Those of us who are products of the 80s likely grew up playing the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). My generation was born just after the Atari crashed and burned, so that console and its successors didn’t exist to us. It wasn’t until Nintendo introduced the NES that videogames were on my radar.
It’s all a bit of a blur to me now, but the first gaming memory I can somewhat piece together involves the US version of Super Mario Bros. 2. It was at my next door neighbor’s place. I was very young, not even in pre-school yet and wasn’t allowed outside much, so that was about as far as I ever went. I imagine I just walked into their house without knocking (I have a very faint memory of my mom or one of my grandparents explaining to me that it’s rude to just walk into other people’s homes.).
I remember standing there and asking them what this cool machine was. They were watching a cartoon, but their remote controls let them move the characters around the screen. At least that’s what it looked like to me at the time. It’s not all clear, but I think they were playing as Toad as they ran and jumped through one of the game’s early levels. It’s kind of difficult to remember, and being that I didn’t exactly know what I was watching at the time, it’s even harder.
It wasn’t long before I was running back home to tell my grandparents about this awesome new toy I had discovered. I remember trying to describe it to them by explaining that the Nintendo is “like a VCR that sits on top of your TV” and it has “a remote control.” I explained to them that it was a machine that let you put these, for lack of a better word at the time, tapes, into it and control the cartoons. I didn’t know it at the time, but they had already seen the Atari 2600 and had an idea of what this Nintendo thing was. I sure didn’t I just knew it looked cool.
I hadn’t played it yet, but I already knew what I wanted for Christmas.
Like many others in 1989, I got a Nintendo Action Set. It came with all the stuff pictured above
I know I don’t have many readers (if any), but if someone does happen to run into this blog, why not leave some comments and share your first gaming memory. As you can see, my memory didn’t even involve playing the system–I just had to watch someone else play to know I wanted an NES.