LATAM Gaming In The Early 00's

in Hive Gaming4 months ago


Growing up in Latin America as a gamer is a wildly different experience than growing up in North America, Europe or other wealthier areas of the world.

We had to do things the way we could, get games the way we could, play them the way we could - and the thing is, we never really complained.
I honestly feel like I had more fun before than I do now - in an age where every gaming service caters to my needs and is available in my region, where games are somewhat affordable and piracy a lot less rampant.

Having a CD/DVD rack full of PS1 and PS2 games, or a shelf with lots of bootleg Super Nintendo cartridges was simply magical. We had so much choice and yet I never had that feeling of "I've got nothing to play" that I get now (despite owning over 500 games in total).

  • Getting Games


Here in Brazil, back in the day, we had things called camelôs, it's where people would go to sell all sorts of bootleg stuff from China and pirated DVDs.
This is where we got our games. PS1, PS2, SNES, Mega Drive, Dreamcast, Saturn, etc, etc... I remember finding games for all of these there, and they were never original.
Back then I owned a SNES and a PS1, so that's where I would focus my attention. SNES games were a bit more expensive, so I would stick to PS1 where each games would cost R$5 ($1 USD nowadays). There was also this unwritten rule where if you bought 3 games, it would only cost you R$10. That lead to huge savings whenever grandma would give me a R$10 bill.

  • The Fliperamas


Fliperama means arcade in Portuguese, and we had a bunch back in the 90's and early 00's.
I'm not too old, so I didn't catch them at their golden age, but the bars and ice cream shops my family frequented had a bunch of SNK cabinets, Tekken, and more.


SNK in fact had a huge marketshare down here in Latin America, it's why The King of Fighters, Samurai Showdown and Metal Slug are so popular here nowadays.

  • Burning Our Own Games


For those more fortunate, like me after 2007, we could buy blank (or as we called them, virgin) CDs and just download games from the internet. Instead of getting 3 for 10, we'd get 10 for 10. It was awesome!
Whenever my friends wanted games, I'd burn discs for them as well, as long as they were the ones supplying the discs.

Nowadays that magic is gone, if you have a PS2 you're more than likely using OPL and playing through a USB stick or LAN server.
But I remember being the local CD/DVD wizard at 6-7 years old and burning games for me and my friends.

I just kinda miss these times and wish I could go back in time to experience all those games for the first time again, but I can't, so emulation is the next best thing for me - and still, getting an original physical copy is still quite magical. Soon enough I'll have a job and be able to afford more games for my PS4 and later on PS5. I really wanna grow out my physical collection, just this time with legit titles and not burned CDs :P


Thanks for reading!



It was certainly a time to remember. I also came to have mountains of pirate games stacked on a shelf, some PC, some console, I remember going to shopping malls to buy these games in shops, each visit was magical hoping to find something new and good haha.

I know that feeling all too well!