for. When I became a teenager and started deciding my own purchases, we gradually moved away from those methods.
 

Belmonte

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My family was middle class, at least for third world standards, so a videogame would be kind of expensive but doable. Unfortunately my parents had a huge fear I got addicted so I needed to wait years to get a videogame. All of my friends and neighbors got one before me. I am passionate about games since the first day I lay my eyes on one so it sucked to not have a videogame at home.

But don't get me wrong, I had a happy childhood.

As an adult I was planning to give my nephews a videogame but guess who were vehemently against it? Yeah, my parents strike again! Fortunately my brother bought one for his kids last Christmas.
 
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SonicJams

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Mar 15, 2019
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Yep, very similar to you in regards to having a roof over our heads, powdered milk, pasta with canned sauce for dinner etc. Parents always openly worrying about money and every dollar counted. No christmas or easter. On top of that, my parents didnt really work, were always stressed over health and didnt let me do anything outside except for play on the driveway. I always had friends growing up and would see that their home life was, and what i wished mine would be. (Fyi, I still had good times still and my parents are very thoughtful people).

When I was 7 (1995), my cousin let us have his Megadrive with Sonic 2 and two Crude Dudes. It was world changing. Now i had a full world of magic, music, inspiration and some sort of stability.

Fast forward to now, I worked hard to get a stable job, save every penny and now own my house outright at 32. Safe to say the desire to never be in that fear again was a very good motivator! 😅
 
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ZehDon

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Great thread, and a good read. Similar story on this end.

I remember some of the kids at school had Gameboys when they first launched. I was five or six, I think. Obviously I wasn't getting one, so I made a pretend one out of Play-Doh, and I'd change the little picture I made on it to pretend I was playing a different game. I remember our first home console was a second-hand SEGA Master System, which I think we got just before the SNES launched. My friends were all "Yay for Super Mario World!" while I was "Yay for downgraded Sonic!". But, yeah, I fell in love with gaming and I didn't care too much that I didn't have the newest stuff. My parents liked it too because gaming is plenty cost effective for a poor family; the hardware wasn't cheap, but one $80 game could keep me and my siblings occupied for months. As time went on, my parents would get us the SNES and eventually the N64, and they did their best to keep us in new games. Other kids went on holidays with their families, I got DOOM 64. I can't really complain.
 

BadBurger

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Your life sounds very similar to mine OP, even down to the powdered milk (and I assume government cheese?), only we moved out of a crime ridden area and into the oldest and poorest-looking house in a decent suburb once my father secured a big promotion at his state job when I was eight or nine years old.

I basically relied on playing friend's games growing up. All of them were absolutely wealthy compared to us. Game rental services were where about half of whatever money I managed to scrounge up went to. I remember friends would carelessly toss their discs around, drop their controller on the floor when they were done, etc. I was like dude, I treated my PlayStation like it was an ancient relic requiring constant care and gentleness.
 

eyesabitdull

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May 10, 2020
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Moved to and grew up in SEA as a kid, so gaming was an expensive hobby there.

But I grew up with the locals, and so, well, I had no problems with pirating games on modified consoles that allow pirated games to be played on.

From the Ps1 to the Ps2 Era, I only paid $2 for a single game.

Now that I'm older, I have a more open handed opinion against piracy beyond a personal level.

I no longer pirate games as a working adult, and haven't done so since I was in my early teens, but I definitely don't hold it against any kid who grows up in a country where the hobby is far too expensive for the average kid to ask money for.

I can only hope they grow to love gaming as an adult and support it properly like I have.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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Great thread, indeed, and we really need it. People need to be grateful when they're lucky enough to buy whatever game they want.

I was/am from a higher middle class so got most of the games/consoles I wanted, but not spoiled at all. Also we suffered from crazy gray market prices. Atari 2600 and PS1 both were sold at $2600 (1000 OMR) early on and only the rich would buy them. Don't remember Nintendo Family Game price on early stages (NES) but I think it wasn't that expensive. Sega MegaDrive when we bought it was around 350 OMR ($910). PS2 I bought it in the US then shamefully modified it when got back home to run pirated games for $2.6-1.3 each (same with PS1), 1-0.5 OMR. Couldn't buy Sega Saturn because it was so static at around 600 OMR ($1560) at its cheapest point. Nintendo N64 was pricey as well but don't remember how much.

PS3 was around 700 OMR for the higher model ($1820) but got it when it became 350 OMR ($910) late 2007. Got my PS4 with the official price for the first time for 181 OMR ($470) then PS5 now at 215 OMR ($559). So you can see that the gray market made you feel poor, and that hurts console sales as well as PS1 would've sold at least 200M.

But it was Atari 2600 during late 1980's, then Family Computer (NES) early 1990's then Megadrive around 1993, PS1 around 1997, PS2 in 2002, PS3 2007, PS4 2013, PS5 2020.

Also bought Sega Game Gear back in the 1990's.
 
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recma12

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Jul 3, 2018
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Great thread OP! Hope you can buy all the games you want now!

I grew up middle class and was pretty comfortable all my life. I had a Gameboy, Master System, SNES, PC, PS1 and PS2 before I started to game on my own money.

Never got any of that stuff when it released, most of it was used.
As far as games go, my parents gifted me one or maybe two a year. With PC and PS1 I almost exclusively relied on piracy to get my gaming in.
Was always a little jealous of the kids that simply had all the current games a few weeks after the commercials ran on TV.
But in relation to some of the posts I feel like the spoiled brat lol
 

sublimit

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I grew up in the 80's as well and i'm thankful that i didn't cared about video games that much as a kid because if i did my parents wouldn't be able to afford them.Instead i prefered reading comics and young adult books like those of Jules Verne. I did knew about games and i liked playing on my best friend's and cousins systems (Tomy Tronic Pacman,Nintendo Game&Watch who they often allowed me to have them for some time in my home) and later on my best friend's Amiga500 but i was never too crazy about them.Later when i started to go to arcades i mostly did so to pass the time and not because i really cared about the games.Well except Bubble Bobble.

Coincidentally the first console that i had was the one i bought with my own money and that was the Playstation 1. It was the first time that games really started to mean something more to me.

So yeah what i'm trying to say is that even though my parents could have never afforded them i never felt that i missed them. I'm actually thankful that i spend my childhood years mostly reading comics and books,drawing and playing outside than playing video games.
 
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Hulk_Smash

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OP here. Growing up gaming while poor Part 2: The NES Years

So, I've read these other stories yall posted and they brought a smile to my face. It really goes to show you the reality you face as a kid that you were at the will of your parents and THEY were at the will, in many times, to reality when it came to how money was spent.

This was first apparent to me when all the boys (save one other boy) in my neighborhood ended up with an NES before I did. The NES was still expensive at the time and, at this point, it wasn't just money that kept my parents from getting me an NES. It was also their fear of me becoming addicted.

My family was middle class, at least for third world standards, so a videogame would be kind of expensive but doable. Unfortunately my parents had a huge fear I got addicted so I needed to wait years to get a videogame. All of my friends and neighbors got one before me. I am passionate about games since the first day I lay my eyes on one so it sucked to not have a videogame at home.

This was me, too. While I only had an Atari, I ended up getting a lot of the controllers, add-ons, and about 50 games for it since they were dirt cheap. No one wanted to play it with me after they got an NES, but that didn't stop me from playing tons of games and my parents taking notice of all the time I seem to spend playing video games.

But, I too, wanted to play NES games. The great thing about having so many neighborhood friends with an NES was I still got to experience most of the NES greats. But, it was always at the whims of the person hosting said gaming session. My friends weren't "gamers" per se, so they would grow tired of playing video games (also because they owned the games and played them way more by themselves) so, I only got a fraction of the time I really wanted with them.

I grew up middle class but my parents spoiled me so I usually had a few of the new games the other neighborhood kids wanted.
The kid that delivered our paper always stopped at my house during his route with some kind of bullshit story to get inside to play Street Fighter 2. His stories involving needing to call home or being too tired to ride any further were always cringe but I was just happy to have someone new to play against so none of that mattered.

Hahaha. This was me as a kid. Except, I was the paper boy. My neighborhood friends were true friends and I wasn't just using them to play games. HOWEVER, there was this kid that lived across the street from me that was THAT friend to me. His name was James and he was kind of a prick. He didn't like playing sports like my other friends and so he only hung out with me when I was by myself and only at his house. It was pretty obvious that I was only over there to play his NES and what's funny is that looking back on it, I think he knew that, too. He'd want me to do all this other bullshit with him that I didn't care about. Playing with legos, playing in the backyard, riding bikes. I didn't give a flying flip about any of that. All I wanted to do was play Zelda and Mario 3. James, just gimme Tiger Heli and Castlevania you fat ass douche! Nobody wants to play with your mismatched legos! If I only had my own NES I wouldn't have put myself through all that. LOL

Every Christmas and birthday I'd ask for an NES and not get one. Eventually, a year AFTER the SNES came out, I got an NES. LTTP again. But, at least my mom tried. She bought one brand new and even got the just-released NES Star Wars game. A brand new game I had never played or had even seen. That was pretty cool. Even if it was Star Wars. Not exactly the best game (but not as bad as the Nerd would have you believe it was).

One great thing about getting consoles late was you can pick up the greatest hits for dirt cheap. I was just getting old enough to start making my own money mowing lawns and such so I bought ALL the greats and had them on my system at home. Even the friends that moved on from the NES thought my collection was pretty sick.

Eventually, high school hit and I lost interesting in gaming for a while. I got more into comic books, CDs, and *sigh* ...baseball hat collecting. Why... why did I spend my hard-earned cash on those stupid ball caps? It was like a "thing" for two years. What a waste of money.
 
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Kuranghi

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I definitely came from a priveleged background but my dad knew how much games cost and how quickly I'd go through them so when I was younger and with the Amiga 500 at least he just found guys who pirated games and if there was a game where I really wanted the proper box with manual he'd get me that (maybe once every couple of months or so) based on me doing my weekly chores or him not giving me my pocket money (£5 a week, not sure over what age range that was, I stopped getting pocket money from 16, had summer jobs from 15) and saving it for me over the weeks, ie 4-6 weeks to afford a game usually.

Outside of that I got games bought for my Birthday, Christmas and other special occasions. I'm sure there were times when I begged for another game right after I got one because I didnt know both were coming out so soon together, but that was once in a blue moon and usually dad would convince me to play the other game for a while before getting the new one. Child FOMO lol.

The joke:

"I was so gaming poor"
HOW POOR WERE YOU?
"I was so poor I would watch the Super Mario Bros. movie while hold a controller, pretending I was controlling Bob Hoskins"
 
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cireza

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Can't wait for some smart-ass to tell you that you will make a poor life choice when you buy a Series S.

We weren't poor, we were more like the middle class, but my parents did not have a ton of money to spend on games either. So I had a NES and games, they were all used games and I was happy with it. When I came back in France, thanks to the fact that it existed, I got a Master System II with Sonic, and I was the happiest kid on Earth. MegaDrive was sooooo expensive.

I gamed on budget for quite some time, always getting used games and used consoles. My parents eventually managed to buy me a Dreamcast for Christmas 1999 : it is at this moment that I finally caught up with everyone. But my previous gaming years were fantastic.
 
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Warnen

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I mostly got stuff out of the bargin bin before I started working and buying myself stuff in the Saturn/ps era.
 
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nush

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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
Until that is, I was about 8 years of age and my dad and I were out yard sale shopping. One guy was selling an Atari 2600 with 8 games: E.T., Defender, Circus Atari, Pole Position, Pinball, Combat, Asteroids, and Space Invaders. Dude was asking for $20 and my dad talked him down to $15 and bought it for me. My very first console.

You did better than I did. I'd only be able to play videogames at friends houses. I didn't get a console until I was 15 and earning my own money.
 
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protonion

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I'm greek and started gaming around 1991.

Not only we were poor but games were very expensive in my country.
I remember a snes game cost around 23.000 drachmas and my father's salary (and only income) was 180.000...

I had to wait months to have a new game. And gaming seemed so magical at the time. I was sad all the time.

We exchanged games in school and gathered in each of my friends' houses to play different systems.

One particular thing I remember.
My father took me to a big store for my Christmas game. I had a snes at the time.
The games were 23-27000 drachmas except for two. Zelda alttp and sim city. 15000 each.
He told me I could buy one of those. I chose Zelda without making a fuss but I was sad that I probably bought a shitty cheap game.
A few hours later my mind was blown. It was the best experience of my life.


Now I'm middle class. I buy whatever I want and it is great. But those memories of not being able to enjoy my hobby like I wanted as a kid always sneak up in my brain...
Poverty in childhood is brutal.
 

Aesius

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I wasn't poor growing up but firmly middle class, maybe bordering on lower middle class for a while (until my dad got promoted into management at his company). I only got video games for my birthday or Christmas. But I was allowed to rent games all the time.

Back then it was dirt cheap to rent games. Maybe $2-$3 for the weekend. Massive difference compared to buying a brand new game for $50-$70 (which was crazy expensive for the early 90s). Most of the time, that was long enough to beat the game, because I would play it nonstop as soon as I got home from Blockbuster or the mom-and-pop rental store on Friday afternoon until my mom returned it Sunday night/Monday morning.

But RPGs were a different beast altogether. I remember being unable to re-rent those from time to time if I wasn't finished, and then just praying that I would be able to find the exact cartridge my save file was on the next Friday and that my save file hadn't been deleted or overwritten. On the flip side, it was always super cool to rent an RPG and see a save file at the final boss or late game.

I also remember one of my neighbors being dirt poor as a kid and getting his first console--an NES--in like 2000. It was really sad. At the time I had everything--an NES, Genesis, SNES, Game Boy, PS1, Dreamcast, and was about to get a PS2. I even had a PC, and here he was just entering the gaming world with an NES 15 years after release.
 
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Reality Czar

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My family couldn't afford an NES so we got an Atari 7800 for Christmas late 80s, like 1987 or 1988. I remember finding "Atarian" magazine given out free in the mall once. We used to go to Big Lots and buy games because you could buy them brand new unopened for $1. They were just stacked everywhere on the shelves because of the video game crash. Atari had shot their wad by letting anybody make a game so there was all this cheap trash flooding the market and all the kids wanted NES because those had quality games.

It was ok because the girl next door and most of my other friends at the time had an NES and we would play that. But I was super into a lot of 7800 and 2600 games. The cool thing about the 7800 was you could play 2600 as well. Backwards Compatibility baby! Sadly this meant I owned two copies of E.T. (given to me by friends - hah!) and no copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I did have a poster with a few screenshots of that game but never saw it, so it was always a total mystery to me. Funny to think about those days now, we have so much information at our fingertips. I might have spent more time imagining what these games looked like than actually playing them!

We finally got a SNES on release in 1991 after my dad got some promotion. And I was friends with some wealthier kids so I got to play TurboGrafx 16 and Sega CD and all that cool stuff at their houses. Seeing Ghosts N Goblins on Genesis after you only ever seen SMB and you owned an Atari 7800 was pretty awesome.
 
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A.Romero

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I'm from a third world country so despite being lower middle class games were really a luxury. Only Nintendo had kind of an official presence in the country so most kids only had access to their products which were really expensive.

I had a pair of cousins as neighbors which were really well off. They had the latest games and accessories. My brother and I used to go play with them but we always ended up fighting (they were assholes). An uncle gave us a NES one Christmas but we never got to buy any games, instead we would rent games for a weekend once a month or so. I really loved gaming. I learned English and chess by reading and playing video games. My dad got us a SNES a few years later and sometimes got games for our birthdays.

We later got an N64 and eventually a Playstation (bought from the grey market because Sony didn't care about Mexico). Playstation was great because piracy was easy to access and very cheap. I had a friend who knew how to copy CD's so I had access to many games.

By the time the Dreamcast came out I was able to get money doing odd jobs. By then I learned how to do web design (I was about 16) so I could get my own PS2 which lasted me quite a few years.

A few years forward I got a PS3 on launch on credit (was a college student in Canada) but now games for the longest time so I could only play demos. By the time MGS4 came out I was back in my country but only had an old 16 inches CRT TV which I used to play the game.

Luckily I'm doing well now. The market has open up and getting games is not so hard anymore, specially on PC. As a grown up with a decent job and no kids I get to play pretty much all I want on a pretty decent set up. I'm definitely lucky. I haven't pirated a game in almost 2 decades.
 

recma12

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I'm from a third world country so despite being lower middle class games were really a luxury. Only Nintendo had kind of an official presence in the country so most kids only had access to their products which were really expensive.

Man I always keep forgetting how much tougher it is in 3rd world countries and emerging markets.
People make less money on average but gaming is more expensive... and even if you have money saved up you have to hope that the companies even support your region. Or otherwise the import adds even more cost.

Here in Germany folks sometimes complain that a product (movies, PS5) or service (Disney+) is released a little later than in the US lol
 

MaestroMike

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usually got one game on my bday and one on christmas so I became very picky and would read all the reviews of different games to make sure I grabbed a top tier game reviews and review scores meant a lot to me back then...all that reading actually helped me excel in school lol
 
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RavageX

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Born in the early 80s, and from a fairly poor family. Never went hungry, but definitely struggled. We were very thrifty, and garage sales were a thing we looked forward to every week. I would see some systems but did not know what they were at the time (Atari, Intellivision, etc) but they were always too much for my folks to buy.

My first system ended up being an Intellivision I think. It was found and only had one game, bump and jump. The tv I had (also found) was a small black and white tv and I played the game on that. I wasn't good at it but still enjoyed it.

My first encounter with a game system period was of course the NES. It was at my cousin's house and the game they were playing was the first Mario. I only had a few minutes with it, and didn't even know how to jump, lol...so I got stuck against a pipe. That was enough for me to be amazed and knew this was something I would always be interested in.

I actually ended up with an Nintendo some time later (years). How? Someone had thrown one away. Everyone now knows how sometimes you put an NES game in, and the screen will just flash. Classic "blow on the cart" fix right?
Well I guess whoever had this one didn't know that and they or their parents tossed it. Had a controller and the hookups, but no games. The one thing my folks did though, was rent movies. Every weekend they would rent a bunch of movies, and every now and then they would rent a game for me. It didn't happen every week, but sometimes was better than not at all.

And finally some years later, my dad bought me a Super Nintendo for Christmas, birthday etc...lol. I got one game with it, Batman Returns. I had a small color tv at this point and I couldn't be happier. I didn't need to own any other games, that one was enough. I eventually was able to beat it on the highest difficulty, learned the KONAMI code, etc and every now and them my folks would let me rent a game. I got to try everything from Super Metroid to Rocky Rodent.

There's a lot of things I struggle with remembering from my childhood, but I won't forget those things.

The first system I bought myself was the PS1.
 
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bender

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I remember getting a box full of Intellivision games for a couple bucks at flea markets in my childhood. I probably still overpaid.
 
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Raven117

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Certainly wasn’t poor, but definitely had to be very calculated in the games I asked for for Christmas or my birthday. Might only get two a year (maybe a third with allowance money).

hence why I got into jrpgs. They lasted the longest. Got more value for my dollar so I thought. Still into Rpg/Jrpg to this day
 
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lachesis

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I wasn't poor - probably upper tier of middle class, but I wasn't getting enough allowances when young.
Growing up in Asia & parents (I'm Asian) were quite strict about me not playing videogames or do undesirable hobbies like Manga or Anime or Plamodel.

In college in U.S., I had little more expenses to spare, that I worked part time jobs and was granted some full scholarship at my school, so I had more $$$ to spend on games... but still I was struggling and I did a lot of trading to play a new console/games with no permanent collection till I got a real job.
 
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recma12

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hence why I got into jrpgs. They lasted the longest. Got more value for my dollar so I thought. Still into Rpg/Jrpg to this day

Yeah, growing up I really made my decision based on how long a game would last me.
Turned me into a massive sports gaming fan because you could literally play FIFA for years. Once I got into piracy with the PS1 modchip the length of games was less important to me, now that I have more money for games than time to play them I appreciate it when games are a little shorter.

What you are saying still holds true for the vast majority of the gaming audience though.
At the top of the charts you will find FIFA/Madden/2K, CoD, AssCreed, GTA and other games that are packed with content and have a high replay value.
Every time I read "games are too long" or "open world fatigue" or "bloated" on forums I have to cringe a little because those complaints are made by people who buy lots of games per year.
 
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A.Romero

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Man I always keep forgetting how much tougher it is in 3rd world countries and emerging markets.
People make less money on average but gaming is more expensive... and even if you have money saved up you have to hope that the companies even support your region. Or otherwise the import adds even more cost.

Here in Germany folks sometimes complain that a product (movies, PS5) or service (Disney+) is released a little later than in the US lol

It is much better now. Some publishers do regionalized pricing for digital games so it helps a lot.

It is a luxury, though. Minimum wage is about 300 us a month. A PS5 is around $700...
 
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vaibhavpisal

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Great post OP.

I remember my intel integrated card gaming days and 9 fps performance it used to offer. If it managed to run the game at all, that is.

It was a student laptop.
 
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recma12

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It is a luxury, though. Minimum wage is about 300 us a month. A PS5 is around $700...

Yeah the differences are insane. If you are unemployed here, you will get your apartment paid and collect ca. 450€ in welfare spending money.
Obviously can't compare that 1:1 to other nations because of the high costs of living here but if gaming is your #1 hobby and you are frugal, you can definately afford a console (base PS4 and a few used games a year) as an unemployed person.

That said, buying consoles at launch and getting every game you want day one is still seen as a luxury here. But even people earning lower-end salaries (1200€ to 1800€) can make that work depending on how many other costs they have and how bad they want it.

When the PS5 released here it was sold out everywhere and people were paying 800-1000€ on eBay and local listings. So this kinda tells me that 500€ isn't a big issue for most gamers.
 

FourEyesGod

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ahhh the old days, my father had money but was too busy spending them with his friends and other women, but he gave my brother and NES before he leave xD, but anyway grew up without much gaming until he started to feel guilty and we atart to go leave with him on weekend, got a gameboy color at the age of 12 and omg everybody was amazed by that!! and when he bought his 1st pc i start playing AOE like crazy day and night. Now when i ask my nephews if they know about gameboy color they stare at me with wonder.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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Great thread, indeed, and we really need it. People need to be grateful when they're lucky enough to buy whatever game they want.

I was/am from a higher middle class so got most of the games/consoles I wanted, but not spoiled at all. Also we suffered from crazy gray market prices. Atari 2600 and PS1 both were sold at $2600 (1000 OMR) early on and only the rich would buy them. Don't remember Nintendo Family Game price on early stages (NES) but I think it wasn't that expensive. Sega MegaDrive when we bought it was around 350 OMR ($910). PS2 I bought it in the US then shamefully modified it when got back home to run pirated games for $2.6-1.3 each (same with PS1), 1-0.5 OMR. Couldn't buy Sega Saturn because it was so static at around 600 OMR ($1560) at its cheapest point. Nintendo N64 was pricey as well but don't remember how much.

PS3 was around 700 OMR for the higher model ($1820) but got it when it became 350 OMR ($910) late 2007. Got my PS4 with the official price for the first time for 181 OMR ($470) then PS5 now at 215 OMR ($559). So you can see that the gray market made you feel poor, and that hurts console sales as well as PS1 would've sold at least 200M.

But it was Atari 2600 during late 1980's, then Family Computer (NES) early 1990's then Megadrive around 1993, PS1 around 1997, PS2 in 2002, PS3 2007, PS4 2013, PS5 2020.

Also bought Sega Game Gear back in the 1990's.

People here when they saw that the official PS5 price being 215 OMR ($559) they thought it was too cheap and something feels "fishy". Poor people, didn't know that we were being under the mercy of thieves for decades. :lollipop_tears_of_joy: Those same people were fighting to get US PS4's for 450 OMR and waiting in queues and pay in advance, that's $1170. I waited only for one month and got it officially for 181 OMR ($470) in December 2013.:messenger_winking_tongue:
 
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Bo_Hazem

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Yeah, growing up I really made my decision based on how long a game would last me.
Turned me into a massive sports gaming fan because you could literally play FIFA for years. Once I got into piracy with the PS1 modchip the length of games was less important to me, now that I have more money for games than time to play them I appreciate it when games are a little shorter.

What you are saying still holds true for the vast majority of the gaming audience though.
At the top of the charts you will find FIFA/Madden/2K, CoD, AssCreed, GTA and other games that are packed with content and have a high replay value.
Every time I read "games are too long" or "open world fatigue" or "bloated" on forums I have to cringe a little because those complaints are made by people who buy lots of games per year.

Yeah, mate. I don't understand the complaints about long games. I buy lots of games, around 200 games on average each gen since PS1, but I fully enjoy long games like The Witcher 3, AC games, and lots of other games. It's mostly people with enough money but with very limited spare time those who complain about game lengths.
 
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recma12

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Yeah, mate. I don't understand the complaints about long games. I buy lots of games, around 200 games on average each gen since PS1, but I fully enjoy long games like The Witcher 3, AC games, and lots of other games. It's mostly people with enough money but with very limited spare time those who complain about game lengths.

My gaming time per week has been in steep decline since our daughter was born yet I still don't mind games having extra content for those who want it.
A) I don't have to finish them, I can drop them anytime and watch the final cutscenes on YouTube
B) I don't have to 100% them. With Valhalla for instance, I didn't even mess with fishing or hunting and went from main mission to main mission.
C) I don't have to play the latest and greatest game that is on the horizon, so nobody is forcing me to quit one game and play the next

Those are really minor annoyances compared to taking away content from people who maybe only get 2 games a year.
Getting an extra 10hours out of a fishing mini game or finding new sidequests after the credits roll is huge.

If it was up to the artsy-fartsy gamer crowd, all games would be like The Order 1886 lol
 
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Bo_Hazem

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My gaming time per week has been in steep decline since our daughter was born yet I still don't mind games having extra content for those who want it.
A) I don't have to finish them, I can drop them anytime and watch the final cutscenes on YouTube
B) I don't have to 100% them. With Valhalla for instance, I didn't even mess with fishing or hunting and went from main mission to main mission.
C) I don't have to play the latest and greatest game that is on the horizon, so nobody is forcing me to quit one game and play the next

Those are really minor annoyances compared to taking away content from people who maybe only get 2 games a year.
Getting an extra 10hours out of a fishing mini game or finding new sidequests after the credits roll is huge.

If it was up to the artsy-fartsy gamer crowd, all games would be like The Order 1886 lol

Yeah, and we know what happened to The Order 1886, which was amazing but very short. I spent 162 hours on AC Valhalla finishing it 100% (no platinum, and don't seek that shit). I usually have so much spare time, even with my daughter around.
 

RoyalLaFlame

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Not from a poor family, we were more like middle-class, but my father would never give me anything regarding videogames. My father was very strict with us so if we wanted something usually we had to work for it. I remember my brother borrowing a gameboy pocket from his friend so we could play Zelda and Mario. That's the first time I ever touched a video game console. After seeing that, my godfather actually gifted me a Gameboy colour with Pokemon Red. That was the moment gaming started growing on me - I fucking loved that game and it was the start of my journey has someone who loves videogames. When the PS2 was announced, my cousin (rich family) gave me his PSX with a bunch of games (he was going to buy the PS2). I remember spending my Sundays after church playing the damn thing.

Fast forward two years, I remember seeing an ad for the Xbox. I really wanted one but I had no money for it and my father would not give me one. So I talked with my mom and she agreed she would give me 2 euros every time I clean the kitchen and my bedroom. And so it happened - every single day I would do it, and my mom would always give me 2 euros each time (without my father knowing). I wanted to buy an Xbox as my Christmas gift but when Christmas finally arrived I still didn't have enough money. I was so sad as all my friends were getting their PS2's and I'm still there, "working" to try to get my precious Xbox. Christmas eve night comes, and after going to the tree to see if I have any presents I noticed a HUGE box. I got so fucking curious that I started asking everyone what is that - even worse, it said on the gift that it was for my brother. I started thinking my father bought a console for my brother but not for me. I was devastated the rest of the night... until they said "It's time to open the presents" exactly at midnight. Everyone opens theirs but the huge box is still under the tree (I got some small gifts from some of my uncles). Suddenly my father grabs the huge box and gives it to me. I remember saying " This is not for me, it says Pedro in there" (that's my brothers name). My brother said "Open it for me, I don't know what it is". As I rip apart the wrapping paper I see the huge Xbox logo and a guy with an helmet (it was the midtown madness 3 and halo combo). I was so sad... i started crying so much. My brother and father come to me and say " This is for you. We only put your brother's name on it to deceive you from opening before midnight". I was so happy after that shock that I cried even more, to the point of having no breath. My father let me play the console until morning, and I will never EVER forget that moment.


That feeling still stays with me, and remembers me to cherish everything I have. Now I have money to buy mostly what I want, but every time i do, doesn't matter how small, I cherish it.

EDIT: I was 10 years old at the time (2002).
 
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Orta

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Weren't dirt poor but stuff like videogames were far from prioritized in our house growing up.

I used to get two games per year when I was a kid, even when I only had a vcs - they were almost £20 which was hefty enough in the early 80's. Got one for my birthday in May and the other at Christmas. And if the game was shit, tough. There was no pre-owned market back then.

My nes (£100) and snes a few years later (£130) were Christmas presents bought between my parents and gran and the 2 game per year rule still applied.

My Megadrive (£180) was bought between my parents, myself and eldest brother and the same for my Saturn (£300) and Playstation (£315).

Then I started working and bought what I wanted when I wanted.
 
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Hulk_Smash

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Dec 25, 2013
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Not from a poor family, we were more like middle-class, but my father would never give me anything regarding videogames. My father was very strict with us so if we wanted something usually we had to work for it. I remember my brother borrowing a gameboy pocket from his friend so we could play Zelda and Mario. That's the first time I ever touched a video game console. After seeing that, my godfather actually gifted me a Gameboy colour with Pokemon Red. That was the moment gaming started growing on me - I fucking loved that game and it was the start of my journey has someone who loves videogames. When the PS2 was announced, my cousin (rich family) gave me his PSX with a bunch of games (he was going to buy the PS2). I remember spending my Sundays after church playing the damn thing.

Fast forward two years, I remember seeing an ad for the Xbox. I really wanted one but I had no money for it and my father would not give me one. So I talked with my mom and she agreed she would give me 2 euros every time I clean the kitchen and my bedroom. And so it happened - every single day I would do it, and my mom would always give me 2 euros each time (without my father knowing). I wanted to buy an Xbox as my Christmas gift but when Christmas finally arrived I still didn't have enough money. I was so sad as all my friends were getting their PS2's and I'm still there, "working" to try to get my precious Xbox. Christmas eve night comes, and after going to the tree to see if I have any presents I noticed a HUGE box. I got so fucking curious that I started asking everyone what is that - even worse, it said on the gift that it was for my brother. I started thinking my father bought a console for my brother but not for me. I was devastated the rest of the night... until they said "It's time to open the presents" exactly at midnight. Everyone opens theirs but the huge box is still under the tree (I got some small gifts from some of my uncles). Suddenly my father grabs the huge box and gives it to me. I remember saying " This is not for me, it says Pedro in there" (that's my brothers name). My brother said "Open it for me, I don't know what it is". As I rip apart the wrapping paper I see the huge Xbox logo and a guy with an helmet (it was the midtown madness 3 and halo combo). I was so sad... i started crying so much. My brother and father come to me and say " This is for you. We only put your brother's name on it to deceive you from opening before midnight". I was so happy after that shock that I cried even more, to the point of having no breath. My father let me play the console until morning, and I will never EVER forget that moment.


That feeling still stays with me, and remembers me to cherish everything I have. Now I have money to buy mostly what I want, but every time i do, doesn't matter how small, I cherish it.

EDIT: I was 10 years old at the time (2002).
Damn bro. The feels.
 
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PropellerEar

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The 90s recession hit our family, from then on had to work for the games/consoles together with my younger brother.
We picked berries to get a PS1 (+ SNES trade in)
Had a friendly small game shop that we would visit daily.
The owner would hide good/newer games under the counter for us, and kept trade in fees minimal as we were in there all the time.
Thanks to this shop we could go through almost whole PAL library of games for SNES & PS1.

Now I can afford all the gaming things I want.
I still buy my games physical prob due to the fond memories of trading games... but today I just give them to family and friends when im done with the game.
 
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M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Dec 25, 2019
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Great thread, indeed, and we really need it. People need to be grateful when they're lucky enough to buy whatever game they want.

I was/am from a higher middle class so got most of the games/consoles I wanted, but not spoiled at all. Also we suffered from crazy gray market prices. Atari 2600 and PS1 both were sold at $2600 (1000 OMR) early on and only the rich would buy them. Don't remember Nintendo Family Game price on early stages (NES) but I think it wasn't that expensive. Sega MegaDrive when we bought it was around 350 OMR ($910). PS2 I bought it in the US then shamefully modified it when got back home to run pirated games for $2.6-1.3 each (same with PS1), 1-0.5 OMR. Couldn't buy Sega Saturn because it was so static at around 600 OMR ($1560) at its cheapest point. Nintendo N64 was pricey as well but don't remember how much.

PS3 was around 700 OMR for the higher model ($1820) but got it when it became 350 OMR ($910) late 2007. Got my PS4 with the official price for the first time for 181 OMR ($470) then PS5 now at 215 OMR ($559). So you can see that the gray market made you feel poor, and that hurts console sales as well as PS1 would've sold at least 200M.

But it was Atari 2600 during late 1980's, then Family Computer (NES) early 1990's then Megadrive around 1993, PS1 around 1997, PS2 in 2002, PS3 2007, PS4 2013, PS5 2020.

Also bought Sega Game Gear back in the 1990's.
Damn those are crazy prices, here it was jacked up also, but not that much. Does the situation improved? For example, now the prices for both consoles (that matter I am out of Nintendo trolling warning) USD price + 21% VAT, games are more expensive around 80 USD for 60 USD game and well for PS5, it's Around 95-105 USD standard edition which is major bullshit, main reason why am I waiting for buying it down the line, it's not that I cannot afford it, it's just does not feel as a price for game, feels like for some physical thing. At least in my brain.

So are you doing better with prices down there, right now?
 
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