I remember the exact moment I fell in love with video games, and gaming in general. I was five years old and my parents had divorced after we had moved to Colorado. After my dad had split my mom had to work two and sometimes three jobs on the weekends to keep food on the table which left me to watch after my little brother most of the time. Then our first Christmas in our new home my mom had decided to save up the whole year to buy me a NES on the advice of my kindergarden teacher, who noticed that I wasn't making friends well and had little to no interest in the sports the other kids were playing and figured video games might give me some common ground with the other (much more wealthy) kids. I unwrapped the 80'sriffic wrapped box and pulled out the big gray box with more puzzlement than excitement. But that soon wore off. We finally figured out how to connect it to our TV and the fun began with Mario Bros/Duck Hunt. My brother and I played Mario together for hours taking turns each time we died, and fuddled with the inaccurate zapper on Duck Hunt and heard that damned dog mock us time and time again. And as my kindergarden teacher had guessed I started making some new friends with video games as a new subject on my conversation tree. (*snickers*) Then my dad let us take the NES over to his apartment on the weekends he had custody of us. I was playing Ninja Gaiden II and almost to the final boss when he sat a wrapped box the size of a Nintendo game on the table in front of me. I remember it was wrapped in Smiley Face wrapping paper and for whatever reason that seemed important like they were a prelude to the joy that was waiting me or something. I tore the paper apart like a wolverine to find none other than Super Mario Bros 3. My father explained it was for all the hard work I was doing helping out my brother, my mom, and getting good grades in school to boot. I nearly shat my pants! After that when my mom and dad started getting more distant and my dad lost custody all but on one weekend a month. SMB 3 became a sort of icon of my dad I would use when I missed him. I must have beat the game a good 30+ time by the time I was 8. And now, my mother has been diagnosed with a brain tumor in her Modula region. And the doctors told us that there is little chance that she's going to get better. And strangely enough one of the doctors on her last visit suggested she get a Wii because it will help keep her hand eye coordination in shape. So once again Nintendo has lent itself to my family in a time of crisis.
PS: My mom loves Boom Blox. <3 read