Ah, the good ol’ days of gaming when simplicity ruled all. I often reminisce of my earlier days of gaming, more so now thanks to the reinvigoration of classic games on contemporary platforms. My earliest gaming memory is pretty much a blur now, although I force myself to never forget it. My cousins were the first people I knew to own a Nintendo Entertainment System back in the late-80s, and, unsurprisingly, the first game I ever played was Super Mario Bros.
I absolutely sucked at it as a three year old, admiring my cousin’s ability to speed through it literally within a couple of minutes. The exploits were there if you wanted to use them, but I had no interest in blasting through the game, instead wanting to play through it at the pace as intended by its creators.
I still have the same mentality today. I don’t pick up and play classics like Super Mario Bros. to clock them, but rather to get some quick, simple enjoyment in the best possible way. I started playing Yoshi’s Island on DS recently, and I found its simplicity to be charming in a similar way to its earliest predecessor from so many years before. That’s what helps me remember these classic games and it’s part of the reason why I’ll never forget the first ever game I played, no matter how much of a blur it may be to me.
Looking back on that very first game, I don’t compare it to now and think, “Wow, how gaming has changed!” That’s because that first gaming moment was just as important and influential to me as a child as any new game is to me as an adult. It’s also because it was probably the first true mainstream gaming platform and title, and the excitement and anticipation leading into a gaming session of Super Mario Bros. is something that just cannot be countered by anything I feel for any upcoming game these days.
Once I do shift through the blur in my memory, that first video game feels like yesterday, probably because of how it made me feel and how excited I would get when I knew I’d soon be playing it. That feeling will (hopefully) never diminish.