My Gaming Decade

Illustration for article titled My Gaming Decade

Numerous recent retrospectives showed that, from 2000-2009, video games changed. But how did you change alongside the games of the 00's? I've compiled My Gaming Decade. You go next.

2000: A year removed from grad school, I bought The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, which would prove to be my favorite game ever.

2001: I attended my first E3, getting my first try at Pikimin, my first look at Halo and my first and only instance of being weighed down on a Los Angeles street corner with overstuffed press-kit-filled GameCube/Xbox/PS2 backpacks. Gave one of them away on the spot to some eager swag hunters. On the other side of September 11 and brief unemployment, I bought a purple GameCube. The guys who reserved ahead of me got black.

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2002: Broke a streak of owning only Nintendo consoles that had started post-Odyssey-2 with an NES, then a SNES, then a Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Got myself a PlayStation 2. Also got my first handheld, one of those barely viewable original Game Boy Advances. This was probably the year my then-wife-to-be realized the guy she had started dating was very much into video games. She was there for the purchase of the GBA.

2003: Decided VH1 was the career road on which I wanted to travel forever (not a hard decision) and tried for the first time in two years, to write an article or two about video games… resulting in a GameSpy feature and a string of columns for IGN, the former for pay the latter for, well, glory? Visited Rockstar NYC for the first time to see Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, watching a concept reel that introduced the flavor of the game via a montage of movie and TV clips. Then watched CJ bike through virtual L.A. Got an Xbox.

2004: Landed my fist video game story in The New York Times, on why video games had ignored Vietnam so long, then one on the oddball Nintendo DS, which included private interviews with company bigwigs Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto and then, to round out the year, the first article in that major publication about Second Life (don't blame me for the avalanche that followed!). Didn't manage to work at up-and-coming blog Kotaku, not for lack of trying.

2005: Finished at VH1. Finished freelancing about video games. Got a Dragon Age reference in the Times. Started covering them for MTV News. Went to Blizzcon and interviewed a wheelchair-bound woman about her thrill of being able to use stairs, virtually, in World of Warcraft.

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2006 : Went to Tokyo for the first time, met Tomonobu Itagaki, who became the first and only game developer to interrupt my questions to tell me I had the "eyes of a gambler." Also bought Mother 3 with Tim Rogers and got engaged (not to Tim.) Coped with my wife-to-be's summer in the Congo as any man would: By logging 64 hours, 51 minutes and 29 seconds on Suikoden V before finishing it, the most time I'd spend playing through a game in the decade. Names the 10 Most Influential Gamers Of All Time.

2007: Named the tables at my wedding after locations in video games. Started a gaming blog at MTV.

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2008: Reached the final big decision in Fable II, but paused the game to watch Barack Obama win the Presidency. With euphoria around me in Brooklyn (people were cheering and dancing in the street all night), I still went to bed missing my virtual dog.

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2009: Joined Kotaku. Wrote a few posts. Made a few jokes. Bought a condo. Finished a lot of games.

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That was my gaming decade. What was yours?

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crecente
Brian Crecente

2000: Recently transplanted from the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. I mange to juggle my full-time job as a police reporter with the Palm Beach Post and writing occasional pieces for the feature's section of the paper about the real value of virtual real estate, and internet addiction.

After much thought, I decide to put my Playstation aside and invest in a Playstation 2 because it has a DVD player. It is the height of cool. While I play a bit of console games, my favorites are almost entirely PC titles like Half-Life: Counter Strike and Diable II.

I also land a side job with a company that want's to allow people to interact in a virtual world while reading my stories. [Jester.com] doesn't last.

2001: Sick of life in Florida, and desperately wanting to stay married to my new wife, I hunt down a job in Denver, Colorado as a police reporter. I also start freelancing for [Geek.com] as this thing called a blogger.

I'm intrigued by Bungie's Halo, but not enough to get an Xbox. Grand Theft Auto III blows my mind. But I spend most of my time playing PC titles, like Max Payne and Black & White, usually between late night checks on our newborn son, Tristan.

2002: My wife buys me an Xbox for Christmas, something I only become interested in when Xbox Live is announced. I am deeply disappointed with the initial experience, but I see the potential.

I write my first gaming piece for the Rocky. It's about Xbox Live and runs in the business section. I still spend my nights covering crime in Denver.

Metroid Prime renews my interest in Nintendo and the GameCube.

2003: The feature's section of the Rocky Mountain News takes over my monthly gaming stories. I write one lengthy piece a month about broader game-related topics during the day. At night I cover crime, fires, serial killers and riots.

My interest in PC gaming begins to wane as I find more and more console games for my PS2, GameCube and Xbox that I like. I end up playing Knights of the Old Republic on the Xbox, not the PC.

2004: Continuing my freelance feature job with the Rocky I find I end up having lots of story material left over after writing my story. One night on a whim, I create a website for posting the excess. I call it RedAssedBaboon. It's my first blog, and I kind of enjoy doing it during the day.

I come home after a day spent driving from Texas to Colorado and immediately start playing Half-Life 2 on my computer. I play until I get viciously sick from the combination of fluid movement and amazing graphics. Halo 2 proves to me that first-person shooters, which I've only ever played on PC, can be not just fun, but functional on a console.

In November I get an email about running a site I've never heard of and can't pronounce. It's called Kotaku, and after accepting the job (which I did during the day, while working as a cop reporter at night) I keep forgetting how to spell the name of the site and keep bugging my mentor, Gizmodo's Joel Johnson, for the site's name.

2005: God of War, Resident Evil 4, Shadow of the Colossus, this was a fantastic year for gaming. It was also the first year I attended E3.

In February, I land my first big scoop as a video game writer: Detailing the Xbox 360 before any unveiling or mention of the new console hit. Only 2,000 people read the story.

2006: After noticing that I was being quoted in the likes of the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Australian, the publisher of the Rocky Mountain News calls me into his office.

He want's to know why I'm not writing about video games for them full time. My first story as a full-time feature's writer for the Rocky was a look at Uwe Boll and the movies everyone loves to hate.

I spend almost all of my gaming time now on consoles, playing Twilight Princess, devouring Gears of War, loving Okami. I like the idea of Company of Heroes, but spend almost no time playing it.

It's nearly midnight, two days after Valentine's. I'm up late playing through Star Wars: Empire at War for a review. In the middle of an online match the phone rings. It's my mom, she's sobbing. My 18-year-old niece's body has been discovered. She was murdered by her boyfriend.

I spend the next hour trying to contact my brother to tell him his daughter is dead.

The next day I go to an interview with Net Devil, shell-shocked.

In October, I punch a wall while working on my computer, breaking my hand.

2007: After a bit more than a year working as a full-time feature's writer for the Rocky, earning my own page dedicated to video games, the publisher calls me back into his office. They tell me they're moving nearly a half-dozen people from feature's to news spots. They want me back as a police reporter.

I decide to quit and move to Kotaku full time.

It is a fantastic year for games with Super Mario Galaxy, BioShock, Halo 3, Uncharted, The Orange Box and Modern Warfare all sucking up inordinate amounts of my time. Trish often sits with Tristan and I as we play Super Mario Galaxy together.

I am so moved by the story behind BioShock and it's amazing exploration of objectivism that I launch Kotaku's first "critique".

2008: I Spend nearly a week of my life locked up in a hotel room with Mike McWhertor playing Grand Theft Auto IV and then write about the experience for the Rocky Mountain News.

Tristan gets a taste for game development playing LittleBigPlanet and asks me to email a handful of developers for advice.

I buy a copy of Fallout 3 for my brother. He loves it. I knew he would. My dad, now 70, buys himself a PS3 after being exposed to Grand Theft Auto IV while visiting. He later buys himself Metal Gear Solid 4 and beats it.

2009: Uncharted 2 delights. Modern Warfare 2 campaign disappoints. Street Fighter IV is amazing. Demon's Souls surprises.

Finally manage to snag Totilo after stalking him for years.

I spend the last month of the year in Australia. I watch no television and only play a handful of games for review and judging. I spend way too much of my time traveling around the country playing games on my iPhone.