Flashback: the NES


Mega Dads are looking back at the 1980’s all month long, and being a site dedicated to video games there is a lot of material to draw from that decade. So much of what the industry is today was birthed in the 80’s. I felt it fitting to dedicate our first blog to the king of 80’s gaming, the machine that breathed life into home gaming: the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The NES isn’t just the system that set the stage for home gaming, it saved the industry from collapse. At the time of the NES’s release consumers had had enough of home video game consoles. There was a fast burnout in the market with products like Atari and Intellivision leaving a massive dump of terrible games in living rooms across the country. The market had crashed, home computing was taking over and emerging to be the future for the electronics industry.

The NES, through a mix of amazing software options and savvy marketing techniques (This is an ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM. Not a video game console!), found footing in the American market and the rest is history. And looking at that history, it’s easy to see Nintendo’s personality resonate through the years to where they are today. Nintendo has always been about offering unique alternatives to the consumer. Whether you appreciate everything they have to offer or not, you can’t help but appreciate Nintendo’s unique take on what should come next for video games. That all started in the 80’s with one-of-a-kind Nintendo products like the Zapper, R.O.B., and even the Power Glove.

The NES was also the launch pad for so many of today’s biggest game franchises and companies. Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros., Metal Gear and many others had their inaugural run on the NES. And to be honest, many of these classics hold up amazingly well when even stacked up against today’s biggest hits. The industry owes so much to this platform. We should all take a moment from bashing Nintendo’s recent performance to acknowledge their impact on gaming.

On a personal level, I can remember the day I got my NES. My Mom had bought it for me for my birthday, knowing that it was pretty much the only thing that I wanted. It was wrapped up and saved for my last gift to open at my party. I shredded the wrap on all my gifts one by one, until they were all gone save for one… one which I didn’t see. There I sat at the dining room table, not noticing the big wrapped box sitting next to my chair, out of my view. I sat in my chair pouting and being a little turd, not realizing that the one thing I had wanted more than anything was literally RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

I can only imagine how entertaining it must have been for my mom to watch me, completely oblivious, pouting in my seat. Then, when it was called to my attention, I knew before peeling back one shred of wrapping paper what it was. I tore into it and saw the black box with the bright red lettering declaring “ACTION SET” and I just filled with happiness. There’s nothing like that feeling when you’re a kid and you get exactly what you want. It’s literally the most important thing in your world.


Over the years the NES got a lot of love from my family. It became a staple for all of us to sit around and play games together. Whether we were hunting ducks, exploring Hyrule, or fighting the robotic minions of Dr. Wily, the NES made me and many others into gamers. So take some time to celebrate the foundation of the home gaming market. The Nintendo Entertainment System.


This week’s speed painting fits within the topic of the post this week! Here is DUCK HUNT! What would you like to see me paint next? Just leave a comment below, or make a suggestion on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll put your suggested character in my next blog!

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