I can't speak for my wife or children, but for me it all started with Pong back in the 70s. Then a couple of stores downtown got in Space Invaders and PacMan and it was all over. I never really owned a quarter after that. I just held it until I gave it over to a video game. I played all sorts of video games. Whatever I could find, really.
I don't remember how old I was, but I do remember going with my father to the local fire department. He would play poker and I would play Rally-X or Pac Man 2 or Ladybug. I remember having birthday parties at the local skating rink or water slide and spend more time at the video games than at the attraction. Every visit to the orthodontist came with a visit to the arcade at the mall.
In the early 80s, my parents got me a ColecoVision. It was chosen based on the fact that one of my friends had an Atari and another one had an Intellivision. Within a year, my uncle owned one as well. At the time, I was strongly into maze and puzzle games. I loved Ladybug, Venture, Mr Do, Donkey Kong and many others. The game system was hooked up to a spare television in the hallway. I spent many a cold Saturday afternoon playing games after cartoons were over.
I was in high school the first time I went to Reno with my mother and grand parents. I was given some money and put in charge of my little sister and we were confined to the arcade area when not with an adult. I spent most of my money on Super Mario Bros, but never rescued the princess. She was always "in another castle."
In the late 80s, I bought myself a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Within a year, my grandfather owned one as well. Within three years, I owned two. I was on vacation, and the rental store wouldn't rent the system out to a minor, so I used my vacation money to buy a new one. When I went off to college, I took one with me and left the other at home. At the time, I was strongly into puzzle and story telling games.
It was on the home version of Super Mario that I finally found the correct castle and rescued Princess Peach. I spent hours playing Rambo, Zelda 2, Contra, Ultima, Final Fantasy, and many others. I remember one Saturday I spent all day playing Legend of Zelda and completing both quests without losing a life.
In the early 90s, my roommate and I went half-sies on a Super NES (SNES). He sold me his half in exchange for skipping two month's rent. By now, I was in college and arcades were few and far between. The college had Super Street Fighter, and it being the only video game available it became a favorite of mine. I had some side-scrollers like Spider-Man and Superman, and some story based games like Final Fantasy 3, Chronotriger and Shadowrun, but fighting games like Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, Samurai Showdown, etc. were my go-to games.
I drifted away from arcades and gravitated more toward console gaming around the late 90s. I got a PlayStation and nearly burned it out playing Final Fantasy 7, Resident Evil, and WWF games. I got a PS2 and played Full Metal Black and WWE games. But, I finally made the full transition from console games to PC games in the 2000s.
I spent a few years playing World of Warcraft. But, I played for entertainment, and was quickly left behind by friends who logged ten to twenty times as many hours as I did.
Video games have been an important part of my life for my entire life. They are still my go-to entertainment even after all these years.