Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nostalgia Post: Why I Am Proud to be a Gamer

I’m feeling rather nostalgic today. Just sitting back and thinking about where video games has taken me in life, where it all started, and to where I am now. It’s been quite a journey, I must say.

I remember being a mere child and having my big brother, who was 16 years older than I, hand me his Sega Game Gear for the very first time. It was the first time I ever played Sonic the Hedgehog. I was maybe every bit of seven years old if I was lucky. And I remember that later on, when my big brother went back to the Army from his vacation, he gave me that handheld gaming system. My father thought I was too young for it, and took it away…I remember that being that saddest day ever. A cherished gift from my bubba, something that one day would prove to be a huge impact on my life, taken from me. Fortunately for me, I got it back in a few years.

When I was about eight years old or so, my parents found me a Sega Master System at a yard sale. I had very few games for it, the only ones I remember were two Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego games, some helicopter game that I could never beat, and Alex the Kidd in Shinobi World, the one that was my very favorite.

Later on, my Sega Master System was sold for me to get an NES, a used one of course. My father didn’t think I needed more than one console at a time. Boy, was he ever wrong! Anyways, with that system we got three games with it, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 2, and another I just cannot seem to remember. I spent all of my time on SMB 2 and most of all, The Legend of Zelda. I loved it, it brought me happiness like nothing else in this world could. Later on, I discovered the Super Nintendo through my aunt who got me hooked on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I loved it so much, she let me borrow her own console and take it home to play. I just had to have my own. Luckily for me, I was allowed to keep my NES along with the used SNES we found. This was only due to one of the component cables being gone, so one couldn’t work without the other with the way we had it rigged. I had a total of about 40-50 games for each system. I had found games here and there at flea markets and garage sales, and I had grown quite the collection near the end.

My brother bought me an N64 for Christmas along with Super Mario 64, a game that I still love and cherish to this day. I had all three Nintendo systems at the same time, I was one happy panda! And then one day Nintendo released the GameCube. I saw all of these new games releasing for it, and I just had to continue my gaming venture with that system. My father made a deal with me that if he could sell both my NES and my SNES, he would buy me the GameCube. Looking back at it today, I regret selling my beloved systems, but I had to do so for my advancement in this gaming journey of mine. I had several Resident Evil titles for it back then, to this day I own all of them that were ever made for the GameCube, aside from Code Veronica…that one is difficult to come by. My two favorite games for it had to be Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Now, I don not have my original GameCube, but I did recently acquire a new one. And yes, I still play the hell outta it!

As of now, I have a Nintendo, Wii U, Wii, GameCube, Sony PS3, Sony PSP Go, and an Xbox 360. I love all of my systems, for they house a multitude of games I love. I do not regret my gaming history. It has made me who I am. I believe by playing puzzle games when I was young has helped to develop problem-solving skills over the years, and has kept my mind working and on it’s toes.

Not only all that, but also in the hardest of times, video games were there to take me away from this world, and place me in theirs for just a brief while, which was enough for me. A lot of people don’t understand when adults are addicted to video games and play them all the time. And also, these same people know not what has happened in said person’s life to make them the gamer they are today. For me, when time’s got hard and depression decided to pay me many visits, I grabbed a controller and played until I couldn’t play anymore. It saved me from possibly doing something stupid. It distracted me from whatever pain I was feeling, and put everything into perspective.

Now that I’m a mother, I don’t hold back my kids from playing video games (age appropriate games, mind you). It feels more gratifying then you could ever know to place a controller in your lil’ one’s hand and have them share in something you cherished as a child. You give a little piece of yourself to them, passing on the happiness that game brought to you, you share with them that light that lit up your darkest of days.

All of this and more is why I am PROUD to be called a gamer. I am now, and I forever will be. And so will my kids <3

Peace, Love & Video Games, all!