I remember how I felt Christmas 1991. I had opened all the small boxes and cards, very disciplined for a 10 and a half year old. There was one big box under the tree, I thought this was strange because I had asked for and Atari Lnyx (Atari’s answer to the Gameboy) and that was tiny. I tore off the paper to reveal a Nintendo Entertainment System or NES. My parents thought I would enjoy being able to play on a bigger screen with my friends. It was a good call as the Lynx disappeared from market very quickly.
However my parents didn’t keep their eye on the market because just over a year later in April of 1992 the Super Nintendo was released. Sounding like a spoilt kid now, but I got one Christmas 1992. I was hooked. I have always liked Sports games, so one of the first titles on my SNES was Super Soccer, an international football game. The first team you had to beat to progress through the game was Cameroon. I must have played Cameroon 50 times before I finally beat them. I stuck at it for hours after school and weekends. Fast forward 21 years and I now have a PS3 and I wish I had that determination.
The Last of Us, is a tremendous game. Cinematic immersive game play. It sits on my shelf, unfinished. My friend who has completed it tells me I am close to the end, but I’m stuck. I have played the same bit 6 or 7 times and I can’t get by it, so out it comes. My 10 year old self would have been blown away by the graphics but would have sat in front of it forever until it was done.
Why do I not have the same drive now?
It’s not like I have a major social life or better things to be doing. I do enjoy gaming and although it still gets bad press, it’s a legitimate a hobby as gardening or reading or whatever. It’s great for me cos it raises the heart rate and improves my dexterity.
Is it the games? Super Soccer was me vs the SNES, no online play, no linking to Facebook or a depressingly low Game Center score. On the PC, Grand Theft Auto for example, I completed GTA and GTA London and even more recently on the PS3 GTA IV (not with 100%) but that took me ages to get over the finish line. Years I didn’t play. Now GTA V, you have three protagonists, a fully functional stock market and massive online environment. Now instead of enjoying beating up Whores I’m looking at a stock market screen. I miss the simple fun.
Maybe games aren’t for me. Maybe they are for people with more dextrous fingers and unlimited free time. Like me when I was 10.
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