I recently read an article about the re-released NES/SNES consoles. It was work, I swear. It was on the website of my accountancy body and everything!
It reminded me of the first time I ever played Super Mario Bros. I went round to a visit a friend from school and they had just got the NES. It blew my fragile little mind. I think at that point we may have had an Amstrad CPC 464 but Super Mario was on a completely different level and I attribute it with igniting my love for gaming. This would eventually lead to me paying hundreds (probably thousands over my lifetime) of pounds on consoles and games. I would be much richer were it not for the moustachioed Italian plumber.
As it was my friends console, he was Mario and I was Luigi. I’m sure many like me developed a fondness for the little green guy who was often relegated to the sidelines, based on the fact that they were not the alpha where the Nintendo was concerned.
One of the items on my bucket list was to complete Super Mario 3. I won’t go on about it again here, but the fact that the desire to complete it lasted maybe 20 years is something that older video games have over newer ones. Some of them release new versions every year. Some of them are just too difficult to keep you hooked. Some of them are just too big. There are very few games that I’ve got 100% on my PlayStation and having just checked the ones that I have seem to be linked towards interests I have outside of gaming – Batman, The Walking Dead and Blood Bowl.
Over the last few years I’ve drifted away from video games. This is for a few reasons. Time is one. Growing up means you don’t have as much time on your hands as you do when you’re at school. You can’t get head home just after 3 each day and spend hours playing a game. You’ve got Responsibilities.
Another reason is no longer living with another gamer. For me, quite a lot of gaming is social. I much prefer playing something like Smackdown or Pro Evo or even Halo (despite being crap at it) because it involved interacting with other human beings. When I was living with my brother, we’d play all the time. I’ve also had housemates who I would play with often, but when I started living on my own I started playing less frequently.
I do enjoy some single player games – especially horror games for some reason that I haven’t worked out entirely as I don’t really enjoy horror films. I think it’s probably that being immersed makes it a lot more scary. Condemned on the Xbox is still one of my all time favourite games and playing it in a dark room by myself probably just heightened the experience.
However given the choice, I would probably now spend the time playing a board game if I’m with other people, or often doing one of many other things if I’m not. Which is a shame as I’ve got a whole bunch of games that are currently sitting unplayed. Maybe I’ll get around to playing them soon. Maybe.
It’s probably like many things – the thing that gets you hooked is the thing that you always try to get back to to recreate that hit. It is likely nothing will be the same as the first time I made an Italian man waddle along and jump on two dimensional bad guys.