Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Video Game Mania

So recently, or rather last month if you want to call that recent, Matt Conlon made a comment on my baseball post. He said,

I never participated in anything athletic when I was a kid, just never had any interest... I kinda wish these days that I had, cause I don't have any good stories like that... All my stories from childhood are pretty much only about Nintendo... Or Sega

I can relate. My own childhood involved of playing video games on the old 8-bit Nintendo system, or fondly named "the gray box." That thing lasted for years, and saw much game play from myself, my brother and occasionally my sister.

We had 124 games. Out of that number, I had beaten 118 of them. I was a video game wiz. My afternoons after school and my summers consisted of sitting on the floor with the game controller (we upgraded to a better controller a few years later -- this was back in the 1980's) as my eyes locked on the television screen making Mario jump into pipes and stomp on toadstools.

The video game system filled our days and our dreams of computerized graphics that kept bored minds busy. Perhaps if we lived in the city, we would not have had one since we would be close to libraries, or parks, or other recreational activities that would be within walking distance or a bus ride away. Living out in the rural country, all activities involved a 30-minute car ride or more to get to.

Of course, not all of our time involved the gray box. We did get all of our farm chores done, without prodding, before sitting down to play. Whether it was feeding/watering the many animals or mowing half of the 5.6 acres of land we lived on, those chores got done when they needed done.

And I will be the first person to say this. Out of all 118 games that I had beaten, I never once felt the urge to commit violence against other people as many advocates claim happens when children play violent video games. I never took a Samari sword and swung it at a ninja. I never threw an army grenade at the mercenary guards. I never felt the urge of going out and stomping on toadstools... okay, maybe I DID do this last one only because I heard that eating wild mushrooms could be dangerous.

And maybe I did hum the Super Mario Bros song under my breath as I did it.


  1. I was never a huge video game kid. Being older, pinball was more my game (I set the record on a certain machine and won a prize for doing so - a coffee mug emblazoned with the name of the place where I set the record. The place where I set the record, unfortunately, is out of business, but I still have that mug as testament to the fact that I was better at something than anyone else in the world - or, at least, in the central northeastern section of New Hampshire.)

    1. Our local mall had an arcade parlor, and I would play there whenever we went for eye appointments (Pearl Vision was right next door). Never won anything, but I did lose my change purse there once. I got it back with all my quarters still in it. (This was before we had the Nintendo.)

  2. I beat some role playing game on the Nintendo once. I don't remember what it was called. I just remember it took weeks to get through all of the levels and become armed well enough to fight the final villain.

    Now we have a Sony something or other. Occasionally I will play the ATV/off road racing game that lets the players jump over moving trains.

    1. I remember the role-playing games (Final Fantasy is still around even now). Yeah, it did take weeks of intense play for some of them.

      I'll probably pick up something for The Overlord when she gets older. Who knows what will come out then.

  3. We didn't have video games when I was a kid. Just to level-set, 'Pong' was introduced my freshman year of college. I was so glad when 'Space Invaders' finally came along. Like Suldong, we did play a fair bit of pinball, but the only place in town that had pinball tables was the bowling alley. . .

    A few years back, we got the kids a Wii for Christmas, and for a couple of them, it's a significant issue to get them to leave the house. . .

  4. Back in the 80s, the truckstop where I worked midnight shift (waitress) had a Ms. Pacman game out in the lobby and one of the other waitresses on my shift and I were both addicted to that game. At home, my kids had nothing along the lines of video games until about 1984 when I won an Atari and the fights were on then between my three kids and myself to get time to use the Atari! My favorite game -I think we only had 3 cartridges overall -was Breakout! Even at my age now, I still love to play games like that but have yet to touch the WII that Maya won this past spring! (ALthough my daughter (Mandy) and my son's girlfriend have had some long, long sessions on it playing Mario stuff!)

    1. I don't think there is a more beloved game then Pac-Man. I'd dig out a quarter and play if there was an arcade machine around.

  5. Four or five times I started to comment, but never quite had anything to say.
    I used to enjoy playing video games a lot more than now. But I don't have too much time for them because now I'm so busy following blogs.


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