We were all kids once, and we all found our own little ways to be happy. Some of us were fortunate enough to have as many toys as possible while some just wanted to enjoy time with the family, especially with older siblings. Others had a whole new world that mixed both quality time with siblings and toys — console gaming.
In the spirit of remembering the past, members of the GadgetMatch team wanted to share each one’s first taste of gaming as kids. More importantly, we want to show how these experiences shaped who we are today.
The games we played
One console we all had back in the day was the PlayStation 1. I remember having my PlayStation 1 at the age of three. Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Ape Escape were the first cartoon-like platforming titles I experienced. Crash Team Racing was the game that introduced me to the world of kart-racing, in a time when Mario Kart was the most popular title in the 90s.
For others, their introduction to gaming came in the era of RPGs for the PS1. Rodneil dabbled with RPGs back in the day, specifically with the Final Fantasy series. In Marvin’s case, what really got him to play with his PS1 was far from a JRPG in Monster Rancher 2. “While my friends were into Pokémon and Digimon, I was hunting down certain CDs to obtain rare creatures in the game.”
“The Final Fantasy franchise brought and immersed me in worlds I can only dream of.” — Rodneil
Even with a plethora of RPG titles for the PS1, there were those who found their first experience elsewhere. Dan, for one, had his first gaming experience with simulation and survival games like Resident Evil 2, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, and Sim Theme Park. Kevin, on the other hand, ventured into the world of Dance Dance Revolution, with his family “even buying a dance mat so the experience was complete.”
Then, there were others who didn’t just stick to one console and widened their horizons early on. MJ had a ton of consoles at his disposal, which meant the games he played were just as much. “Back then, I had my own PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and PSP.” He was exposed to titles we know and love, like Pokémon, Tekken, and Grand Theft Auto — among others.
What we learned from them
Perhaps one aspect of video games that a lot of people tend to overlook is what we really picked up from them. We get it: They’re just video games, right? But more than the gameplay, lovable characters, and storylines, our childhood video games etched a mark on who we would end up becoming.
With my experience in platforming games, it’s important to know where you’re going at all times. It’s the kind of mindfulness and attention to detail that allowed me to solve most of the challenging stages. This is also fairly true for games like Resident Evil 2 wherein, according to Dan, he would “stay up late just to solve the puzzles and make sure we got all the items we could collect.”
“Dance Dance Revolution is the reason why I can still bust out some moves and surprise new friends during random trips to the arcade.” — Kevin
A lot of the games we played also required strategies to get through; strategies that enable our creativity in finishing the game. I remember how, on the first level of Spyro 2, you can instantly finish the level at 100 percent without any cheat codes. Other strategies often include understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your character, and using it to your advantage. Games like Pokémon and Monster Rancher hinge on your understanding of the opponent and executing your moves properly.
Often times, games are about muscle memory and planning ahead given the information you have. Kevin pointed this out when he first started playing Dance Dance Revolution, he was “awkwardly timing [his] steps at first.” Eventually, he picked up on the steps of certain tracks and memorized them. In the case of Harvest Moon, Dan noted how he needed to plan out the next harvest on top of all the other tasks he had on his plate. But even in planning ahead, there are risks to it.
How did it trickle down to today?
As a whole, playing video games at an early age contributed to our upbringing as human beings. While we don’t give a lot of credit to them, we recognize that much of our lives wouldn’t be the same without them.
Video games turned me into a competitive and creative completionist. Throughout my life, I’ve always set goals and stuck with just one way to reach a hundred percent. But by playing Spyro 2 and CTR over and over again, I discovered just how many other times I could achieve the same result.
For both Rodneil and Dan, video games helped them appreciate the world more and its complications. Dan, in particular, noted how playing Harvest Moon taught him how to be a more responsible adult and understand the consequences of his actions. Rodneil could only dream of a better world thanks to Final Fantasy!
“I guess my fondness of simulation games allowed me to understand the consequences of my actions.” — Dan
For both Kevin and MJ, video games helped them discover who they are and what they’re truly capable of. It’s because of Dance Dance Revolution that Kevin, to this day, can bust out a move or two, especially in the arcade! MJ, on the other hand, recognized his own strength from within despite being physically frail.
But all in all, no matter how bad the world may be, video games are our source of joy. We find the strength and the capacity to be happy despite all the stress at work or school. At the end of the day, as Marvin would put it: We may not have learned much, but video games are “fun AF.”
“Who would’ve known that video games have an effect like this?” — MJ
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A journey to self-love: How to set your financial goals straight
With CIMB Bank’s help
There was a point in my life when adulting hit me hard: my romantic relationship suddenly ended, which coincided with my resignation from my full-time job of three years. The thing is, I had a plan before everything happened, but life is indeed full of unexpected moments.
I decided to take a rest first to clear my overwhelmed mind. I ended up doing what most young adults like me would do: travelled to different places, went out with friends, volunteered for several causes, and spoiled myself with my favorite things and experiences — everything that involved doing what I love and seizing life’s great moments.
I was busy indulging myself in this idea of “self-love” until I realized that my bank account was draining every single week, and I was close to maxing out my credit card limit. That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t financially prepared to sustain this kind of lifestyle.
Self-love is more than just showering yourself with pretty things
We all have this idea that “self-love” is about indulging in life’s best comforts, and doing whatever sets our soul on fire. Newsflash: real life is much trickier than these scenarios we see in rom-com films.
For me, I had to take more extra work to do these things I love, while still being able to pay bills. I regretted not being able to save up more and use my money wisely. I eventually found myself living life from paycheck to paycheck, and I realized that this is not the life I wanted to live. I couldn’t fully enjoy life’s moments, since my financial restrictions were always at the back of my mind.
I have come to understand the real concept of self-love — that it is actually about creating a life that is prepared for whatever life’s challenges throw at us. Instead of treating ourselves to short-lived thrills, it’s much better to manage our finances first so we’re always ready for the next big thing. Being smart with our finances is indeed a great form of self-care.
Seize life’s moments by being financially fit
CIMB Bank, the “Best Digital Bank” in the Philippines is a great choice for people like me who want to save up for life’s next moments. The best thing about it is I can open an account seamlessly in just 10 minutes — no need to personally enroll in a branch and wait for weeks to secure an account. No wonder they have been recently awarded as the “Fastest Growing Digital Bank” as well.
Through the CIMB Bank PH mobile app (iOS/ Android), managing and accessing my money is also much easier compared to other banks. They offer great perks and services such as transacting with other banks for free, withdrawing in over 25,000 ATM machines nationwide without penalty charges via Visa pay, wave debit card, and not be bothered by maintaining balances.
I can also access my cash 24/7 in just a few taps, and it’s connected to other local payment gateways I frequently use like GCash and dragonpay, so it greatly fits my flexible lifestyle.
True to its commitment to helping Filipinos achieve financial inclusion and freedom, this all-digital, mobile-first bank offers an interest rate of four percent (4%) per annum available all year round, with no restrictions, via its UpSave account offering. It’s the best-in-market savings rate, which makes me save more money without worrying about security. They also offer up to Php 2 million worth of life insurance coverage!
With CIMB Bank, I can track my savings easily and invest my money in experiences that will allow me to feed my passions. When the time comes that life throws more unexpected moments, I know I’m financially secured to handle it. And that is one of the best forms of love I can give to myself.
To know more about CIMB Bank PH, click here.
This feature was produced in collaboration with Her GadgetMatch and CIMB Philippines.
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