I'm not much of a gamer anymore. The last console I owned was a Nintendo 64, and it's been nine years since I last bought a high-end PC. But video games were the one piece of pop culture that really marked my childhood--more than books, more than movies and television, more than anything. They remained a central part of my life all the way up to my late teens. So it seems fitting to write a tribute to all those games that made an impact on me.