Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nostalgia, Resentment and Regret

Our family was always nearly a full generation behind with gaming and I suppose I still am, it's cheaper that way. :3 But when I was young, we just didn't have anything during the proper NES era. I'd go to a neighbor's or cousin's house and be transfixed, but I'd never be allowed to play myself. I worried I'd mess up, even if given the chance.

We did eventually get a NES some time before the SNES came out, but by that time I'd already seen most of the popular titles. I was drawn more to the niche oddballs like Golgo 13 or Faxanadu and creepy games like Castlevania or Ghosts and Goblins which my sisters also loved. When I had shoveled driveways, mowed lawns and walked dogs enough for my own 16-bit system, it was Phantasy Star and Sonic on the Genesis that caught my eye rather than Mario or Zelda, with which I'd never forged a personal connection. Those had always been someone else's games, Sega's library was offering to be my games.

I was nearly an adult by the time I got acquainted with my younger sisters' and best friend's SNES, so I did eventually catch up, but it was too late for me to feel the same nostalgic kinship with the bigger series. Luckily, they were young enough to have games available to them and not have to go through the same barriers to gaming itself that I did.

Like many other girls, poor kids and kids whose cultures didn't interest game marketing, there were a lot of times we were shut out, but we still managed to find our interests despite that. Gaming is a strong enough medium that you can make a connection if you have the interest. But for those that were unlucky, felt too shut out to develop that initial spark, I seriously hope we're on the path to greater accessibility if not far enough already.


  1. Very nice post, Jade! I always enjoy reading about how others first became interested in this hobby/industry/whateveryouwannacallit. Or how they felt when they first started playing games. Do you still feel a sort of kinship with Sega's library, by the way? Regardless, it's funny that you say you were more drawn to Sega when you were younger, because back in the day I definitely was more of a Nintendo fan but I also had a somewhat odd attraction to the Genesis and even the TurboGrafx-16. I liked that the games for those systems were darker and weirder than the ones that usually were released for, say, the SNES, although I also really liked the Nintendo's "cute" offerings. Actually, I'm not sure what that says about me--if anything--but I thought I'd share it anyway :)

    1. Right, I'd say the dark and weird was exactly what drew my attention. As mentioned in the post, I felt shut out of the more popular titles long enough that I just didn't feel a part of that sunny mainstream scene. But then there was Sega beckoning from a dark alleyway, 'Hey kid, I got something you can identify with over here.' Then again, every kid gets a little thrill from the dark and the dangerous, so I'm not sure how much I'd chalk up tastes to those experiences. Cuteness was something I learned to appreciate much later. I can say those experiences did put a barrier between me and Zelda for quite a while though. I did eventually play Link to the Past, but it wasn't unitl the DS games, well into adulthood, that I really felt connected to Zelda.