Blog No. 270
I’m not sure how (or why) it happened, but over the weekend I was hit with a wave of nostalgia like a bomb had gone off. The sentiment seemed to have welled up from memories of video games. Some were of little Ben playing Atari, or at a friend’s place loosing a game of NHL 94 on a Genesis. The majority were of the Nintendo Wii and all the great times I had playing games on a new system and usually with my buddy Arvin. It could be because Arvin and I are working on Season Two of Flags and High Fives. This one is going to be a lot less about looking back on WLTP, but it’s hard to get away from that when we work on just about anything together. It could have also been because I had been playing a Wii game and was reminded of all the great games for the system that I didn’t get to play.
I’m not here to talk about Wii games. I’m sure most of you won’t care one bit, but as someone who hosted a Wii based podcast, It’s kind of silly I didn’t get some of the major titles under my belt. The obvious reason is that I was a University student who didn’t have enough time or money for all that. More than once I shattered my budget, convincing myself that the purchase of a game or new peripheral would be beneficial to the podcast, when it was really just because I wanted it. Those things did end up on the show, but at what cost? (Sometimes like $150 bucks). In the end, most of the fun I had with the thing was playing the pack in game with Arvin over and over again.
There was something about being at the cusp of a new system (and generation of systems) though. It was partially being in the loop, partially being part of a community (my choice is better than your choice stuff included), and I think it was really nice to scratch that consumer itch so quickly. Now the Wii is two generations old and I’m patiently waiting for the new system to drop in price (and maybe for a big jump in book sales so I can afford even that). Getting some of those old games are becoming difficult (and more costly) and the hardware (like controllers) are not going to last forever. Maybe that’s a metaphor, but I don’t care to look into it right now.
For me, there is an inherent nostalgia built into video games. Whatever your thoughts on them, many people have been able to elevate them into an art form over the years. Plus, sometimes it’s just fun to shoot a digital zombie in the head. I struggle with productivity sometimes (as does most people) and from time to time the culprit is a video game, but it could just as easily be a television show or something else. Over the years I’ve collected a bunch of old systems. Some were mine originally (bought late in life cycles) but most were purchased used (a couple from video store closures).
I have a really fun time playing games (mostly with my brother) but I never do have the time to play all the classics I missed when they first came around. It’s the same for me with books. It’s probably a good thing. If I don’t have time it’s usually because I’m working. Still. I get wistful sometimes. One day, I’d like to have the time to play some of those classics. For now, I’m hard at work on Season Two of Flags and High Fives. I’m not sure when it’s going to come out, but I’ll certainly let you know when I figure it out.