Something I enjoy doing when I'm home on vacation is revisiting a video game from my youth and attempt to beat it.
I really love video games.
My favorites are what I like to call "happy" video games for example Mario Brothers.
I don't like any of those real life video games or anything too dark or scary.
I like fluffy clouds and coins!
And since I've been playing video games since I was 8 I think I can say with confidence that I am really good at them.
What's funny is when your younger all video games seem impossible.
I remember endless nights of Mario 1, 2, and 3 for NES sitting in my basement with my little brother by my side trying to figure out how to beat levels and advance to the scary 8th world!
I was always first player.
Being the oldest I felt it was up to me to lead the way.
My brother would patiently watch and add vivid, play by play commentary.
Over the years we slowly conquered Mario 1, 2 and 3 but could never beat Bubble Bobble, the original Zelda, Roger Rabbit, TMNT Manhattan project or the original TMNT.
We kinda stopped playing NES for a while and didn't upgrade until Nintendo 64 came out.
We loved Mario 64!
I remember a few embarrassing moments in 7th grade when I skipped my usual basketball recess game and wondered over to the guys trading Pokemon and Magic the Gather Cards and said "Can I ask you guys a few questions about Mario 64?"
They snickered and in a very cocky tone said "What do you need to know?"
"How do I activate the green switch?" I asked.
More cocky snickers.
"You have to ride the sea monster till you get to a door. Ground pound on his head so he'll let you off. Enter the door but be careful not to fall in the water. Jump on the small islands till you see then green switch."
I wrote down all the instructions on a napkin and walked away feeling like a real idiot.....why hadn't I tried riding that sea monster...it made perfect sense.
After Nintendo 64 we got the first playstation.
I really enjoyed that Tony Hawk skateboarding game but I was off to college and didn't think much about video games for a long time.
Winter break of my 2nd year of college I came home with a mission.
I called my brother and said "Get out the old NES we are beating Zelda."
And within 8 hours we had it beaten.
I can't tell you how victorious we felt.
The next break I had we conquered Bubble Bobble.
We kinda stopped revisiting games after that and I went on to graduate college and move out.
Two years ago I got a DS an quickly beat all the Mario games I bought for it.
Playing video games always reminds me of my brother and over my last break I walked into a classic video game store in Chicago and picked up an old nemesis.
Roger Rabbit for $7.
I took it home and showed he and he immediately started laughing.
We began playing over my break between cruise ship gigs and found the game to still be really annoying and challenging.
We made great head way but the song was so annoying and prompted us to hurry things along a bit and we got some cheat codes but overall we just weren't having any fun playing it.
"This game is so not for kids." I remember saying.
"I mean look how long the passcode is to start where you left off. If you don't have a pen and paper by your side you're ruined." I said as I pulled out my iphone just in time to take a photo of the TV screen.
"This game is taking forever." My brother said.
And with that we put it on the back burner.
Its so crazy playing old timey video games for NES because it's like a blast from the past.
The graphics look even worse on the super nice flatscreen my parents have.
But I will always love video games.
They always make me think of good memories, lazy weekends and endless summer nights.