Flashback Friday: Video game console wars on the school yard

With the release date of the PS4 just announced on Wednesday and the Wii U already in the hands of consumers, it seems like the next generation of video game consoles is right around the corner. All that has to happen now is that Microsoft reveals whatever mysterious new Xbox it has hiding behind closed doors. Let’s just hope it isn’t named after another cardinal direction (prediction: immensely unlikely).

But what does this all have to do with Flashback Friday? Well, all this new console talk reminds us here at the Clog of a simpler time when video game consoles could become the focus of a rather intense childhood debate — rather, what we like to call a “bloody” clash between children on the school yard over which console was better and was the most fun to play with. The subject oftentimes led to pretty heated discussions that were nearly friendship-shattering. We’re sure you can all relate to some extent, be it in the form of someone who actually participated in a discussion like this or watched it all go down.

The debate usually started through a singular moment of chance. As children, we would commonly talk about subjects of interest on the school yard, such as the brand new toy we just bought, ponies or puppies or what happened on last week’s episode of Pokemon. But then, out of nowhere, the topic of having played a video game over the weekend would come up.

“Oh, what video game did you play?”

“Mario on the Nintendo 64!”

“Mario? I played Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation!”

“ … Mario is better.”

“What?! No, you’re wrong!”

“No! Mario is more funner than Crash Bandicoot!”

“No! PlayStation is better! It has Crash Bandicoot, and Nintendo 64 is dumb!”

And this line of debate would continue throughout the duration of recess. Sometimes, the reasoning would become more complex. At first, it would begin with favorite video game characters, but over time, it would route off into the way the console looked and how just because your older sibling played a certain console, it was that much cooler. Once the debate became just as audible as the kids playing a football game right beside it, what was likely to happen was that the surrounding kids would get involved. By the time recess was over, the school yard pretty much looked like it was divided into two radically fueled armies of children preparing to charge at each other “Brave Heart”-style. We could only imagine what all the school staff was thinking as they witnessed this whole ordeal.

Life was so much simpler back then. Who would have thought we could get so worked up over the debate of which video game console was cooler than the other? It’s funny, though. The reasoning behind these debates was ridiculous. In a way, we didn’t really know which console was objectively better. We just took pride in the console that we played because chances were it was the only one our parents would buy us or let us have. So when our cherished console of choice was attacked, it was like a backhand to the face. Unless you were one of the rich kids who had both. In which case, how come you never invited us over?

Anyway, which video game console did you play when you were younger? Did you have any old childhood stories about these heated debates or arguments? Feel free to comment below!

 Image source: Max Mayorav under Creative Commons