My relationship with video games, much like comics, has always been weird, sporadic, and old-school. Although I can’t work a 360 controller to save my life, there have been many a time when I’ve been completely obsessed with video games. So today, I would like to share with you, the video games of my life!
My childhood best friend had an Atari, and I was like, obsessed with it. The concept was so cool, and if it had been up to me, I would have played Atari all day long. Frogger was my favorite. I am honestly not sure why; it just was. I’m not even that good at it. But I still love it. The worst is when you’re right up to that little box thingy at the end, and you miss it by a hair and go SPLAT right there in the water. That, or when that evil snake appears out of nowhere and tries to kill you >:o
One of my friends growing up had a really nice computer, especially for the time. This was in 1984 – not that common to have a home computer, and this thing was a lot nicer than most at that time. OMG, remember cassette tapes for computers? Anyway, she had Q-bert on her computer, and I just thought this was the best game that ever existed. I played for hours and hours. You can imagine my excitement when I went to Gadgets, or Our Place, and they had Q-bert, because not many arcades did. Unfortunately, the arcade game was much harder for me. Here is my haiku about that:
Falling off the cubes
Embarrassment at Our Place
Epic fail for me
*Update from the future! The Manitou Springs penny arcade has a Q-bert game! My life is complete.
That Baseball Game Robb Had
My parents were very strict about video games, and we didn’t have a system. But one summer, Robb somehow finagled a baseball game out of them. It was just one game, and all I really remember about it is the dorky announcer’s voice: “SINgle.” “DOUble.” “HOME RUN!” Also, the game used to freeze and kind of go in slow, jerky-motion. But basically that game and Martika define my summer of ’89. Once the perm started growing out, of course.
My first cousin once removed had this game. I saw her infrequently, but I vividly remember hanging out with her one day and playing it for hours and hours. I thought it was the best thing ever. Plus, my godmother took us to White Castle that day.
Back in the day, Robb used to borrow his friend Joe’s Gameboy and keep it like, all summer long. And of all the games I could have played to keep up with mainstream society, I pick the one that nobody (whom I’ve talked to) has ever heard of. I don’t remember much about this game besides the pulsating black flames (I don’t think that’s what they were though). You jumped into them and they’d take you away somewhere. The weird thing about this game though is, despite not remembering many details, more than any other Gameboy game, I feel like I just played it last week.
Yay! I loved this game, although I could only get to a certain point, then no further. Kind of like how I am with most video games. And math. Ohhhh, maybe there is a connection! Anyway, I played this a lot when I liked not one, but two boys named Mike, so I usually played as Michelangelo.
That Individual Mario Game Robb Had
I remember nothing about this game except effing Lakitu (sp?) kept messing things up and I think throwing hammers at me. Also, this was the first “real, modern” video game I played, and it kept me from sleeping. The game would just go in my head, on a loop.
Dude. I LOVE TETRIS!!!!! It is the best game ever. Whether on Gameboy, in the arcade, on the computer, Tetris kicks ass. And I can understand it, which is always a good thing. My favorite of all Tetris incarnations was the Super Tetris. You got the cutest little bombs! And the backgrounds are really creepy.
My friend’s family had this game on their Commodore 64. All I remember is you had to make colors. Like, box off areas, and they’d turn colors. I was really good at it, and spent hours playing it, but I don’t remember the name, and it’s driven me crazy for many years. 22, to be exact.
^^^ Update from the future! That is what I wrote in 2008, minus the name and picture. But Gabe figured out what game I meant, saving the day and freeing up space in my brain! Thanks Gabe!!!
Mickey’s Castle of Illusion
You know the expression “off like a prom dress?” Well not only did my prom dress stay on, but I spent the entire next day alone with my date…playing Mickey’s Dream Castle. Fun game! And very metaphorical. RUN AWAY FROM THE APPLE OF TEMPTATION!
Sonic the Hedgehog (I & II)
My parents made my brother go to an all-boys Catholic high school in Queens, so as a consolation prize, they bought him a Sega. This worked out very well for me because I got to play it without going to an all-boys school. Although that would have been fun. Just like “Just the 10 of Us!” That show = always relevant. Anyway, I loved the Sonic games. I preferred one ’cause it was more straightforward, and didn’t have Tails flipping around, distracting me at every turn. And I know I am NOT the only one afraid of drowning in that water. It’s so SAD!!! With the bubbles, and stressful with the sped-up music. My parents went away with my brothers one week and I literally spent days playing Sonic (I think I skipped school) and I was too afraid to sleep because the bubbles o’ death gave me nightmares.
“Here we go!” “Ahhhwowowowowowow.” Those are the sounds of Toad, but I do not know this from firsthand experience, because nobody ever lets me be Toad. It’s so SAD! Everyone tries to make me be Princess Peach, and I hate her (sorry Ben!). Still, Mario Kart is a really fun game, and good for me, ’cause you don’t need to use a lot of buttons! Plus, it’s really pretty. Frappe Snowland is so beautiful! And got me some interesting friend requests when it was my Myspace name awhile back.
Family Feud for Sega
Seriously. It’s amazing what abstinent couples will do for fun.
One summer night in 1991, I spent an entire night alternating between playing Super Marioland and reading Portrait of Jenny, start to finish. This is probably my favorite Gameboy game.
I LOVE THIS GAME!!!!! When I was younger, the grocery store by my house had it in the vestibule, and when I would go with my parents on seven-hour-long shopping trips, I’d watch other people play, because I never had my own quarters. I’d also pretend to play with the example game. I think I somehow memorized the game, and that is why I truly rock at Ms. Pac-Man. Well, for me, as far as these things go. One thing that bothers me though is that at a certain point, you keep repeating boards, and you just have baby after baby. Like, that’s very nice and all, but the stork thing gets old. Maybe send me and the Mister on a cruise! “Act Four: They travel!” Regardless, it is a wonderful, classic game, and superior to plain Pac-Man. Especially on Atari. What was up with that? Regular Pac-Man was this big, slow-moving pie, and the pellets were rectangles, whereas Ms. Pac-Man was all fancy and had real pellets. Weird.
©November 9, 2008