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The Minutiae of a Gamer

My name's Jeremy. Hardly an active gamer, I've recently returned to the gaming scene after a prolonged absence. And by prolonged, I mean I stopped playing console games altogether around the time the PS2 was released. This was after a childhood that was spent doing little else but sitting two feet from the floor-model television playing Nintendo.

A few weeks ago I was in an EB Games. I bought a PS3. I told the guy I hadn't played any console games since the Nintendo 64.

His response?


But I do enjoy games. And I enjoy writing. So gaming and blogging fit together naturally.

When I was a kid, we had an Atari 2600 and an NES. They both rocked. Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Pitfall spent most of the time with their ass ends sticking out of the 2600 console. We also had ET. For those who haven't played that game, everything you've read on the net about how it made no fucking sense is true. The Atari was simultaneously horrible and wonderful all at once.

The NES was much better. Nearly perfect. We had Super Mario Bros (of course), WrestleMania (I was a huge wrestling fan as a kid, and sort of remain one today), Contra, Bionic Commando, Mario 2, Mario 3, and loads of other goodies. The NES eventually went kaput. Not unlike saying goodbye to an old friend.

I still remember the Christmas my brother and I got an SNES. The only games we owned were Super Mario World and Mario Kart, but who gives a shit? Those games were wicked. They remain so today.

One of the great tragedies, a regretful event, was when we traded our Super Nintendo into the guy at Radio Shack for a Sega Genesis. Why on Earth would we do such a ridiculous thing? Because NHL 95 was released earlier on the Sega than the SNES, and it was the first NHL game where you could trade players. Trade players! Goodbye SNES, hello Sega.

Well, it turns out Sega sucked. We had a ton of Sega games, mostly because they were dirt cheap, so our parents bought lots.

We stopped playing Sega when another fateful Christmas we got the N64. My brother and I had been introduced to GoldenEye at the video store down the street, where they allowed people to play games in the store for a dollar per half hour. We spent many half hours and many dollars there.

Subsequently, I spent many more half hours besting GoldenEye. I defeated the game on every difficulty, and achieved every last cheat. I think my brother may still have the cartridge with all of the saved cheats I accomplished. That was my teenagehood.

I bought a used PlayStation from a pawn shop with money I saved from working at a Tim Horton's. The PS worked like shit, but I spent countless more hours of teenagehood on Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Metal Gear Solid, the three Resident Evils, among other games. It was wicked.

Then the PS2 came out. People went batshit for it. There was some sort of shortage the Christmas it came out, so prices were sky high. Hundreds of dollars. I couldn't afford one. It was annoying. So I stopped playing, having played all the games I wanted to on the N64, PS1, and the lowly Sega, and not being able to afford the PS2. And that was the last time I played any console games.

During my recalcitrant intermission from the console gaming world, I did continue to play PC games. I got pretty into World of Warcraft for awhile, but that has been an awkward love affair, and I only play off and on. I'm usually only on it long enough to recall how dull it is, although sometimes I am again smitten by Azeroth and its bizarre parallel existence.

Having purchased a PS3, I've found the console gaming world has grown leaps and bounds since I last enjoyed it. It has followed a path of maturity that seems to mirror my own life, mired in nostalgia, pained by sometimes inelegant growth, but genuine growth nevertheless.

Speaking of nostalgia, I also picked up a working NES at a local store, and have purchased a whack of games for it. I love it. I love it as much as the PS3.

After all, machines need love, too.
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About JeremyDaleWallone of us since 8:21 AM on 12.16.2012

28-year-old university student and writer who spends far too much time playing video games.