Friday, March 21, 2014

Of Memories, Experiences and Nostalgia
Let's journey to the past and discover how we came to be.

Welcome to "From the Memory Bank: My History with Video Games," a blog created to discuss and share my memories of and experiences with video games stretching back to the early 1980s or at least to the limits of my recollection. Mainly, I want to explore the concept of a "video game" being more than just a physical or digital good and moreover a living entity with a functioning pulse--a surprisingly organic being whose continuing palpitations remind us not simply of its cherished or loathed gameplay but additionally provide resonance of events, experiences and friendships that were concurrent to the time we spent with it. Every game has a story behind it, after all.

Though I've always had a great affinity for video games, I'm sad to admit that the 20-something version of me didn't have any interest in learning about the medium's history beyond what I knew (or thought I knew)--that Pong created an arcade scene that beget the Atari 2600, which established the video-game "console" that would compete against the also-burgeoning home-computer market. Then something happened; it all came crashing down, the NES saved the day, there was a 16-bit console war, PlayStation became a thing, then someone thought it would be a good idea to let Microsoft enter the fray (and really--we didn't need that healthy middle-class of game developers and all that "variety" junk). 

Somethin' like that.

It wasn't until fairly recently, after having learned more and more about the medium and its complex history (thanks to those like Jeremy Parish, the Retronauts crew, and the Internet in general), that my ever-increasing thirst for knowledge sparked within me a passion for video games and their multi-rooted origins. Reborn as an obsessive-compulsive historian, I went on to discover that the history of video games is a vast treasure trove of eras we never read about, platforms we never knew existed, characters who emblemized current trends but soon plunged into the depths of oblivion, and hidden gems that were doomed to obscurity due to their association with failed formats and systems.

Now for-years-cognizant of their existence and readily swimming in once-uncharted waters, I'm ready to share with you my gaming experiences both deeply ingrained and newly discovered and hopefully ignite within you the same level of passion or at the very least unlock some memories and give that ol' nostalgia bone a quick tickle.

I won't be discussing every game I've ever owned or played (since there are hundreds of them, and most don't resonate strongly enough to warrant the effort), nor will I be adhering to any strict chronology; I'll be jumping around from era to era as my whims carry me. Though, I'll occasionally be covering other topics like my history with consoles and other platforms, and I'd also like to share the details of my fascination with games that have strange origins. 

So strap on in and get ready for a long, bizarre trip whose stops are plenty and whose final destination is only the expiring of my very consciousness.

Somethin' like that.

1 comment:

  1. I've been going through a similar journey - just when I thought I knew most of what there was to know about the NES, I started learning about the history of the Famicom in Japan, where the system was thriving for a good two years before it got released in the U.S. Many of the games from the 1983-1986 range were not released on the NES or were poorly received since by that time they seemed much more primitive than the games being made in the post-Super Mario Bros. era.

    And that's just ONE system in a single generation.
    By the by, another good video game blog worth exploring is VG Junk, if you don't already do so. A lot of exploration of somewhat obscure games, both good and bad.