Shamelessly stealing from an RPS post here, but what's the first game that you can remember being something more than this game seems good and I play a decent amount of it. I knew my answer immediately (more on that in a bit), but used the prompt to think about games that came before it that maybe just missed being something I spent every waking hour thinking about.
The first game I remember is King's Quest, which I played through with my grandmother on an IBM PCjr. I'm tempted to say that I was too young at that point for any media to take over my life, but this was about the time I discovered Star Wars and that definitely did.
I got an NES when I was 6 and played a lot of the Zelda games, but nothing on that system really gets close. Next up was the Genesis, where I got really into sports games. Untold numbers of seasons in the Joe Montana Football and World Series Baseball games were played, but again, I didn't spend any time outside of the games thinking about them.
In the early 90s we somehow ended up with a Macintosh SE (the black & white screen one), and I played a ton of SimCity. This is probably the first game that really sucked me in, but it's not the sort of thing that had me reading about urban planning or anything in my time away from the game.
Then we got a PC in the mid-90s and I eventually read the PCGamer review of Sid Meier's Civilization 2 and knew I had to play the game. My schedule for the summer of '96 was:
- 5:30 - 7:30am - Morning swim practice
- 9:00am - 3:00pm - Civ 2
- 4:00pm - 6:00pm - Afternoon swim practice
- 7:00pm - 10:00pm - Civ 2
And unlike something like SimCity, I was spending time outside of the game reading about not just it but also random history topics inspired by playing the game.
Other games come to mind after that -- SMAC, Oblivion, later Civ entries. But nothing quite like Civ 2. I'm sure alot of it was the fact that I was the right age to be interested in the subject matter and able to devote that much time to a single game, and also the fact that so many fewer games came out in a given year during that time. But having played it again recently, Civ 2 is just a really good game.
Anyway -- what's your first life-destroying (in a good way hopefully, but if not that's interesting too) game?