My First Gaming Experience - The NES


Christmas, 1989. I was a boy of just 7 years. As I opened my presents I was told to stay away from the large box in the corner.

My First Gaming Experience - The NES. By Derek Danielewski @iamdelboy GYL guest Writer for his gaming experience.

It was my ‘special’ present that year. I quickly made my way through the other presents, leaving the large box. When I did get to open it, I was stunned. What was in front of me was this:

Turtles 1

The Nintendo NES with Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles.

You see my parents knew I was a massive Turtles fan and that I had almost everything - toys, clothes, VHS recordings. You name it, I had it. But they took a gamble about giving their 7 year old boy a video game system. They weren’t sure if I’d get bored of it after 10 minutes like I sometimes did with other things.

Their gamble paid off. This was one of the best Christmas gifts I ever got, and set me on a gaming journey that has stretched more than 25 years. I got so excited about it that I wanted to set it up right away.

Back then we just had the one TV in the house, the main one in the living room. My dad set it all up and I began playing. I fell in love with it straight away. As I began bashing buttons and making the Turtles jump around the screen, I was fascinated. Those graphics. The digitised sound. Me in control of these characters! Of course I kept dying as I had no idea how to beat the bad guys. I learned though.


Over the couple of weeks from Christmas it was clear I was addicted to this game. My birthday is exactly 4 weeks after Christmas so my parents had their next decision to make. Buy me more games or a small TV for my room.

They got me the TV.

This opened it all up for me as I didn’t have to wait for a shot of the main TV. i had my own. Over the next weeks and for a few months I spent as much time as I possibly could playing it. By this time I had worked out how to play the game properly and was making my way through the levels, beating some of the bad guys along the way.

I kept on playing, enjoying it more and more. Getting better at it. A couple of my friends also had the game and we’d talk about what bit we were at. I seemed like the best gamer because I was a bit further ahead.

Until I hit what all gamers do, a part of the game that is just so tough to get past. Anyone playing Turtles on the NES remembers how difficult this next bit was:


That’s right. The swimming levels. Where you either got struck trying to get through the barriers (if you didn’t have the patience to wait), or getting caught in reeds and dying, or simply running out of air and dying. It must have taken me a good month or two to get past it. That was my first, proper gaming achievement.

That feeling that you have beaten the game and got past a bit you never thought you would. Of course, since then my gaming prowess has improved. Games became more advanced. New consoles came out and graphics got better.

But my gaming journey started with Turtles on the NES. How did your gaming journey start? Why not share your story with us!

Thanks to Derek Danielewski - our GYL guest Writer for his gaming experience.

You can follow Derek on Twitter here: @iamdelboy

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