As we approach closer and closer to the holiday season, I thought it would be approporiate to go over my video game memories that I associate with the holidays. Several years I’ve received video games for holiday gifts and I am going to do my best to recount them on a timeline of sorts. Dates are a bit shaky as I very young for most of these memories.
I’m assuming somewhere around my second or first birthday, my family received a Nintendo NES console for Christmas along with several games. I don’t remember this Christmas, but my parents have recounted it for me several times. My dad was always able to recall that there was a mad dash to get a Nintendo back then and that he would have to constantly call friends to figure out when a store had just received a fresh shipment. Reminds me of the Wii’s availability just a few years ago. The only other memory I have associated with the NES is that my parents enjoyed it almost more than my siblings did. Oh, and the fact that we ended up selling it several years later.
Following that, I am almost certainly sure that my brother received a GameBoy for Christmas the year it released, in 1989. Along with the system, he also had Tetris and Super Mario Land. I don’t know how, but I am in posession of this original GameBoy today along with a fanny pack to carry it in. Let me tell you, fanny packs are the ultimate gaming fashion statement.
After that, we go into what I call the “Nintendo Dark Ages” where we didn’t purchase another Nintendo console for nearly ten years after. In what I assume to be 1992, we had moved our Christmas festivities to my grandparent’s cabin. I don’t remember much about this, but I do remember waking up to a very large christmas present under the tree addressed to me and my family. Enter the Sega Genesis Model 2, packaged with Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
We played Sonic until we wanted to puke, and loved every minute of it. Not only did we think that Sonic had the best graphics possible, but we couldn’t wait to get it home and rent some more games for it. I still have this console to this day, along with the original copy of Sonic 2. The Genesis still works like a beast, expect for the reset button.
Over the years after, I received several games for Christmas for the Genesis. However, one year I desired after a “computer.” Yes, the inner geek in me was already forming. My parents not exactly having money trees growing outside couldn’t exactly give me a fancy computer, but they found a rather suitable replacement in what I can only recount as being an Atari XE.
The Atari XE line of computers were full fledged computer systems with a keyboard and BASIC programs, but they also functioned as perfectly good video game systems. While I never learned much BASIC, I did learn a killer game of Pac-Man. From what I understand and from minimal research on the internet, I’ve come to the shaky conclusion that the XE was similar in power to the Atari 5200 game system. I remember playing such games as Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Star Trek, Choplifter and more on it. The system worked well until the day we sold it at a garage sale (How do you spell regret?).
It may have looked boring on the outside, but…
Following these consoles, there was not a new console brought into our household until my birthday in 1998. I wanted a Nintendo 64 very badly and had even started up a small savings to buy my own. Come to my surprise, my parents surprised me with a console and Mario Kart 64 on my birthday. That Christmas, I’m quite sure I ended up with several games but the one I cherish most is WCW/nWo Revenge. I was a huge WCW fan at the time and loved this game to death. Surprisingly enough, it’s still just as fun today as it was then. Besides, who really can say no to Inca Maya Boy?
So there we had it for a while. I received several Nintendo 64 games over the years, but not another console until 2003. My sister and brother both had their own respective game consoles (both Gamecubes) while I had none of the modern consoles. My parents then decided it was time to give me my very own console in the form of an Xbox. This was the year where the bundle included Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Tetris Worlds, along with Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Just as my previous consoles, I loved this one too and played it to death until the Xbox 360 released only two years later.
Now that I’m an adult, I don’t recieve many games for Christmas anymore. Not only am I very difficult to shop for in that department, but I also just don’t find them as special as I used to. However, while the magic of Christmas may be lost on me, I am glad to pass on the game gift-giving to my loved ones. As cheesy as it may sound, it’s almost more fun to give gifts than receive them as you get older.
I hope you enjoyed my Christmas gaming recount. Happy Holidays!