By: Stephen Sedgwick-Williams
It’s 1998. A group of kids are sitting around a TV with their Nintendo 64 plugged in, the goofy controller clutched closely, and the blocky graphics illuminating the screen.
Fast forward to 2013, and video games have become quite the industry. Each new installment in the Call of Duty franchise breaks records. There are massive advertising campaigns and entire conventions devoted to just seeing what is coming out.
Video games have become a billion dollar industry. But some like to take a look back and see where the love of video games started.
“What got me into gaming was watching my brother play,” said Eilish MacDonald, a first year outdoor adventure student. “I first watched him play Ocarina of Time, and I of course called Link ‘Zelda’ and every single thing that you can do wrong.”
“I forget the name of the very first video game I played, but it was one of those motion computer games with a web cam,” said Eric Walkulczyk, a first year hospitality management, hotel and restaurant student. “I think I was three or four and my dad ended up putting the monitor with the webcam on the floor and me and my brother would stand side by side and jump to go forwards and then lean to the left to go left, and lean to the right to go right.”
“Mario 64 is my favourite game of all time, by far, mainly based on nostalgia,” Brad Quinn, employee at the New Tech Store said, “I played a lot of Mario growing up, things on Genesis like Streets of Rage, Sonic, obviously, Golden Axe, those are a lot of what I played growing up.”
What’s clear is that many students have fond memories of their old favourite games, and that seems to be especially important now as old school games are making a comeback. Just last year The Walking Dead, an old school point and click adventure game in the style of the old Sierra and LucasArts games, won Game of the Year.
That’s not the only way old school gaming is coming back though, as the market is now being introduced to devices capable of playing games dating back to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES, or Super Nintendo).
“I actually have a portable Super Nintendo,” Quinn said, “What it is it’s like a big Super Nintendo controller with a screen in it, LCD backlit so you can play in the dark and everything. Cartridges go in the top, you can plug controllers into the actual machine, and plug it into your TV so it’s a full functional Super Nintendo, and it’s portable.”
It’s 2013, and the same group of kids still sitting in front of the TV, all grown up. The games may have changed, but the spirit remains the same.