Looking back at my formative years, when my brain was squishy and free time was infinite, I notice that the games I used to play made a strong impression on me. I made tons of shitty maps for Half Life 1, and to this day I especially appreciate games that employ environmental storytelling in first-person. I can trace my love of punishing difficulty and timing-based combat back to Ninja Gaiden Black. Some games even helped define my professional and academic interests - Sim City 2000, which I somehow managed to play for dozens of hours on a PS1, served as an introduction to systems thinking and urban planning at a very young age.
So, FRCF, here’s my questions: What games made an impression on you as a young person? How have they defined your taste in games today? How much has your taste shifted as you’ve grown up? Have any games effected your interests and motivations in a broader sense?