About 10 years ago, I was one of those goofballs you see on the evening news waiting outside a store at midnight around Black Friday for the “big new thing”.
Our son was excited for the debut of the Nintendo Wii U game console that was being released that night. I got there at about 9:30 PM and waited for the store to open for a few hours. It wasn’t terribly cold, but brisk enough that everyone was bundled up and some people were sitting in sleeping bags on lawn chairs. It was quite a sight.
I got the game console that night and it was his Christmas gift that year. He got us all involved in it and it was fun for our whole family. We played Mario Kart, James Bond, and a number of other video games over the years. When our son left for college – right after I retired from work – I was sad to see the Wii U leave with him.
For my birthday the next Spring, my wife and son surprised me with my own Wii U console. It was loaded up with all of our favorites, and also some Star Wars and Marvel games. I thought, “This is awesome, but I’m probably going to become a gamer in early retirement!” I wondered if I would evolve to spending hours and hours sitting in the dark downstairs playing shooter games by myself.
The funny thing is that my addiction to video games never really developed. Not a bit. I used it some when we first got it – even hooking it up to the big TV in front of our treadmill for exercise. Still, I didn’t use it much. It didn’t ‘take’ with me – even during the pandemic ‘stay at home’ time. I guess whatever ‘gene’ younger folks have for video games I was missing.
I recently dusted off the old device and fired it up for the first time in a few years. I’m going to try to get back into some of the strategy / platform games I used to enjoy. Maybe I’ll talk my son into coming over and playing a bit. Even though I’m happy I didn’t become a hard-core gamer, I feel like I am missing something I could really enjoy.
Do you have video games that you play regularly, or is that for a younger generation? How much time do you spend on them?
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4 thoughts on “Not A Video Gamer”
I remember when video games on proprietary hardware was how they came. My sons must have always visited a website to find what they want for Christmas that was on allocation. Sometimes I would snag a game when they were doing an early morning delivery at GameStop or I would buy one from a scalper off E-bay at a reasonable premium.
If the delivery was too dicey, I would pre-buy the whatever game system and they would get a gift card that let them know they were getting their game, but it is coming after Christmas. I think this was the right approach because it taught them a lesson in delayed gratification.
Here is how I got to this. For my oldest son he wanted a Power Ranger when that was the big thing. I went to Toys-R-Us and walked around the store trying to find the Power Ranger section and couldn’t. So I went to the Manager and asked her, “Where is the Power Ranger Section?” She explained to me that they are on allocation and that parents were camping outside in front of the store to be first in line when the store got its next shipment.
I was curious and asked the Manager, exactly what is a “Power Ranger”. She explained it was a plastic or rubber Action Figure that tied into a television series going by the same name. I remember thinking to myself, what kind of training are the parents camping outside overnight to get their kids a rubber Power Ranger Doll. My son got a lesson in delayed gratification that year for Christmas, which is probably one of the most valuable gifts I ever gave him.
It was a great day when I switched my boys off proprietary gaming hardware to Gaming PC based games that are either bought outright online or available for a monthly subscription. All the games with allocation went away forever (with the exception of Graphics Cards which are sometimes hard to get because they are used for mining crypto-currency). But they have recently got easy to buy again with the crash in crypto-currency and the bankruptcy of several exchanges.
I tried playing in the early days with my son when he was playing Donkey Kong and I could beat the game. But then they moved on to games where they playing against other players with games such as “Call of Duty”. I was not even in the same league as my ten year old. My Call of Duty pseudonym was “Baby Seal” because the kids clubbed me like a baby seal.
I think I like playing real sports better where you are doing something that is real and you can actually touch and feel the ball or whatever.
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Power Rangers! Forgot about those. They are probably worth thousands and thousands of dollars now … but only if they are mint in box. That’s a lesson in delayed gratification! 🙂
I’ve tried the first person shooter games too, but I’ve always had “Baby Seal”-like results. I’m always facing the wrong way or can’t quickly jump over an obstacle. I’m always a sitting duck out there.
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1974 family trip to Florida, Space Mountain had not been completed.
At a motel there was a console machine that one could insert quarters into and play a game called Pong. After about 75 cents worth I was cured of any interest in video games.
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I remember the Pong arcade machine games. We never had the actual home version, but a knockoff called Colecovision. It was fun, but not very engaging.