Gamer for Life

Video Games over the years

When I was going through the garage in December to bring the Christmas boxes in the house, I came across our old Atari 2600, so I brought it in and sat it on our dining room table. I brought it in because I wanted to see if it actually worked, and naturally, I couldn’t find the power plug, so that’s a no. So I dusted it off so I could take a picture so I could tell you this story.

I was born in 1970, and the Atari 2600 came out in the late 70’s. My step father bought one, but kept it attached to the living room TV and wouldn’t let anyone play with it, so it sat there doing nothing. We would go to our cousins who had an Atari 5200, which in my opinion was way superior. Eventually in 1983 my step father put it in my bedroom, which was a walk in closet. Being “in the closet” took on a whole new literal meaning.

That was a decision I bet my parents would regret because I became unhealthily addicted to Pac-Man. Every level was the same exact level, the grid never changed. Here is how the game looked and sounded.

Moving right along…

We moved away from our apartment in 1984 to my aunts house in Simi Valley, and my beloved Atari was put in storage and I never saw it again. My cousins would eventually get a Nintendo Entertainment System, and they were 3 kids who all fought over it, and I wasn’t about to get into that fight because it was THEIR system, not mine. I decided that I didn’t really want to have anything more to do with video games until we were stable, so I didn’t want to play. They invited me to play Popeye, and I tried it once, but I didn’t care to invest my energy because I never knew if/when we would move away and I would have it taken away from me.

We did move away and into trailer parks where I played video games at their consoles in game rooms with quarters. I also had a little digital game that could fit into my pocket called Epoch Man that I enjoyed. I also had a Pac-Man watch with a joystick, so as far as I was concerned, I was set.

When I was 22 years old I got a Sega Game Gear with my 2nd boyfriend. We both bought them and we each had our own games. When he eventually broke up with me and I had to leave my apartment because I lost my job and didn’t even have money for food, I sold it at a pawn shop for a measly $20 for the entire package, including a case, several games and a TV tuner. That’s why I don’t have a picture.

When I was 24 years old I got a Nintendo Game Boy, which I still have with 1 game. We were always too broke for food and cigarettes for me, so every time we needed money, one game had to make a sacrifice, which is probably why I hoard games now lol. The Game Boy in its case along with a external battery that clips on to your belt as well as a cleaner disk is pictured above.

Some time in the early 2000’s, I had a website from a hosting company that gave me the option of selling web hosting to people. People would pay me the full price, and I would make a small profit every month. One of the hosting customers asked me if he could pay me for his hosting by selling me his Nintendo 64, and I said yes because I had always wanted one of those. I had a couple of games, but I did eventually sell it several years ago on eBay because I needed the money. It was fun playing it though.

I had played computer video games on my Apple //e in 1990-1992 when I had to sell that system. The one game I really had was King’s Quest 4 The Perils of Rosella. When I bought my computer in 1997, I found several Sierra game collections and bought them. I also played The Sims in 2000 and then in 2002 I started playing EverQuest and I played that for 6 years until 2008, which brings me to the PlayStation years.

In 2007 I bought a PlayStation Portable, aka PSP. I bought and still have 32 physical game UMD’s, and I don’t even know how many game downloads. I played that game so much that the power button barely turns it on anymore, and when it does turn on, the stick doesn’t work because when I try to go right, my character says “F you! I’m going left.”

In 2015 my partner bought me a PlayStation 4 for Christmas. I had asked for a PlayStation 3 because I thought it would be less expensive, but he insisted that if he was going to buy me a game system, he was going to buy brand new, not used, and it might as well be the most current system. Hey, I’m OK with pre-owned at Game Stop. Then I broke my leg in December 2016 and couldn’t play with my PS4  because I couldn’t sit straight up, so he took me to Game Stop in my wheelchair to buy me a PS Vita, which they had to order for me to be delivered to our house via UPS. I haven’t played with the PS Vita as much as I played with my PSP, but I do still play with it when I am not in my bedroom, which is where I play with my PS4 daily.

So that’s about it. That is my video game history. I have always been a gamer since I was a kid, and I will always be a gamer until the day I die.

By the way, the Atari 2600 you see in the picture above is NOT the same one from my childhood. My partner had that when we met.

Also note that I have also played video games on my smart phones over the years as well as my Nook HD+.


PS Vita Not Properly Charging

psvita charger

Today I was faced with a problem that I was not mentally prepared for. My PS Vita refuses to charge.

Last night I turned my PS Vita on so I could see if the weekly sale was in the PS Store yet. Each week on Tuesday they have a sale on games. I knew I was early because it was Monday night, but it was after midnight so I thought I’d check. I noticed that the battery icon showed that it had about 50% battery. It doesn’t say 50%, but it was around there. I plugged it in and let it charge for about an hour and the light turned off. I assumed if the light turned off that it was fully charged, so I went to sleep.

This morning I turned it on to check for the weekly sales, and I noticed that the battery icon was still at that halfway point, so I plugged it in again and forgot about it for about an hour.

PS Vita Screen

After an hour, I thought this has to be at full charge by now, but as you can see, it was still at the 50% mark. I didn’t understand why it was doing that, and I was starting to panic, so I went to Google and searched for the problem. I searched “PS Vita not charging” and the first post that I came across said to just plug it in and start playing a game, so I did. I plugged it in and started playing Minecraft. I played for about 10-15 minutes. You would think that after being plugged in for 10-15 minutes it would have at least gone up to 75% or something, but it didn’t move at all.

I turned it off all the way off by pressing and holding the power button until I saw POWER OFF. I actually did that last night and before the Minecraft “fix” that didn’t exactly fix anything. You can usually solve any problem by turning it off then back on again. Usually.

I read another message board post that put me in a panic attack. It said if you have only had it for like say a couple of weeks or a month to go back to the store and return it for an exchange. Well, I’ve had mine for 5 months, so yeah I can’t exactly do that, now can I? I kept reading, and was getting more discouraged by the minute until I went to find the original box that the PS Vita came in, which yes, I had because I save things like that lol.

Inside the box I found a couple of things. I found that I have a 2 year warranty from Game Stop, thank goodness for my partner buying the warranty with my Christmas present. I also found something, it’s a little box that you plug the USB cable into and a plug. I never unpacked those because I figured if it can be charged via USB cable, why use that? So I took it out, took a picture (above) and plugged it in and guess what? It charged my PS Vita to 100%.

This is my fix for this issue, and it may or may not work for everyone else just like the plug it in and play a game fix didn’t work for me, but if you haven’t tried it, try it and see if it works. I sure am glad I figured that one out. Technology doesn’t love me as much as I love it.

PS Vita for Christmas


Most normal people exchange Christmas gifts on or before Christmas day. We’re not normal lol.

My partner bought me a brand new PlayStation Vita Borderlands 2 bundle at GameStop last week, and it arrived yesterday. It arrived at the house at 1:43pm, but there was nothing on the doorstep. I thought he got it, but hid it from me to give to me on Christmas, so later that night when Dominos rang the doorbell, I asked if it was UPS and he said it wasn’t. Long story short, our driver hid the package from us and it took calling them to file a stolen package report for them to reveal to us the location of the box. They’ve never done that before. Grrr! The note on the tracking said it was left on the front door, but it was behind our hose.

So back to the PS Vita. I thought it would be much smaller from what I’ve seen in videos, but it seems to be thicker and it feels heavier than my PSP Slim. It does feel good in my hands, but I find myself punching characters out and accidentally tossing grenades when I don’t mean to because of the back of the device. I like that it gives you more options, but it’s too sensitive.

Games that are meant for the PSVita play great with the front and back touch screens as well as the 2 analog sticks. I actually like that I’m touching the correct tool or block on the front screen in Minecraft even though I can use the directional buttons. It just seems faster to touch the screen.

Some of my older PSP games don’t access these newer features. Like you can only use the left analog stick to move your character around. I think using 2 analog sticks is easier. My old PSP is temperamental though, so I’ll be running to the right, and my character is either running to the left or in circles. That’s why I love having 2 analog sticks because the one on the left is propelling you forward or backward, and the one on the right is allowing you to run in many directions. I also love that they made the R button your trigger as opposed to the X button to allow you to continue running while shooting.

The guy at Game Stop told us the 8gb memory card that comes with the bundle will be completely used by the game that comes with the PSVITA. Borderlands 2 comes with 6 add-ons and yes it does use most of your card, but you’ll still have a few gigs to add more games.

Anyway, I did buy a 32gb card on Amazon that night when we came home. It’s actually a pain in the ass to have to completely shut the PSVita down when I want to switch from the 8gb card to the 32gb card or vice versa. Why can’t they just give you more than 8gb knowing it will use most of the card? Or why not just sell the hard copy of the game instead of a download?

I was watching someone play the Vita version of Minecraft on YouTube, and there were moments when the game seemed to lag. I haven’t had that issue, but there was a moment when the game froze and I had to close it and I lost all my progress.

One of the reasons I wanted a PSVita was because of the remote play feature. I have a PS4 in my bedroom, but I spend a huge chunk of the morning and afternoon in the living room. I was looking for ways to play Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront in the living room. That feature is only available on Sony phones and PSVita. That was the huge selling point for me. I mentioned earlier that you accidentally throw grenades, I was referring to Star Wars Battlefront. No one said anything, but I kept doing it and I quit playing because of it. I don’t have an issue with Destiny. In fact, I actually love playing Destiny using remote play.

I think if you have a PSP and you bought this as an upgrade for the new games, go ahead and keep your old PSP and the old games. Don’t install your old games on the new system. Just switch back and forth I guess.



I took 2 pictures of my PSP Slim with the new PSVita, and you can see that they are pretty much the same size, and I looked and they seem to be about the same thickness. The PSP Slim screen is much smaller at 480×272 pixels and 3.8 inch screen, and the PSVita has 960×544 pixels and a 5 inch screen.

The PSN membership gives you 2 free games every month. 2 free PSVita games, 2 PS3 and 2 PS4 games. So if you have all 3 consoles, congratulations, because you get 6 free games. Some of the games work on all 3 consoles. In fact, some of the games I bought for my PS4 have PSVita games, which is how I managed to get these on the Vita. I’m really enjoying the PSVita version of Minecraft and Terraria. This is an awesome gift and thank you to my partner for buying it for me, and thank you even more because I’m able to play with it during my broken leg downtime.


PS Vita Borderlands 2 Bundle


My partner didn’t know what to get me for Christmas, and I was dropping hints so big, I’m really shocked he didn’t get it lol. He finally did when I just blurted it out. A bit tacky, but whatever.

So he called Best Buy to find out if they had the PS Vita, and they said yes, so we got in the car to go and I told him that if truth be told, I honestly don’t want just the console, I’d rather have a bundle because it’s the same price, and you get a game AND a memory card. Best Buy only had the console, not the bundle. I looked on the Game Stop app and I thought they had the bundle, so we went to the mall and they said they didn’t have the bundle.

They said they just had the blue PS Vita, so we were just going to buy it on Amazon later, but I decided that I didn’t care about the bundle, I just want it, so we went back. They explained that I needed a memory card since the 1GB on board is used for the Vita OS, and it was too much for my partner, so we ordered the bundle to be shipped, and after shipping and the warranty, it came out to the same price lol. Oh well.


The guy at Game Stop said Borderlands 2 will consume the 8GB memory card that comes in the bundle, so when we came home I bought a 32GB memory card for $62 and change, plus tax, plus shipping, and it will be here on Wednesday. The PS Vita will be here on Friday.

Today I went on the PlayStation app on my phone to see what games I already own that are compatible with the PS Vita, and it turns out I have quite a bit of games that will work. I listed them. I bought 2 extra games that I have many add-ons for that will work with the
PS Vita, so I figured I might as well have those games too. A lot of these games are on my PSP, but some of these games are only available for the PS Vita. I already own them, so now I can actually play them, and some of them I’ve played on my PSP, so I can play them again, but with an extra stick since my PSP only has the one stick on the left, and the PS Vita has the stick on the left and right.

PS Vita game list

I used to make PSP gameplay videos and post them on YouTube, and I was quite proud of them, but I stopped doing it because so many people made fun of the fact that my hands shake (I was born with a tremor in both hands, actually my entire body shakes). One or two people commented on how I was playing a game wrong since I wasn’t properly killing the monsters the way they would have killed the monsters. Talk about picking your battles. Dude, we all play games our own way, you play your way, I play mine. No one plays wrong. One person actually called me a pedophile. As if only children are allowed to play video games, give me a break. That was my deciding factor in quitting.

I discovered a device that you can plug your PSP into that will record your gameplay, which cuts out the need for a camcorder pointing at the screen, so no hands in the way, but I don’t know if it works with the PS Vita. If I can find out what other people use to record gameplay with the Vita, then I may consider doing that because I’d really love to record some videos again. I had so much fun doing that, and I love watching other people playing video games, so I want to do that again. If I need a device then I will buy one, but if you can do it directly from the Vita without the need for extra hardware, then I will do that instead.

So the 32GB memory card comes on Wednesday and the PS Vita comes on Friday. I wanted it so when I am in the living room, I will be able to play Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront using remote play, but I really want to play the other games like Borderlands 2 and some of these games I’ve listed. I will post again when it comes and after I’ve played around with it. Catch you on the flip side!