So many good times
I sold my Atari 2600 and all my games to put the money towards a C64 for xmas, the folks chipped in the rest and on xmas morning I unwrapped it.
I was 13yrs old... I set it up, plugged in the tape drive and opened the two games I had been bought. The Hobbit txt based adventure game (which came with the book too, and is my all time fave book) and Jeff Minters Hovver Bovver.
We read the instructions, set it up, plugged in the joystick, switched it on and loaded Hovver Bovver... 5 mins later we discovered the joystick was faulty... this has been a tradition in my family for over 40yrs... something gadgety/electrical would always be broken in some way when opened on xmas day.
So we loaded The Hobbit instead and aside from xmas dinner, the top of the pops special and a few movies... all 5 of us sat around playing the Hobbit.
I tried programming on it, but wasn't very good at it... But I kept the C64 until 1990 and had hundreds of games for it.
I discovered the joys of twin tape decks on my dads stereo, and me and friends would swap games, another friend got a cartridge (can't remember the name), load a game press a button on the back and record it back to tape or disk.
I've lost count on the number of games that cemented my love of video games... that as a 42yr old is only just starting to wane (mainly due to stupid kids, so I stick to single player and RTS type games now)... but I broke more than a few joysticks on Daley Thompsons Decathlon, perfected my skills on Summer Games I/II, Winter Games & California Games, pursued the llamas in Jeff Minters timeless classics,... Uridium, Paradroid... oh the memories have brought a smile to my face on a cold winters night.
I used to go to a computer club on a Monday night, and took my C64 with me... I saw kids with Atari 400's, Speccy 48k's and at the end of my time there a few speccy 128 and C128's.
But every week a crowd would gather around my C64 (or one of the others... depends who got in early and bagged the biggest colour TV (normally me :) )) and play the latest games... or simply load up the voice emulator (something none of us had ever seen or used before) and get it to say the things a group of 12-14yr old boys would. :)
I got an Atari ST 1080 in 1989 and had that for a couple of years, then got a couple of Amigas in the early 90's (one with the 1mb upgrade)... but they never held the same appeal as the C64 did, nor did my Megadrive, SNES... I guess it was my chipped playstation I got in 96 that reinvented console gaming and moved it back along to my age range (mid 20's by this time)... followed by my first CDRW in about 98.
I had a PS2 and an Xbox... but I skipped the 360 and PS3 and just have a Wii for when friends visit as even my 69yr old disabled dad can play the bowling on that... it's the first time he's ever been truly interested in video games in my entire life... same goes for my sister and mother, and if my brother was still alive... he'd have loved it too.
Strange... I'm not enjoying computer games much any more, as my eldery parents and older siblings were.
Happy birthday C64... you gave me and my friends many, many years of fun.