It’s impossible to pick just one. I loved getting kidnapped and held for ransom by space pirates via text-based forum roleplaying. I loved debating RTS strategies with my best friends for the entirety of middle school. I loved the first game I ever played. I loved all the in-game accomplishments I’ve had in MMOs, making lasting friends along the way.
But the first thing that came to mind was playing Monkey Island with my extended family. Growing up, my dad always made sure we had an adventure game that he could play with me and my brother. We played a ton of LucasArts and Sierra point-and-clicks and we never cheated. When we got stuck, we’d just talk through the issue over the course of days or weeks, trying to come up with new solutions to try the next time we played. Until we’d eventually solve it.
After awhile, it became an extended family adventure too. My dad has two brothers. One bought me my first-ever copy of PC Gamer and set me along my path to working there over a decade later, and the other shared Monkey Island games with us. We’d take turns buying them and after one family beat them, we’d mail it to the other so they could play it.
I remember when the first Monkey Island game showed up on our doorstep. We popped open the box and found the most beautiful piece of DLC ever created at the top.
Every time you booted up the game, you’d have to match the mixed-up faces shown on screen and then enter the codes revealed. It was perfect for little-me — it was fun and kick-started every game session with a puzzle I could actually solve as the youngest in the bunch. I fell in love with Monkey Island immediately — it’s humor and fun-first pirate setting was incredible and something I’d never experienced in games before. It’s puzzles were tough and goofy — and I loved every second of brainstorming solutions of how to solve them with my dad and brother.
We’d played videogames together before, but I don’t think I truly loved one until I played Monkey Island. I hope I can create that sort of family fun nights with my kids as they get older. Who knows? Maybe I’ll try starting them with the incredible Monkey Island remake that came out a few years back!
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