Monday Memories: Video Game Nights

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

It’s a holiday where we are, and we’re hunkered down at home due to snow blanketing the ground outside. It was the perfect weekend to just relax at home with some hot chocolate and good video games.

kris_mmgamenight

When I first started gaming, I mainly played single-player games. Granted, I think back in the early 90s, when many consoles only came with two controllers, many of the games I picked up were only single-player. Aside from that reason, it was also because I was the main gamer in my family. I grew up watching my uncle play, but we didn’t play as much together when I started playing myself (mainly because, ya know, we lived in different houses and he was an adult with things like a job and taxes and probably some sort of social life that I never saw). There was some games I was able to rope my father into playing once in a while, and I remember watching my older sister play Super Mario Bros. occasionally but, until Rachel came along and was old enough to comprehend video games, I was on my own.

Thank God for Rachel, because if she didn’t get interested in video games, I don’t know if I would have continued playing. I adored the stories and the characters that I saved the world with when playing games, but it kind of sucked coming back to the real world and having no one to talk to about how you slayed the final boss with an epic sword attack to the head.

The majority of my friends weren’t into video games, or at least not as much as I was. The only console one friend owned was a Nintendo 64 and she only had Majora’s Mask and Goldeneye, and I’m pretty sure she only had the latter because of her love of the James Bond franchise. The former helped her understand some of my gushing of the Legend of Zelda series. Another friend shared my love of Pokemon for a while in elementary and middle school. A third friend was into video games almost as much as me, but it wasn’t something we spoke about too often. Video games wasn’t much of a topic among my friends, and I kept it as my own little hobby.

Until the Nintendo GameCube came out.

It was 2001 and I was eleven. Rachel and I probably got the GameCube for Christmas that year, and one of its first homes was in the kitchen porch, hooked up to the house’s smallest television. The GameCube library was one of my favorites from Nintendo, with one definite notable favorite: Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was because of this game that “video game nights” became a staple in my friend group throughout middle school and high school.

Everyone would show up at our house and take over the basement where the GameCube would temporarily be located and hooked up to the big screen television (thanks, Dad, for giving up your “room!”), and we’d all proceed to kick each other’s asses in Super Smash Bros. Melee and, when it came out, Mario Kart Double Dash. Pizza and chocolate were our diets for the night, and Mom loved the fact that we were all staying put at home instead of getting into trouble elsewhere. Even later, when the Wii came out, that console’s Smash Bros. and Mario Kart had a lot of hours put into them, even as we were all growing a little older.

I haven’t played video games with any of them since we left high school.

But remember that friend who only had the N64 with Goldeneye and Majora’s Mask? A couple of Christmases ago, she bought her husband a refurbished Wii with the sole purpose of getting Super Smash Bros. because of those video game nights at my house so many years ago, because of those memories.

I definitely miss those times, but video game technology has grown so much since I first became a gamer. While I may not be playing locally with old school friends any longer, thanks to the wonders of the Internet and game consoles these days, I am able to play with new friends in entirely different countries and that’s pretty damn awesome. Video games have become so much more than a hobby — it’s been the common thread between many wonderful friendships, both old and new, throughout the years.

Did you play a lot of video games with old friends? Did the games bring you closer? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around

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Yours, Mine, & Ours

Yours, Mine, & Ours | Borrowing Games | Gaming | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

rachmii
One of our #GamingTogether questions on our Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr this week was, “Do you let friends borrow your games?” Kris and I went through all the games we own fairly recently and realized that some of them were not originally ours. We had borrowed them from a friend or our uncle and never returned them. Which made us wonder if we’ve ever let our friends borrow games.

krismii
While I don’t recall ever letting a friend borrow a game, I do remember giving one of our younger cousins a Pokemon game. I believe it was Pearl, so she could try her hand at Pokemon with Rachel and me one year while we were all on vacation. I did buy myself another copy of Pearl so I wouldn’t miss it, but I was probably stingy when it came to letting someone else borrow a game.

rachmii
I’ve never liked anyone borrowing anything from me – especially games. I’m a stickler when it comes to that kind of stuff. Even letting our cousins or anyone close to me borrow things now, I always give it to them with some kind of warning or deadline of when I want it back. With that said, I don’t recall ever letting anyone ever borrow a game from me. I gave a game away once, but that was a gift, so I guess it doesn’t count.

krismii
It probably helps that most of our friends growing up weren’t gamers like we were. My high school friend group only had one or two people besides me who actually owned consoles. Us, on the other hand… I’m certain the three Final Fantasy games that we have for our old, original Playstation used to be our uncle’s. Think we have a copy of Donkey Kong 64 that was probably swiped from his old collection as well.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s funny too, because those older games I always thought we owned. There are a lot of games I remember playing, but we always played them at a friend’s house and never owned the. Here’s a question – do we have any games from Blockbuster that were never returned?

krismii
Oh, Blockbuster, how I miss thee… Not that I know of, actually. Pretty sure we’ve returned all our Blockbuster games. That would have been a good idea, though. Not that I condone stealing but, honestly, I wonder what they did with all those games and movies after they closed.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I know I’ve seen people with the Blockbuster sticker on some of their games. I think the store was closing so they just never bothered to return them. What was the store going to do? Either way, I don’t think I would ever let people borrow any of my games – especially if I wasn’t sure when I’d see them again. I don’t mind borrowing from others though… On the other hand, most games are digital now anyway so you can’t really pass them around.

krismii
I think I’d be paranoid about friends accidentally overriding my save files or such if I let them borrow games. Then memory cards became a thing, then games were saved right onto the consoles or on accounts that were on said consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch. You’re right about everything being digital nowadays… borrowing a game now would be like borrowing someone’s account, which I doubt anyone would want to do.

Do you usually let friends borrow your games? Let us know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Talking About Gaming In Real Life

krismii
Playing video games isn’t the reclusive, living-in-your-parents-basement kind of activity as they used to be. Nowadays, video games are getting the kind of attention they deserve, with many celebrating their technology, art, music, and stories. Playing video games is more social than it ever has before with online capabilities. Yet, there still seems to be that generation gap when it comes to gaming, at least in Rachel’s and my life.

rachmii
Do you publicly announce that you play video games on a regular basis? I don’t. Of course, I don’t keep it a secret, but it’s not exactly every day conversation when you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand gaming or look down upon it.

krismii
I’ve had coworkers who wouldn’t mind discussing which Pokemon starter we were going to choose in the new games or, most recently, teasing me about how amazing Breath of the Wild’s open world is, but video games isn’t a common topic that I share on a daily basis. I geek out with Rachel and online friends mostly.

rachmii
Most of my co-workers are older than me and find video games to be a waste of time and money. They don’t knock it because they know I play, they just don’t get why I play. They don’t see the art behind it between the graphics, music, story and character developments, etc.

krismii
It’s a shame, isn’t it? I bet they don’t talk down movies or even books, probably praising the cinematography, the music, the story, and all that jazz. We’re fairly lucky with our parents being supportive of our hobby, even if they don’t totally understand it. They get our enthusiasm and try to be enthusiastic with us!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I know, I don’t understand it. At least with video games you’re doing something rather than just watching the screen. You’re solving puzzles, following along with a story, etc.

krismii
I suppose they could argue that they’re going out and being social and other such nonsense, haha. But, hey, we’re fairly social thanks to video games too! Honestly, we see so many people out and about glued to their phones nowadays.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Video games are better than that, definitely! It’s great that the video game community is so great because it’s sad that people who don’t play games just don’t see what’s so awesome about it.

Do most people know you play video games? How do they react? Let us know in the comments below!

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Co-op and Versus

krismii
During multiplayer games, how do you prefer to set up the teams with your friends and family? Do you prefer co-op modes or everyone-fends-for-themselves kind of games? When Rachel and I play, we tend to stick together to demolish the opposition. For example, in the Mario Party games (when they allowed it), Rachel and I like doing the Tag Team mode, where whenever the mini-game is 2 versus 2, we always were paired up.

rachmii
I think it definitely depends on who you’re playing with and what game you’re playing. If you’re playing with a group of friends, I think it’s a lot more fun to be against each other. When it’s just you and me, sticking together through Mario Party is fine. Especially since you usually win the mini-games anyway. On the other hand… Remember when we used to play Sonic Adventure 2 Battle together?

krismii
Yes, I agree that it depends on the people. We make a pretty good team, but it is always fun risking a friendship or two when it comes to competitive games. Oh, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was awesome going against you! You almost always won the racing courses while I tended to do better with finding the emeralds! The shooting events were just the pair of us mashing buttons. Those were good times! We always seem to be on a team in the Mario Kart games, too.

rachmii
Ah, yes. Mario Kart Double Dash was good times! You always drove and I threw the items and beat people up with my Yoshi tongue if they got too close. You have to be careful who you’re playing with though. I know I can get a little too competitive sometimes.

krismii
It wasn’t just Double Dash that we made a good team. Even during the team races of other Mario Kart installments, we did pretty well. On the flipside, you were the better driver and I played back-up from second or third (or sometimes even further back) place. Super Smash Brothers is a good franchise to show off our competitive sides! It’s fun to beat each other up once in a while in the form of video games!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, that’s right! Mario Kart Wii had the team option. I forgot about that. Yeah, I’m a beast at Mario Kart Wii! Smash is a good way to show off your competitive side, but I’m not that great at it so I just get mad.

krismii
But it’s all in good fun. I think you and I are so used to working on a team together that co-op tends to be our go-to option when we play video games with that option. I can definitely think of a few friends that I wouldn’t mind at all going all-out against in versus modes, but I like that I usually have you in my corner. I think it’s because I know your skills and you know mine — can’t let you go on the enemy team and give away my secrets, haha!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is true! It’s a lot more fun to go against your friends. Plus, most of our friends don’t play video games so it’s usually easier to win. Because let’s be honest, it’s fun to rub it in their faces. Even if it is all about having fun. But making fun of your friends is fun too. Okay, I’ll stop talking now.

Which do you prefer? Would you rather have your friends as your teammates? Or your enemies?