When I was a little kid, I remember my big brother had his friends come over to our house to hang out. My brother’s friends also brought some kind of decoder-looking device with them. I was looking at the machine with such awe wondering what it was while they hooked it up to the TV.

It was a video game console and when they turned the power on. I saw the screen flash white with a voice shouting, “SEGA!” in the background. That’s right, the Sega Genesis was the first console I played when I was five-years-old. We all took turns playing Sonic the Hedgehog and the rest was history.

Since then, I became a video game freak. Playing all kinds of video game titles from Contra to Super Mario. I constantly begged my mom to get me the latest game consoles and when she got me my own Sega Genesis, it was like Christmas every day. The excitement that rushed through my body as I played Super Street Fighter II with my older brother for the first time was unforgettable.

As the years went by, video games had evolved from cartoonish 16-bit graphics to amazing 3D graphics with more realistic gameplay. I owned various game consoles like the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Not to forget the more advanced consoles like the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 and the XBOX. But it didn’t stop there, from 2005, gamers like me witnessed the introduction of next-generation consoles like the Wii, PlayStation 3 and the XBOX 360. These next-generation consoles totally revamped the gaming experience  becoming a $36 billion industry in the U.S. this year alone.

But from over the years of playing so many video games, I think I developed some kind of life-hindering addiction. I remember constantly thinking about playing FIFA  or how I would beat the new Grand Theft Auto while my professor was babbling about some random topic in class. There were times my friends and I would talk about nothing but video games 24/7. There were times I would not even want  hang out with my friends, go out to play or even talk to my girlfriend because I had to finish HALO or my world would come to an end. I would wake up at night and sneak to the living room and  play from midnight until daybreak every chance I got. 

Then my concerned mother had to seize all  my video games from me. It was a horrible experience whenever she seized my video games; I could feel my nerves twitching anagonizingly, my brain smashing itself against my head and suffocating from this unbearable boredom because I had not played video games for a week. If there was rehab for addicted gamers, I think my family would have an intervention and send me there. Seriously. 

But now that I’m 21, I have managed to outgrow video games just a little bit. I’m doing more productive things and made better use of my time by reading, exercising, hanging out with my friends and even blogging every now and then.  I’m especially proud of myself now that I have more of a life and haven’t been on the couch playing video games all day like I did last summer. I still have my urges but it’s definitely under control. At least I hope so.

Yep, getting high off my 360.

Yep, getting high off my 360.