I wouldn't say things got completely different for my gaming wise until the NES showed up at my house and Super Mario Bros became a thing along with the every so often rage through of Duck Hunt. It was with Mario that I started more to just enjoy playing video games. This then evolved into my becoming a student of Video Games when I used to watch my older brother play the original Final Fantasy. I learned quite a bit and to his regret when he failed to beat the final boss when he eventually got there. I woke up early the next morning and did it myself. He wasn't amused that his 9 year old brother completed a game he had been working on for countless hours, but like I said I became a student of the game while watching.
This is why I think I love games that make you think and are not just mindless. I like there to be a challenge in not just difficulty, but something which makes you step back and think about your approach. I know this isn't really popular with the modern game, but it still exists and I hope it does. Sure entire games are not built like this anymore, but there are those points sidequests or not that make you earn your keep.
So yes my start into gaming was probably different then most of yours, but I would be willing the start you had really has made an impact on the type of games or the things you appreciate in the games you play today. If you don't think so I challenge you to sit back and think about it for a few minutes and really I believe you will be quite surprised.