There is a certain part about being a video game collector that embeds nostalgia within each game itself. I’m sure most of us have fond memories of sitting in front of the television, playing a special game we may have got from Mom and Dad for Christmas or a birthday. Maybe something important was happening in your life as you were making your way through a certain game, and those two moments are forever partnered in time. I was talking with a friend of mine a couple of weeks back and he was describing how he learned that he was going to be a father during the end credit sequence of Mass Effect 2. That game will forever be unified with that experience for him. That’s pretty powerful stuff. Good thing it was a game worth remembering! Imagine if it was Superman 64…
For me each of my favorite games carries with it a set of memories in my life that were running adjacent to that game experience. I can remember my brother and I hooking our stereo up to the old television outputs to achieve surround sound for our walkthrough the Mushroom Kingdom courtyards in Mario 64. I remember the borderline obsession that my Mom and I shared with the original Tomb Raider, and how we bonded over that game like we never had before. I remember getting together with my family and girlfriend (who went on to become my wife) to form our band in Rockband. Each time I see these games on the shelf I think of those times.
The point is that sometimes games are more than just games. When it is something that has been a part of you since childhood it forms a special bond with you that becomes more than just a play experience. Maybe that’s why as we age we still find a comfort in this exercise. It’s almost like a security blanket that never tatters.
Video games have always been a part of my family. Even before I can remember. My mom has told me stories about letting me scream and cry in my crib because she was knee deep in a game of Pac-Man for the Atari and she just couldn’t put it down. I grew up with games, and games have even grown up with me as well. I look at the level of maturity and sophistication in many of today’s games and it’s pretty cool that as me and the industry have gotten older, we’ve gotten wiser as well.
So as I look forward to becoming a father 6 weeks from now I intend to raise my child with games. Because to me those games are a vessel for special memories and moments, and I intend to share that with my family forever.
Mom and Dad rocking the Atari in the 80’s.