Press and Hold the Reset Button - My Video Game Evolution

A wonderful post on the Femhype blog has reminiscence about my own video game evolution. Video games have been a part of my life since I was 9 years old. It’s fun, collaborative and at sometimes even therapeutic. It introduces you to a new world.

Since I’m not one to miss an opportunity to reminiscence about the 80’s, take a scroll down memory lane with me.

cues the Soul Train music

Before cool graphics, the Internet and Blue-Ray

There was 8-bit Super Mario Bros. At 6 years old my gaming life consisted of going to the local arcade to play Pacman, Centipede and other games at the local arcade. It wasn’t until I was 9 years old that I got my first home gaming console - a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

It came with the NES Light Zapper, the NES Power Pad, and the Super Mario Bros. game cartridge that included Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet. I didn’t care much for World Class Track Meet or in Duck Hunt. But from the moment I played Super Mario Bros., my gaming life was taken to a whole new level.

When you level up (1-UP) Mario and become Super Mario then you could snag a fire flower and make Mario shoot fire balls out of his nose. How can anyone play Super Mario Bros. and not think with sideways screen walking Mario and his brother Luigi was the bees knees?

With character names like Princess Toadstool (some might refer to her as “Princess Peach”) Goomba and Koopa Troopa and the game’s upbeat music, I was in 8-bit hog heaven.

Social Gaming

For me, social gaming before the Internet meant gathering a group of friends or relatives to combine forces or to compete against. This worked for me with games like Ghost and Goblins, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter among others, but  I’d play Ghost and Goblins for hours with friends.

We’d take turns playing the levels. We fight. We survive. We face the boss in the final level to…start the game over again. Ghost ‘N Goblins was a difficult game to win because the player would get to the end, defeat the boss, but learn that it was not real and you must fight through the game again.

Also, you could only get hit by an enemy once, (getting hit by an enemy twice, ended the life) Ah, memories.

Leveling up to 16-bit

I acquired Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, (that’s my favorite too.) and Tetris, and rented whatever I couldn’t afford from Blockbuster. One of my friends had the Sega Genesis, but I was not impressed with Sega. I didn’t like its advertisements taking jabs at the competition - mainly Nintendo.

I grew up Nintendo, and when the Super Nintendo came out in 1992 I bought that instead. The Super NES, the original NES were my main gaming consoles for a few years.

90’s Light Bulb Moment

For awhile, my gaming collection stalled. It was also during this time that I began to refine my gaming preferences. I learned when to purchase games - the timing was the key.

I’d wait a few weeks or months after a new game came to market. It also gave me a chance to read reviews about different games and consoles to better inform my purchase. From this practice I saved major lettuce when I a refurbished PlayStation 2 on two separate occasions.

The PS2, with its sophisticated looking design, introduced me to a more mature looking gaming console. I let go of my “Sega is a hater” mantra and purchased a Sega Dreamcast.

I stopped acquiring Super Nintendo game cartridges and I focused on looking through the Sega Dreamcast and PS2 gaming library.

It was at this point I came upon Tombraider: The Last Revelation on Dreamcast, and I’ve been a fan of the Tombraider franchise ever since. Which brings me to…

“Long live play” - PlayStation 4

I’ve had a Playstation 3 since 2009, and it along with its successor, PS4, does not disappoint. I look forward to the future of video gaming.

Gaming consoles have come a long way and the gaming industry is prime to take the next generation of gamers and game developers to the next level.

The enthusiasm I had at 9 years old playing 8-bit Mario on Nintendo is the same way I feel when I play The Last of Us, Journey and Little Big Planet, today.

There’s nothing like playing a new game. Its similar to discovering a new adventure or a compelling story line. For some, it’s about game strategy, bragging rights, unplugging from reality, but for all it’s a love of play.

What are some of your nostalgic video gaming moments? What do you think the future holds for video gaming?


About the author.

Cynthia L. Wright is a frontend developer, writer, and stick-figure artist. When she's not writing or coding, she enjoys traveling, video games, reading, and learning how to draw things.


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