Happy Monday, everyone!
Welcome to the first Monday of 2020! I’m being a little nostalgic today, mostly due to the new year and the fact that my birthday is coming up. I started thinking about where my love of gaming all began.
I’m going to be 30 years old this year, at the end of the month, actually. I’ve literally grown up with the internet and video games before me, and I was thinking about when it all started. While I never thought I would outgrow video games, I never expected them to take as much of a priority in my life as they do now.
I’m certain no one in my family thought that, least of all my uncle that mainly introduced me to gaming. Poor Uncle Ricky enjoyed his video games, mostly around the SNES and Nintendo 64 era, and he was probably amused when I used to watch him play games like Super Mario RPG and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He probably regretted introducing me to gaming when I used to bother him to play, particularly when I would “accidentally” wake him up during his napping for his third-shift at his current job.
(Eight-year-old me thought I was being clever, sneaking up to his room to see if he was awake, but making just enough noise so he’d stir.)
I did learn patience, of course, tending to wait until he was actually awake to play until his job and schedule changed. He wasn’t at my grandparents’ house during the usual hours I was there as often and, like most young men, he had a social life. My mother says I was a bit put off when he started getting serious with my now-aunt. Suddenly there was someone else vying for his attention and supposedly I wasn’t thrilled.
I never hated my aunt, obviously, but my older sister didn’t play many games and Rachel wasn’t old enough to have a steady grip on the controllers just yet.
It was around that time, though, that my uncle gave me the Super Mario RPG game, encouraging me to give it a try on my own. There were parts of the game that I was always nervous to try, restarting the game over every time I reached those certain parts until I learned to have the courage to push past those obstacles, and I try to apply that knowledge, that proud feeling of achievement that little-me had when I beat that game on my own.
He let me play Ocarina of Time at my grandparents house, using his nearly complete file so I could spend my time riding Epona through the vast (to child-me) Hyrule Field. Because of that, I went from the Hyrule Field on the N64 to Breath of the Wild’s expansive world on the Nintendo Switch, and I’m not slowing down anytime soon.
Due to my birthday coming up, the fact that gaming has been a major part of my life is cemented in my mind. Unlike video games, this is my one life, and I’m glad I started down the path I’m on. Being a gamer has done nothing but bring positivity to my life, and it’s only helping me further with my creative pursuits.
Who’d have thought it would all start with me being a little nudge-of-a-child and bothering my uncle to play “the Mario game with the guy in the cool cape?”