Flashback Friday: early days of being a gamer

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With the big trade show known as E3 finally wrapped up, gamers have a whole lot to be excited about in the upcoming year. With more news about Sony’s and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles and announcements about a variety of new games, there can be no better time than now to be a gamer. However, all of this crazy news about video games has us at the Clog thinking about a time when being a gamer was much more raw and simple. So come and take a Flashback Friday look with us as we brush off the dust from our minds and hook up the memories of yesteryear’s nostalgic video game moments.

The memory of your first exposure to video games is either clear as day or blanketed in a veil of mystery. Maybe you distinctly remember playing Tetris at your neighbor’s house, or perhaps all you remember is a vague representation of Mario as he jumped on top of a Goomba’s head. Regardless, the experience of seeing those old pixelated graphics displayed on the screen of a CRT television was nothing short of awe-inspiring. And it wasn’t just the colorful graphics that appealed — it was the sounds, the characters and even the music stuck that to your mind like super glue. Be it a simple distraction that might become less appealing to you over the years or something that would stick with you until even now, there is no denying that video games were most definitely a crazy thing to behold back in those days.

Picking out a video game console back then held a lot of fond memories as well. Which one looked cooler? Did you like Mario or Sonic? How about Crash Bandicoot? Does Sega really do what Nintendon’t? These constituted only a handful of the pointed questions that floated around in your mind when you were plotting out your Christmas wish list for Santa that year. Writing out your final choice was like taking a burden off the back of a mule. But we still hoped that Santa would bring us a second controller too.

Of course, choosing a video game to buy once you did get your console was another challenge in and of itself. When your parents took you to the store, you’d rush out to the big glass case setup where all of the games were displayed. Back then, you didn’t have anything like a review posted on the Internet to judge which game you should get. Instead, you had nothing but the cover art of a game and your intuition to decide which game would be the most fun. In retrospect, you’d pick some pretty bad games most of the time. But it didn’t really matter much back then. After all, buying a game that you chose personally brought about a magical feeling that was unlike anything else.

Gaming back then was an experience that was full of magical memories. But it was also a very different time for gamers. When we were younger, we didn’t have much in the way of video game news. There was no Internet that constantly reported live feeds at E3 about all the new consoles and big games. There were no videos to show us gameplay footage before it came out. Instead, we’d go in blind. We found games we liked purely by chance. The experience of being a gamer back then was more unpredictable — but also thrilling.

Just as we’ve grown and changed over the years, video games have as well. However, the sheer shock and wonder of them still exist. Even today, when we witness the new gameplay of the next big game, the graphics, the sounds, the characters and the music are still just as mesmerizing. Truly, that much hasn’t changed from our experiences with video games. From 2-D pixels to full-on 3-D graphics, video games will only continue to keep us as awe-inspired of them as we were as children for many more years to come.

Do you have any fond memories of your experiences with video games that you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below!

Image source: Eder Capobianco under Creative Commons

Contact Matthew Espineli at [email protected]