I have had a lot of video game systems since I was a kid. Atari, original Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Original Playstation, Playstation 2, and now the Playstation 3. Thinking now about getting the PS4. All started on the Atari. Atari! Holding sticks in my hand playing some game that was supposed to be set in space, but was a couple of dots shooting dots at other dots. Or a game where you are a soldier, and you control a dot that shoots dots at other soldier dots. I'm now an adult, and I'm supposed to not play video games. They take up time, people get addicted and play them until they can't blink. But, I'm not giving them up. I don't play them nearly as much as I have at points in my life, but I'm still playing them. I'm in the generation that video games were completely made for. These were made for me! It would almost be the same as people who were kids when the Wright Brothers invented the plane just refused to go on.
"Naw, I'm not doing it. I'm grown up, for god sake. I'll walk."
Since I've been playing them for so long, some of the best memories I have come from video games. Anyone who played video games in the 90's got caught up for a long, long time with Goldeneye. Goldeneye is pretty much the Breaking Bad of video games. You HAD to play it. EVERYone was playing it. This was THE game. I could talk for awhile about all the times I played this game with a bunch of people, so much fun. But, I'll tell a stranger story. In junior high, in which class I can't remember, there was a guy who used to pick on me. Nothing crazy. He would just chirp me and make fun of me for doing my work and junk. I was a really quiet kid, who did all of his work. BIG wiener in Junior High where everyone was talking about drugs and sex.
"Yeah, man. Smoked some weed this weekend and got a handjob."
"Oh, cool.... Did you finish your Social Studies project?"
"Get outta my face, cuz."
One day in class, this bully was telling someone that he couldn't get one of the cheat codes in Goldeneye. That it was impossible. To get the cheat codes in Goldeneye, you had to unlock them by beating levels under certain time limits on certain difficulties. This one, which I'm pretty sure gave you invisibility, was beating a level where you start with no gun, in under a minute and twenty seconds, on the hardest difficulty.
"It's impossible, man. Impossible. No way anyone can do that."
Well, I had done that shit. Why? Video games don't beat me. So, I said that I beat it.
"No way. You didn't beat that."
"Alright. Come to my house and beat it. And if you're lying? You're fucked."
This isn't what I was hoping for. I just had to tell these people I'd beat it. But now, I'm in a situation. Refuse to go to this guys house, maybe get hurt. GO to his house, don't beat it, maybe get hurt. So, I went. The whole way he's talking trash. Saying that I can't do it and he's gonna mess me up. Get there, and start playing. That cheat code isn't the easiest thing in the world to get, so it took a couple tries, with him sitting beside me. Chirping me.
"You better beat it, man. You better do it."
Then, I beat it.
"Yooooooo! You beat it! That's insane."
After that, me and that guy were friends for the next 6 years straight.
One Christmas a couple of years ago, my brother brought a Nintendo Wii to our moms house. On it he had a few Super Nintendo games downloaded. One was Contra 3: The Alien Wars. We used to own this game when we were kids. It was pretty hard. For no reason at all, my brother said, 'I bet you can't beat it on hard.' Like I said, video games don't beat me. So I said, let's do it. Put the game on hard. Man. Got killed a thousand times. But I sat in this room for about four- five hours playing this thing. Getting closer each time. My brother would come in and out, poking his head in.
"Did you beat it?"
"God dammit! Jesus! Get out!"
Took me forever to beat this thing. But finally did it. The last level of this game on hard is insane. The entire screen is just things being thrown at you. There's a big brain blob thing for a final boss that had all these different attacks. I beat it. Put the controller down. But on hard, this thing comes back. Picked the controller back up quick, and beat it again. Told my brother to come see. All that happens when you beat this game is a general comes on the screen, and gives you a thumbs up. That's it? I stopped aliens from taking over earth! You can't give me a house? Or a million dollars? Or say I don't have to pay tax anymore? Just a thumbs up. Wow. My Contra dude will be able to use that to buy groceries.
Grand Theft Autos have always been amazing. The first one, at the time, was nuts. Steal cars and shoot stuff? Even though it was a kind of ugly, top down game, it was amazing. Myself and my brother at the time used to talk about how great it would be if there was a third person version.
"Imagine if they made one of these like Mario 64? Like if Mario could get a gun and rob these toadstools of their cars?"
The first time I ever saw the Nintendo 64, I lost my mind. 3D Mario game? Are you insane? He can swim and punch? Craziest thing I'd seen up to then. Loved that system. Got it one year for Christmas, and played it all day. Then, a game called Turok: Dinosaur Hunter came out. This game you were a Native American dude named Turok, who had ridiculous guns and shot dinosaurs. Serious. I don't know what the hell this was about, but it was great. Rented this game, and played it forever. Like, stopped going to school that week forever. Grade 7 I think it was. A friend of mine used to come to my house every morning, and we'd walk to school together. This whole week, he'd come by, and I'd say I wasn't coming. One day he came, it was snowing and freezing outside.
"Come on, man. Come to school. You're missing a ton of stuff."
I looked at him, wearing a scarf and boots, behind him just blowing snow and freezing cold. I turned around, looked at my warm room and Turok holding some kind of ray gun, and just slowly closed the door in his face. I loved that game.
When I was in grade four/ five, my brother was in grade two/three, every Friday, when our mom would come pick us up from school, she would take us to Blockbuster to rent a game for the weekend. Those trips were great. Me and my brother looking at games, trying to find stuff that was either two players, or something that we could go back and forth on. Most times we agreed on stuff, but I always liked racing games. He hated them.
"Let's get this."
"It's a racing game. That's so stupid. Same thing over and over."
"You guys better pick something quick! I'm renting The Fugitive and want to get home to watch Melrose Place!"
We argued sometimes, but mostly me and my brother would agree. Get a game and play it for the weekend. Or sometimes, rent a game, and just hate it. Play it for about an hour, then come out to the living room where our mom would be watching Melrose Place or whatever else the 90's had.
"What are you guys doing? You're not playing that game?"
"It's terrible. We can't."
"I paid money for the game! Go play it right now before I take the system!"
When our mom would spend money on a game, we had to play it. Sometimes, this SUCKED, but still, video games are great, and I won't stop playing them.