Sunday, September 24, 2006

Might As Well Face It You're Addicted To Video Games.


It started, I think, in '79 or '80. I remember going to restaurant and seeing it in the middle of room. There in all its glory - a table top version on Pac-man. It might've been Ms. Pac-man. i just knew right then that the world has changed. At that age, there was one other thing that has impacted my life (not including school, family, and church), that was Star Wars, but, that's a different story. No, a little one slice eaten pizza shaped "thing" was eating dots while being chased by multi-colored ghosts. Then, like magic, the circle thing ate a big dot and the ghosts turn blue and preceded to eaten. I must've stared at this thing for what seemed like an eternity. Video games had come into my life. Over the next couple of years, I would see arcade machines. i wanted to play them, but quarters at that moment would be far and few between. The mall, bowling alleys, and of course, roller rinks would have these things, bleeping, buzzing, and flashing, constantly begging for your money. I became entranced with one in particular - Crystal Castles. If I had the space and the money this arcade classic would be in my home. You used a track ball to move a little bear to collect gems. Of course, monsters, moving trees, bee swarms, and a witch were out to kill you in all sorts of evil ways. The parents, thinking what could it hurt, bought something for us in the mid '80s. The Atari 2600 was the first system we ever owned. We had Moon Patrol, Crystal Castles (minus the track ball), Millipede, Asteriods, Ms. Pac-man and Choplifter. Lo, the house then changed. No longer quiet and peaceful in our home. War had started. My younger brother (don't worry I still love him dearly) and I erupted in fights over the Atari. I want to play, you played too long, give it, stupid idiot, why'd you kill me, and the final MOMMM!!! would echo down the street where we lived. I look back now, at all those days when the parents would unplug the system and hide it for the week as punishment. Sad thing is, I can't seem to remember what happened to that system. With all things, change is inevitable. The kid up the street got an Atari 7800. Then, in seventh grade, I was invited to spend the night at my friend's house. Gabe's house was incredibly cool. In his room, (which i thought was ten times bigger than my living room) sat a TV and a Nintendo Entertainment System. I played Super Mario Bros. 2 til 2am. i couldn't sleep. i was possessed. Nintendo influenced my life then on out. After a while, I bought Gabe's system when he got a Sega system. i played with a blue hedgehog with that one. Soon the video game systems became innumerable. Super NES, Genesis, Turbografix 16, neo-geo. After graduation,i got a Super NES and hooked up with Mario again. About '97 Nintendo came out with a system called the Virtual Boy. i waited a couple months and got one for $25. Games were $5. Then I got a Sony Playstation (1, boys and girls). In '99, I went to Los Angeles to visit Gabe and came home with a Gameboy Color. My brother has a Nintendo 64, which I still want from him as soon as possible. I bought a Nintendo Gamecube next. I still cuss at it from time to time. Finally, right after our wedding, I bought a Nintendo DS. I loved it. I bought a game called Nintendogs. Big mistake. I had to by the wife a DS also or I would've lost mine. This has led her to playing video games. I look back now at the past, and ponder, will my child enjoy them or shun them? Will this addiction that I and now my wife share latch onto the next generation of Schaeffer? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I'm going to play some Tetris for the DS. This weeks pictures were taken at the Nintendo store in New York. I will be going back there very soon. Catch you on the flipside. Next Time: Act Your Age, Not You're Shoe Size!! (or it's my birthday.... LEAVE ME ALONE!!)

3 comments:

swarr, inc. said...

Gaaames...gaaaames!!! The addiction never ever ends...
My earliest VG memory is the Commodore we used to have and playing Space Invaders til I got callouses on my hnds from those glorious ergonomic joysticks.
I still remember the first time I played Super Mario Brothers on the NES and my life has never been the same since.

Gabe Swarr said...

Games are one of the greatest invemtions of mankind, next to peanut butter of course...

I was the same way with Goober's NES. He always had awesome games. I played Mega Man and Bionic Commando for the first time there...

Lamar The Revenger said...

Thank you, both of you. I would be the way I am now today if it wasn't for you.