When Grand Theft Auto III came out, I was only 10 years old. I had a PS1, which I played very little. It was for kids. Nothing truly amazing happened on it. I begged my mother for weeks to upgrade to the PS2, but we just didn’t have the money. I knew that GTA III coming out soon and that it was something special. I knew that it would have some impact on the world. I wanted to know what. I wanted it to affect me, like it would countless others.
My mother finally broke down. Despite it being the first game truly designed for the likes of adults, she wanted to get it. She wanted me to be happy so when I came home one day from school, the day GTA III was to be released, she told me that we were going to Wal-mart to get it. I flipped. I remember that after I heard the news, I went outside and cried. Sad, isn’t it? That it was all because of a game? Whatever it was, I’m just glad I was getting it.
I came home a few hours later with a bag. In it held a Playstation 2, GTA III, and a controller. I pushed my siblings aside, unplugged everything, and set it right up. When Rockstar’s logo came onto the screen, I cried for the second time that day. I knew I was in love.
I became obsessed. I could not rest until I had every secret package, every mission complete. I wanted that 100% so badly. Hours of my life was spilled into that game. I completed everything. When I finished the ambulance missions, I gained infinite sprint. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming.
The depth captured me. The day/night cycle, the weather, the chatter between pedestrians, the random crimes, everything. Want a tank? Go blow some stuff up, get the army to chase you, then steal it. Driving around in the tank made you seem like a God. Want to blow up some cars? Put a blockade on the bridge, allow the cars to gather, then fire all rockets! It was truly something to behold.
I think that was the point in my life that things changed. Video games, from that moment on, were to be a huge part of my life. From there, I went on to play every major video game that was previously released. I played Socom, Black, Silent Hill, Shadow of the Colossus, Bully, the Burnout series, Twisted Metal Black, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 4, and more. I got a Gamecube, an Atari, and a Nintendo 64. I went out to get a PC, never having one before, so I could play the likes of Diablo, Half-Life, and Doom. I later became more involved in the PC, learning everything I could so that I could potentially make the games that I loved so much. When the Xbox 360 and PS3 was announced, I was in a frenzy. A whole new generation of games to play! I didn’t have much money at the time so I had to chose which console I wanted. I got an Xbox 360. From there, I got Gears of War, Bioshock, and others. I went on to play every major game for the 360, my collection growing larger with each passing week. It continued from there to where I am today. I have played almost every major game, as well as countless small time ones, that has ever been released. I may not have started back in the day like some did, but I made up for it greatly.
Part of what fueled my fire was the 360 achievements. Since my days of GTA III, I was hocked on doing everything the game offered. Finding the Easter eggs, doing all the missions, getting to that 100% mark. I wasn’t satisfied until I did everything. I think those days is what helped fuel my love for achievements. I am obsessed with them. I hate renting games purely for the fact that I have a limited amount of time to do everything. This, however, is a entirely different story.
GTA III had the biggest impact of me gaming-wise. Other games were also inspirational, such as Shadow of the Colossus, but not as much as GTA III. I was right from the very beginning, however. It did change the world. It was a huge leap in the game industry. One that has lasted for a decade. With GTA III’s anniversary come and gone, it has helped me realize why my life the way it is. Thank you, Rockstar.