Christmas is quite literally right around the corner. Since the day after Thanksgiving, retailers everywhere have been sucking the very marrow out of our modern-day capitalist Christmas, eager to push sales like never before. This is the world we live in. But here at Spoon Deep, we urge you: don’t get sucked in. Yes, Christmas means different things to different people. For some, it’s the same Christian holiday it’s always been, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. For others, it really is this new capitalist ideal focused on marketing, retail, consumerism, and gift giving; in other words, buying stuff. For others still, it’s as simple as a time of year to see friends, family, and celebrate all you have together amidst the beauty of a snow-covered winter landscape. I fall into this last group, but whatever your reason for celebrating my favorite holiday, just remember: we’re all gamers. Gamers are as wide and varied as are our reasons for celebrating Christmas, and just as Christmas has its origins, its history, so do we.
But first, let me just get this off my chest. Happy Christmas. It’s happy Christmas, damnit. Every other holiday gets to be happy, I’m tired of this merry bullshit. You too Mario, don’t think I can’t read that. I’ll come in there. You’re gumba food, buddy. And I’m not your buddy, guy. Now…
This holiday season saw so many good games hit the market as our beloved next-gen’s finally started to fill out their libraries, and Q4 2014 is just the beginning, as 2015 promises even more (The Witcher 3 cough The Division cough). With all this and more, we can sometimes get lost amongst our myriad of systems and our overabundance of games. Christmas is a good time to take a step back to reflect on our lives as gamers.
I honestly can’t remember my first game, but I do remember my first system: the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. My parents must have had it from before I was born (which is weird because they’re not gamers, aside from a little Rollercoaster Tycoon now and then. Hi mom!), as I always remember it being there. I remember playing Star Trek, Monsters in My Pocket, Duck Hunt, and of course, Super Mario Bros 1, 2, and 3 (World 8…shudder). From there, I moved on to the SEGA Dreamcast (Hydroooo Thunderrrrrrr) and finally the PS2, where my gaming career took stride with Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland. Of course, I had my Gameboy and Gameboy Color (AKA Pokemon machines) too.
My favorite games of all time? Hydro Thunder, Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland, and Pokemon Gold. How convenient. I’ll always remember the hardest levels, racing my speedboat through the waterways of Venice amidst complete darkness, desperately holding onto 3rd. I’ll always remember going to the lake on rainy days to fish for hours on end, stopping on my way home to give Gwen a Very Berry and talk late into the night. I’ll always remember the first Pokemon I ever caught, a level 2 Pidgey, and how he evolved into the level 81 monster of a Pidgeot that quite literally flew through the Elite Four, Wing Attacking his opponents into submission.
So, gamers…take this time, this Christmas, to look back on your origins. When did you start? What was your first game? What system? What was your favorite game then? Is it still your favorite now? Take a moment to think back and remember what (and maybe who) got you here. Take a trip down memory lane. What’s your story?