From there, I moved onto Battlezone - a game quite unlike any other, and I remember how it struck a chord with me. How utterly immersed I was in its world. It didn't matter that the graphics were simplistic wire frames; once I had my face nuzzling its viewport, I was immersed. I was part of the world.
Playing at home on my Spectrum, the first FPS I remember was Seiddab Attack - a little-known title, which placed the player in the role of tank driver, fighting off wave after wave of alien invader. So far so familiar. What set Seiddab Attack apart, aside from its name - spell "Seiddab" backwards - were its visuals. The view from your tank was a 3D representation of a city at night, the tower blocks rendered solely through the clever use of yellow dots.
From there, I would always gravitate to the FPS genre. Castle Master. MIDI Maze. Wolfenstein 3D. Doom. Even lesser-known games that arrived in the wake of Doom - Hexen, Heretic, Descent, Outlaws - I lapped them up like a demented cat. It didn't matter how basic the visuals were; I was somehow always able to see beyond them, to what they were trying to convey. I bought into them.
But why? What is it about the FPS that really chimes with me? It's something I've been pondering in recent months, in the wake of entitled gamers laying into the gaming media. It was sparked by a link on Twitter to my recent Deus Ex: Mankind Divided review, where I was accused of being deliberately controversial to get hits. I wasn't - and were I looking for guaranteed hits on this site, I'm certainly going about it the wrong way.
But it just got me wondering about why I like the games I like, why my taste goes against the grain, and why some people get so pissed off when others don't share their opinions.
At the most simple level, arguing about review scores is utterly pointless because we all have our own opinions. But why do we have different opinions? Where do they come from? Why don't we all have the same opinion, and like the same things?
On the latter point, I did some reading, and discovered the theory that there might be a solid evolutionary reason for all of us liking different games. In short, it's about survival of the species. Evolution doesn't know what might be thrown at us - disease, famine, war, alien invasion - so rather than put all its eggs in one basket, the gene pool diversifies.
It means that one area of humanity which might not be so good at, say, fighting famine, might have acquired skills along the way that would make them good at conquering a pandemic.
There's also the small matter of the fact that our minds - the grab-bag of cognitive functions which include consciousness, perception, judgement, memory and thinking - are malleable. Every time something happens to us, it gets dropped into that bag, and shapes all of those functions.
Scientists don't even really understand what the mind is. They know that different parts of it light up, depending on different external stimuli. But our opinions, our tastes, are formed from a myriad of different elements that are unique to each of us. There's no untangling that knot in a person's head, no matter how much you might shout at it on social media.
Our taste in games, as in anything, can also be influenced by external sources. Societal pressures, or a will to conform.
Again, this is evolutionary; nobody wants to be the member of the tribe who has to go and live on a mountain by themselves. There's strength in numbers, and going against the grain, speaking out against prevailing opinions of the group, risks isolation. It's often safer to convince ourselves that we share our opinions with our peers.
You don't want to be the one who doesn't have the hot new game, because that separates you. Exploiting this is often behind hype and marketing, or any given political campaign. "Stronger together" gets right to the core of what we are. Immanuel Kant - ha ha - called it the "consensus of taste", a shared feeling between a group or community.
However, this doesn't discount the power of individual experience. This not only shapes our taste, but our perception of our taste. The adage "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are" is one of the most powerful truths there is.
Arguing against someone's subjective opinion - and, frankly, it simply isn't possible to have any other sort of opinion - is a) Pointless, and b) Fighting a losing battle. We are a sum of our opinions, judgements and tastes, and insisting that someone is wrong for having them is to insist that they are in some way fundamentally wrong. Nobody likes to hear that.
And this might also be where the perceived sense of entitlement in certain areas of the gaming community comes from. A reviewer stating that a game is bad or good could be perceived by those with a weaker sense of self as an attack on who they are.
By denying their perception of the quality of a game, or other thing, by not liking it themselves, a reviewer could be perceived as an aggressor who needs to be taken down to remove the threat to the the individual's sense of self.
Throw into that the "consensus of taste" among certain online communities - and the sense of safety that brings with it, particularly for those, again, with a weak sense of self - and it's pretty clear why gaming can often be such a battleground.
Which brings me full circle to why I like first-person shooters. For me, it's because I get to be somewhere else, be someone else. It's not even the shooting element that I like; it's the removal of self. Third-person games never have quite the same effect on me as a really good FPS, where the character I'm being doesn't have a pre-determined face on-screen to remind me that it isn't me.
It's a long-held theory of mine that video games attract those with a weaker sense of identity than other forms of entertainment, precisely because that fantasy of video games can take a person outside of a body, or an identity, that they struggle with. That's by no means a criticism of any of these individuals, more an observation - not least of myself.
I'm a very different person to the teenager I used to be, but when I was bullied at school - when my personality, and how I looked, was called into question by my peers and classmates - video games were my retreat. They were a place where I could be someone other than a me that I didn't understand. My own experience of myself was called into question by others, who seemed so confident that they knew who I was better than I did. At times, it became too uncomfortable to be myself.
I was fortunate enough that my life went in a direction where I certainly conquered those demons - though their foul sulphur stink still drifts around my ankles from time to time - but not everyone is so lucky. And I'm of the opinion - and remember: that opinion is as subjective as any other - that a lot of gamers feel that same sense of uncertainty, and that this is why they lash out so aggressively.
Getting arsey about the opinions of reviewers? Completely pointless... but human nevertheless.