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BenNoddy's Blog (7 followers)

Noddy's Gaming: A History in Parts. Part 1Permalink
My gaming adventure started with my brothers.

My oldest brother had an NES, but my parents didn’t believe in leaving it hooked up - we had better things to do than play video games - so it was never hooked up unless hell froze over that day. And my brother never let anyone play it - was kind of an awful big brother growing up. We were allowed to play with the Atari and Texas Instruments games because they were more “educational” and hard as hell so it never kept our attention long enough to be a problem.

My middle brother had an original GameBoy and I would often sit on the arm of the chair and watch over his shoulder. I was “too young” to play videogames – more like he didn’t want to let me borrow it ever. That was my first fascination. Making Mario (Super Marioland) go through the levels, getting the timing down, the controls, raging hardcore when the black pixels faded to green as the 4 AA batteries died for the fifth time that day. It was wonderful.

I was actually the last child to get a GameBoy in my family. My 2 older brothers had them and my sister and I (5 years younger than my middle brother) were left without for a while.

Here’s how I got mine:

My family was never that well off and during the summer, my mom, great aunt, and grandmother would sit down with the newspaper and look at yard sale ads. They’d highlight and cut out the ones they wanted to go to and plan a route. Yes, it was all that involved.

My sister and I, being the youngest and unable to be left home alone, were always along for this event whether we wanted to go or not. More often than not, we would sleep in the car and go to look at the sales once we’d had lunch.

One fateful Saturday when this routine was taking place, my mom woke me up, I got ready and got in the car to sleep. I slept longer than my sister. There was a yard sale that she got out for, and I slept through, but when I woke up, she had a GameBoy.

Hell hath no fury like a would-be-gamer scorned. I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a fit of that proportion before or since. My mom’s original plan was for us to share it. Being a twin, that was often the case with us. My brother’s would get their individual ones, but my sister and I would share the thing. If you have twins/triplets/multiples, don’t ever do that to them. It’s a slap in the face and probably lead to my issues of not feeling good enough ever, but I have a good concept of sharing and borrowing and returning things in same or better condition than I received it! Whatever, it was some shadey shit. toast

So all hell had broken loose and there was no quelling it. For the first and only time, my parents purchased a new game system that was not for a holiday or birthday – and they only ever bought GameBoys for those days anyway. We never had a new SNES, or N64 - we could have, but only if we had bought them, which none of us ever did because we wouldn’t have the money to do so until we were gainfully employed and we didn't like each other enough to pool our money. The next game system I would have that was brand new was a Gameboy Advance SP. Anyway, the next day, they took me to Toys ‘R’ Us and bought me a brand new GameBoy to quiet the household. I still had to share and borrow games from my siblings, but I honestly could not have been happier. New GameBoy, new power adapter, new Tetris cartridge, new GameBoy link cable. No, I didn’t need a padded carrying case for it. I used the Styrofoam insert and original box as the storage/carrying case until it pretty much fell apart.

A gamer was born.
Posted by BenNoddy on 13 September 17 at 03:52
BenNoddy My next blog will be the games I played that pretty much shaped my future gaming, but I'm not sure how long to wait to post it. Suggestions?
Posted by BenNoddy on 13 Sep 17 at 03:56
Slayer1189 Good story toast I always like to hear how people got there roots smile

Never knew you were a twin. I have always wondered whether I think that would be a good or bad thing overall. I think it must have both its ups and downs laugh

Also, just going to put this out there. I can't believe yard sales are actually a thing! I saw there was some movie about a guy selling all his stuff because he was getting a divorce but I thought it was just a movie plot. I never knew people actually did that lol

I really liked Mario Land and Mario Land 2 as a kid, awesome GB games smile

As for timing, I would say prob do it as quick as you have the drive, or if you wish to space it out nicely, possibly weekly?

My gaming origin story

My family was also very poor growing up and couldn't afford much, though luckily my dad's family were into gaming anyway so there wasn't really an issue of me wanting an expensive thing they didn't also want laugh.

My dad owned a Spectrum ZX he had saved up for. I used to sit and push buttons about 2 year old just getting used to it, though I certainly wouldn't consider myself to be 'playing games' at that age.

About 3-4 years old I started properly playing games. My family couldn't really afford games, so I just had to play the games my dad played mostly. I remember getting Doom for like my 5th birthday laugh. Classic case of 'dad wants Doom, but my birthday is coming up. Kill two birds with one stone wink

As I grew up I didn't rarely stayed with my parents, but the option of borrowing games was always there, plus I remember some local nice person handed a Master System into nursery. Master System and NES were very expensive (particularly NES) so that was pretty awesome.
Posted by Slayer1189 on 13 Sep 17 at 06:15
AtsumaKarin Nice read, Badger! toast

Ah, educational games, I remember playing a few of those on the BBC Micro (Model B, I think) either at home or at school! Then I think the last educational game I played was Mario is Missing retrospectively several years ago. Either that or The Encleverment Experiment on 360. :P

Of course, I might be forgetting something else as I play a lot of games. laugh

Ah, the good ol' Gameboy. As much as it had some great games, I was never a fan of the hardware, ESP the screen! Had to use a light/magnifier to remotely tolerate it, esp. when it came to night-time playing. Thank goodness the GBA had a backlight. :P

I could totally get you felt that way after missing out on the Gameboy at the time, I would've likely reacted the same way. laugh

Also, now I think about it reading this back: I got a Game Gear in hospital after having my tonsils out when I was 5 or 6 years old despite wanting a GameBoy, probably the reason I never got good at Tetris, played a mean game of Columns, though. wink

As a side-note: I think, whilst the Mario Land games were great, I preferred the Wario Land ones overall, liked the more clever puzzle aspect to those, whereas ML, while fun, were more like smaller versions of the main console games to me, though they had a different approach to the main series so were still worthwhile (and great!) in their own right. toast

Timing: either daily or weekly would be optimal if it were me but it isn't me, so I would say do it as and when you feel like it. toast

Also: Slayer played Doom at 5 years old? No wonder he turned out to be such a badass! smile

Could you imagine the rioting that would go on online this day and age if you said you let your 5 year old play the new Doom or MK X?

I played some games underage technically, GoldenEye and Perfect Dark being the main ones, I think. There may've been one or 2 others but they're the ones that stick out most.

My parents wouldn't get me Conker's Bad Fur Day early, though, can't think why. laugh

As for my origin story: I actually did write a blog about it, was my first ever one but no-one commented. TBF, the formatting was awful (didn't think much of it at the time) and perhaps could've been structured better so I may re-write it one day but if you're interested, you can see it here:

AtsumaKarin's blog post - My first blog (FIRST BURP!) - introduction! (Long read, sorry :P)
Posted by AtsumaKarin on 13 Sep 17 at 12:11
BenNoddy @Slayer - being a twin I'm sure can be fun, but I've found it less than thrilling. Biggest thing that drove a wedge between us was her saying I was an embarrassment to her popularity in school. Wasn't until years later she realized I was awesome but I'd kind of moved on after that.

Yard sales are totally a thing here! They're not as big as they were thanks to eBay and Craig's List, but in the late 80s/early 90s it was definitely a thing.

@Atsuma - I had the light/magnifier thing but I found it to be a bigger pain that helpful so more often than not, I'd just be angry and not gaming in the dark.

And considering my sister SOLD me her GameBoy and games in high school so she could buy CDs for her "popular" ass, she should've never had one in the first place roll. None of my siblings really played it as much as I did - we just took a lot of family road trips to see family and it was one thing that would keep us all quiet - at least until someone got motion sickness and then we were all yelling about vomit and turn the A/C back on, etc blah blah blah laugh

And honestly, I have 4 more blogs written now laugh. Some weird creative bug grabbed ahold of me.
Posted by BenNoddy on 13 Sep 17 at 14:51