UNITED STATES—I used to think for years that writing was my primary solace when it comes to relaxing the mind. However, I’ve come to recently discover that something I used to be skilled at as a kid, seems to provide the same solace for me as an adult. As a kid I was coined the video game king. Don’t even bother asking me why I was coined with that term, because in all honesty I’m not certain I could give you the real answer. What I can tell you is that I was always a gamer since the age of 4 or 5. I recall getting the NES system for my birthday and everyone, and I mean everyone I knew wanted their hands on it.
At such a young age, I would play video games in a unique way. For many gamers, even those who are adults, they tend to utilize a strategy guide to discover how to defeat specific bosses or to complete difficult stages. For me, that was not the case. I had this perceptive ability, this tool to find a way to complete a stage or defeat a boss without needing a strategy guide to complete the task at hand.
It was something that amazed a lot of people, but as I got older and focused my attention on more role-playing games, I discovered a real gift; I wasn’t just good at games, and not to tot things on my shoulder, my skill level was something that amazed me. Why? My little brother would watch me play games and as a result, he’d easily pick up on things I did making his opportunity at gameplay that much easier. The same sentiment echoed for my nephew and now I’m seeing a similar trend with my niece.
Yes, I’m a firm believer that not many girls are great at video games, but there are those rare occurrences where they are and in some occasions just as good if not better than their male counterpart. This all stems from the recent release of the SNES classic back in September 2017. For those who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, the Super Nintendo as many of us know it, was the technologically driven video gaming system that shaped many of our childhoods.
One could sit in front of the TV screen and play for hours, and I mean that literally (hours nonstop without a break) to complete a game. It was a game system that I absolutely had to have my hands on, and I waited in line for several hours at multiple locations to get my hands on the device. And I am lucky to say, I’m one of the lucky few who owns one of those devices. I mean somewhere between the age of 12 and 13, the idea of playing video games ceased to exist. I started to focus on other things and once I started working the notion of even playing a video game became foreign.
However, even as an adult, with the chaotic schedule that I have, I have found a way, in the past few weeks to take an hour or two to play this system, most of the time showing my niece based off of pure memory how to tackle some of the enemies in certain games and it has kind of placed me on cloud nine. Why? Well, when I’m playing the game, the focus is simply on the game and nothing else. I’m not thinking about work, I’m not thinking about school, family issues, finances, relationships, or any of that stuff that complicates life. None of that matters, and it’s a sensational feeling to have. It’s like a pure escape, one that is difficult to put into words.
I mean playing such classics like Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Secret of Mana, Mega Man X, Super Metroid and so many more, that I adored as a kid, just brings a level of ease to my mind. And I have to point out I’m someone whose brain is constantly moving at a feverish speed 6 to 7 days out of the week.
So to have something that can turn the switch off, it really helps and back then what seemed like hours in front of a TV screen has been significantly cut in half. A game that took nearly 3 weeks to beat, I can nearly do in a day tops because it seems like my recollection of the game is stronger now than ever, and that’s considering a 20 year gap since I last played many of these games.
I see myself building unique bonds with my nieces and nephews, who are amazed at how this game system that fits in the palm of a person’s hand, has so much going for it. Yes, it’s a 16-bit game system that is known for its 2D capabilities, but it’s fun, pure fun America and it’s something I adore. It’s like each day that I get older, I’m able to go back to my childhood and remember those things that were so important, so innocent, but at the same time exciting and fun.