My Game Collecting Journey
Hello! My name is Tyler and I have a passion for video games, new and old. My love of gaming started as a child in the 80s. I was born too late for the Atari craze, but I have many fond memories of the Nintendo Entertainment System. When I was young, buying/getting a game was a rare treat reserved for birthdays or holidays. Unlike today when it seems the majority own multiple consoles and get each game upon its release. At the end of the Nintendo Entertainment System's life span, my personal NES library topped out at 9 games total. How was I able to play more games? I often traded with friends or rented games.
I was first introduced to the Playstation in the summer 1999. Since then, I have been hooked on Sony. If I had to pin-point where my game collecting hobby started, I would say my journey started with the PS1. Getting the PS1 so late into its life-cycle meant that there were several used games available at much lower prices then buying games new. As a result, I was able to buy and play much more than on previous consoles.
I started getting back into NES and SNES games through emulators while in high school and college. Suddenly every game every released for the NES, SNES, Genesis, Game Bou and more were at my fingertips. I was also introduced to systems I didn't know existed, such as the Turbographx 16 and the Sega Master System. This broadened my knowledge of gaming and I had fun playing them on my laptop, but there were a few problems.
The biggest problem for me is I had to play games using the keyboard. This is not an easy way to play console games. I constantly struggled trying to play games this way. Eventually I bought a USB Game Controller. Another issue I noticed was that not all games played correctly. Some had graphical glitches, ran slow, or had a very noticeable input lag.
When I graduated college, I started collecting the vintage games and hardware to experience games as they were meant to be. This was easy at first, as I could find many 8-bit and 16-bit games and they were cheap. However, more recently this has been both fun and frustrating at times, mainly due to the rising costs of collecting retro games.
I grew up in a small rural community in Illinois. I have three older brothers, I am the youngest. I am a dog person, as I have had many dogs most of my life growing up. I am also quite the cinephile and enjoy a lot of TV, although I don't get to do this as much with a persistent gaming habit. Of course, like most tech nerds, I have an obsession with Star Wars, Star Trek, and other various Sci-Fi and fantasy genres, but I also like Historical Dramas, Comedies, and Action/Adventure as well.
My first memory of computers is trying to play games on my Grandpa's Apple IIc. I really started getting into computers around 4th and 5th grade. I constantly remember asking to use the Macintosh LCIII (with CD-ROM) or the IBM Windows 3.1 computer and was able to mess around with them as a reward for getting classwork done. To this day I still use keyboard shortcuts learned on that IBM as it did not have a mouse.
My family got our first computer in 1996, a Packard Bell A950 Platinum with a 133Mhz CPU, 16MB of Ram, and a 1.2GB hard drive. About 3-4 years later, we got an internet connection. I still remember waiting 20 minutes for a 3MB MP3 to download on our 28.8 modem and hoping no one called as that would kick us off the internet and I would have to start the download all over again.
I got my first laptop as I graduated High School (2004) in preparation for college. I graduated with honors from Eureka College with a Bachelor's Degree in History with Teacher Certification in 2009. However, at the time I graduated, the housing financial crisis was still in full swing, the state of Illinois was (and still is) in record debt, and the education career field looked very grim. However, after a year and a half I got hired on as an ESP and eventually a Social Studies Instructor at my Alma Mater.
Since the early days, I have always considered computers a hobby. As I went to college and started my career I constantly found ways to integrate my tech hobby into my professional fields. As it so happens, technology is also revolutionizing the education industry. In 2015, I completed my Master's Degree in Education Technology from Aurora University and have since been working as an Education Technology Specialist.