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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas and video gaming

For me? These two things have always gone somewhat hand-in-hand. It started when I got my first gaming system, the TI99/4a, that I discussed here. Several years later, I got my second video game system. Several people in my family came together to get me the Nintendo Entertainment System. I was already turning into a mini-game junkie after getting the TI99/4a, and had been wanting an NES for some time.



So, my uncle got me the system, my parents got me a couple of games and my grandparents got me yet another game on top of that. It was awesome. The Light Zapper seemed like an amazing piece of at-home technology as I shot at ducks and clay pigeons. I discovered true platforming in Super Mario Bros. Double Dribble (thanks grandma, and grandpa) was the first sports title I had ever played that actually felt like a sports title (and drove my parents nuts with the repeated sound of a basketball dribbling).



My parents got me Elevator Action (which was one of my favorite arcade games) and Dragon Power (which was based on the Dragonball universe - something I did not realize even existed until many, many years later). It was an amazing Christmas, and one that really stood out to me, even though I was somewhat young at the time.



* footnote: however, when I was 2 years old, apparently I ignored all of my newly acquired presents in favor of rolling a can of mushrooms around for like 3 hours on Christmas Eve. Clearly, I had very high standards for entertainment.

Anyway, back on topic *coughs* - for me this was the true start of my fascination with video games. The TI99/4a was something I played and enjoyed to be sure, but those titles lacked the depth the NES would prove capable of. I got really good at games like Donkey Kong or Frogger or Parsec on the TI99/4a, but I would later discover lengthy and variety-filled Mario games, RPG's like Dragon Warrior and Ultima, and adventures and innovations that titles like Zelda and Bionic Commando represented.

Maybe because I was a bit older, maybe because I had been wanting an NES for some time while the TI99/4a came as a complete surprise, but the NES was one of the biggest Christmas gifts I had ever received and to this day is still something I recall very clearly. My family always opened gifts Christmas Eve. Christmas day was for visiting relative, so this is why I am posting this article on Christmas Eve.

Any Christmas video game stories that stick out in your memories?

Also - Happy Holidays!