While digging through my mother’s attic today, I found some things from my childhood. Notably, a Funcoland flier from 2001, which I spent far too much time skimming over for several years. Throughout the 90s I would look through this each month, see how prices adjusted for each used game, then strike with precision, purchasing as many as I could in one shot.
Those days are long gone, and the industry as a whole is a different landscape from what it is now, but I’ll always look back fondly on those times, when I could purchase a Sega CD game for $0.50 (yes, FIFTY CENTS). That’s how I owned 90% of the US catalog at one point.
In addition to this flier, I also found a Crash Bandicoot story I wrote in the 3rd grade. I’ve also had a knack for creative writing, and obviously loved video games, so this was a natural extension of my creativity.
Composed of simple text, and cutouts from Game Informer previews/reviews, I would craft stories about video games. This one always stuck with me, but I’m not entirely sure why. I do recall spending nights with my mother and watching her play the first Crash Bandicoot game during the PS1’s launch. I honestly believe that games can bring families together, and this is frequently something that many of these studies overlook completely.
My first gaming experience with my family involved watching my Grandfather read the Nintendo Power guides to my Grandmother in the late 80s and early 90s as she would cruise through Zelda, Castlevania, and Donkey Kong Jr..
While I was in Kindergarten, my father came home with a box of used Genesis cartridges, several remotes, and arcade stick, and the first Genesis console. I’ll never forget that night, and more like it which came throughout my childhood, where I would be surprised with games every so often.
Around the first grade, shortly after the A Link To the Past hit American shores, my Aunt had purchased a SNES. I remember watching in awe, as her and my uncle would go on adventures as young Link, and couldn’t wait to have it for my own. Aware of my obvious fascination, they offered me both the console and the game which would go on to become my favorite gaming experience of all time.
It’s funny; people often believe that children don’t recall much of their
childhood, but for some reason I can vividly recall every bit of mine when it had to do with video games, and how grateful I was when the ones I couldn’t afford on my own would arrive in my lap. I spent many nights again, taking turns playing Mrs. Pac Man with my mother and brothers. This simple bonding experience sticks with me, even to this day, and despite us all living apart now, it’s nice to look back and know that we had these memories.
My point of this brief story is that games can mean so much to so many people, and for me, it always offered a creative outlet, something to work towards, and a bonding experience with those I loved.