If I had to explain how I got into video games, I would definitely tell the story of early childhood me watching my brother play with stars in my eyes.
Actually, when I was very little, I couldn’t play “long” games, that had many hours of gameplay, because I was afraid of messing up, of forgetting something, but also and mostly afraid of getting lost in it. It sounds kind of dumb, but that’s a fact. My big step forward was playing Fable II. It was terrible, since your choices had an impact on the storyline… But I managed. Before that, all I could do was watching my brother play, and telling him what I thought he should do. I was playing, even though he was the one holding the controller. Then I just dived, and started a few games like Tales of Symphonia or Baten Kaitos, a few months after my bro – I had to forget what he did while I watched in order to appreciate the game. I loved it ! I never finished them completely, though. That takes an incredible amount of time… さっすが J-RPG ! Imagine the paradox : my first own plays were on the exact type of game that prevented me from playing…
As long as I can remember, we always had a Nintendo 64 at home. I got my first gameboy at age seven, along with Pokemon Yellow, and a big Pikachu plush/bag. We belonged to the console era : N64, Game Cube, X-box, the many versions of the GameBoy… Around ten, I moved gradually towards PC-gaming. But never will I abandon returning to these at times ! Now a PlayStation3 is completing the collection, and for the best (exclusives !).
Anyway, I thought I was over it, but it seems my ‘phobia’ was not totally vanquished. I spend years on Diablo II – my first PC game. That one made my childhood, I first played as a 11-yo and never really stopped til the last opus came out. But lately I more easily play (solo) games lasting between 4 & 10 hours, than a 50-hours-or-so [some are exceptions, of course… my many hours on Bullet Run, Borderlands 2, Batman (Arkham Trilogy), Diablo III, Trine, Hammerwatch… cannot contradict that]. It does not stop me every time I stand before a game made for lasting, only sometime does. I’m sort of trying to cure that, since many titles are waiting for me in my enormous steam library. Maybe my ‘phobia’ surfaced again as an excuse, when I play instead of doing my work. I feel less guilty if it is a ‘short’ game I can stop more easily (shorter levels, closer checkpoints…), and that doesn’t have a big story going on. (laugh)
I also became kind of a perfectionist, and finishing a game 100% is something I find very rewarding in term of personal achievement. Some can also be pretty challenging, and they make a nice collection. Out of my 250+ games, I played less than half the list and got quite lots of achievements.
I play a bit of everything. Platformers, puzzle games, RPGs, FPS, solos or co-op… But what I love the most is probably trying out indies. Of course it also depends on my mood, what kind of game it is, if others are available to tag along, etc. I have some kind of aversion for strategy games, though. The only one I will ever play is Age of Empires II.