Why Video Games? 👾🎮🕹
What better way to start off a blog about being an incredible nerd than to answer the question “why video games?”.
Growing up, my parents didn’t exactly encourage video games. I could argue this alone is the reason for the obsession and I could stop writing here. Luckily for you, I’ve decided to continue on anyway. My best friend, Kyle, became my sanctuary for gaming. He had a NES and a SNES! I have very fond memories of trying to figure out ways around running on the Power Pad and trying to shoot the dog in Duck Hunt. I insisted we play Super Mario Bros. 3 because I loved the raccoon Mario (I didn’t know he was called Tanooki until years later). I also got my Sega fix in my cousins’ basement playing Sonic, TMNT, and Aladdin. Then the incredible N64 came out. It was immersive and 3D and there were SO. MANY. POLYGONS. I remember a lot of Wave Race and AeroGauge. I was obsessed with Banjo-Kazooie, Super Mario 64, and Mario Kart 64. My heart has always truly belonged to Nintendo.
Kyle introduced me to Pokémon for the Game Boy. The parentals wouldn’t relent on buying me a gaming system. I was “forced” to buy my first system (a green Game Boy Pocket) and game (Pokémon Blue) by myself by scraping together birthday and Christmas money. I should have subsequently bought stock in AAA batteries. I was enamored with Pokémon: the cards, the game, the cartoon on Kids’ WB! Pokémon will be an entire topic for another day.
After the Pocket was an Atomic Purple Game Boy Color and then a Fuchsia Game Boy Advance (a tomboy and avid hater of pink, I only got it because was the cheapest color available online. When it arrived, the packaging indicated it was only for sale in Indonesia ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). I had amassed the first two generations of Pokémon games, Conker’s Pocket Tales, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, amongst others. My Game Boys came everywhere. I had carrying cases with my games, instruction booklets, link cables, worm lights, batteries, chargers. Unfortunately, peer pressures of the 8th grade told me that Pokémon was no longer cool, which is obviously untrue. I gave my copy of Pokémon Sapphire away, like an asshole, and the Game Boys went into hiding.
At some point Kyle gave me his N64 along with his game library and accessories. My first non-handheld console! In high school, my friends and I started playing endless rounds of Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. At one point, we all dove back into our Pokémon games. Christmas my senior year of high school, my mom, out of left field, got me a PS2 and Guitar Hero that would end up taking the place of Super Smash and Kart.
I didn’t find time the in college to game. During the summers I would play emulators. After college graduation, however, I beat Banjo-Kazooie in its entirety and collected every Jiggy, Jingo, Honeycomb, Musical Note, etc. Truly it is, and will forever be, my life’s greatest achievement. Christmas 2011, I received a Wii. Employment and disposable income sent me spiraling back into gaming. I picked up a DS Lite and Pokémon White 2 (I had been out of the game for a long time). I quickly sunk 200 hours into it. The can of worms had been thoroughly opened. I picked up a 3DS in 2013 and haven’t stopped since. My love of handheld gaming persisted.
In 2015, one of the shittiest years I have ever known, a coworker gave me his old SNES. This set off a lightbulb “Collecting! Collecting will give me purpose! Gaming will distract me! ESCAPISM!”. I already had a decent collection of game and consoles, my old Game Boys, the N64, the PS2, the Wii, the SNES… it seemed realistic. I’ve spent the last nearly 2 years actively collecting. The collection will also be another post for another day.
Okay, so, why video games? Because I had to defy my parents, obviously. Because I bought my first video game myself. Because of the great community you can create around it (just don’t read the comment section on Kotaku). Because as a kid it gave me something to hide away into. Because as an adult it gives me something to hide away into. Because it’s something I can do by myself or with others. Because its created great memories and friendships and its comforting and challenging and fun. Because I love NERDING THE F OUT.
How about you nerds? Why video games?