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I remember being about 5 or 6 years old when my brother got a Nintendo for Christmas. At the time I didn’t know what magic wonder it held, but I was jealous nonetheless of his new toy. He was 17. Yes, my brother is about 12 years older than I am, but that’s not the point. This is about games/gaming, not him or age difference. Anyways, I remember sitting on his bed while I watched him play Mario. I was enthralled with the graphics that danced across the screen. I’d never seen anything like it before, and I wanted to play it so badly. I was never introduced to other gaming systems prior to Nintendo (i.e. Atari) since my parents are from a much older generation (okay, not MUCH, but they were born in the early-to-mid 1940’s). As a very young child, my time wasn’t overly spent indoors watching tv like kids do today. My time was spent outside running around between the hours of 3:30 and dinnertime.

But there I was, staring at this side-scrolling wonder. Coins? YOU CAN COLLECT COINS? Even as a small child I knew that money was a good thing, so why not think it was amazing that you had to collect them in a game?

ImageHowever, I wasn’t allowed to play. Not because of may parents. Of course not! It was because of my brother. What brother and sister didn’t fight? Even with our age difference we did. But that day of glory finally came. Bret had joined the United States Army, and before he left for boot camp, he gave me his Nintendo since he couldn’t take it with him. It was the day that changed my life forever.

I remember playing Super Mario Bros. until if felt like my fingers were bleeding. I was obsessed. No worries, though. I still played outside. I was thankful to have parents who taught me how to have equal balance between going outside and playing, having time to play my game, and living a normal kid-life. Over time, I built my Nintendo collection. I wish I had never given away my original Nintendo. It probably wouldn’t work nowadays, but still. It’s a trophy on its own. A machine that didn’t have save points, memory cards, or the like. If it was dinner time, you kept that thing on pause until you could come back to play it again. Thank goodness we’ve evolved.

I remember getting a game that I would’ve killed for. You’re going to laugh, but it was based on a movie I was obsessed with. I think you’ll remember it. “The Little Mermaid.” Yes, they made a game for the Nintendo that was based on the animated classic that we all know and love (and by the way, I’m still in love with that movie and forever will be).

I played this game over and over again. I was determined to beat this game, having it be the first game I’d ever beat. I would have it on pause with the tv off in our guest

Imagebedroom while I was at school so that I could come home and pick up where I left off. It took me weeks (after dying and having to re-start, etc), but I had finally beat the evil Ursula (the final boss) at the end. It was a huge victory for me. I, a girl, had beaten a video game. Sure, go ahead and laugh, but being young and video games being more of a guy thing, it was a huge deal to me. While my girl friends played Barbies, dress up and played with makeup (I did those as well, but still), I played video games, watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and played with my She-Ra and He-Man action figures.

Fast forward a few years, and we’d find myself with an old Nintendo and a Sega Genesis. I loved the Sega. The graphics looked so much better than the Nintendo. More colorful. And the games were certainly fun in their own right. I’m a Disney girl, so other than Sonic, I had a slue of Disney games (The Lion King, Aladdin, etc).

Image “The Lion King” game was immersive and great fun. You played as Simba, following the story of the movie. You start as a cub, getting into trouble with the Hyenas at the boneyard, having to flee with Nala to save yourself. Soon, you found yourself running from the Wildebeast heard, only to watch your dad be killed by your evil uncle. When he blames you, you run away, eventually to find your companions Timone & Pumbaa. Like I said, this game followed the storyline of the movie to a T, with only a few extras here and there for gameplay reasons. It took me a while, but I eventually beat the game. Again, it was a huge victory. Any gamer I hope would agree that, no matter how trivial, winning/beating a game feels like a huge accomplishment.

Games have come a long way. Nowadays, motion capture is used to capture real human movement and facial expressions. You feel like you could touch your tv screen at times and actually feel them. It’s truly amazing what gaming companies have done with the advancements in technology.

So, tell me. What was the first game you ever beat? What are some old school games that you still love or even play? Are there games you wish you still had lying about to go back to?

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