In 1985, I remember my friend Wayne and I walking into the South Pavilion of Las Vegas CES show. And right by the entrance was the very first Nintendo booth and it was showing Duck Hunt for the NES (at the time it was on a Famicom).
Now I was used to playing the Atari 2600 for video games. Which was basically moving a cube around the screen (Adventure) or swinging over countless cube crocodiles (Pitfall) and I had an Apple IIe and there were some cool games like Karateka and Autoduel.
As I remember, the Nintendo booth was quite small and there were not a lot of people in the booth. Most attendees were walking around it, heading for the new 50 meg hard drives or the incredible 16 color graphic EGA cards. But I and Wayne were completely and utterly entranced by the beauty of the elegance of the system.
But as soon as I saw the NES, I knew the video game slump was over. And I knew that I wanted to be a game designer (although I had no idea what that really meant).
It would be another four years before I started working for Westwood Associates and two years after that I had left video games all together and worked as a project manager for a large casino.