Video games conjure a startling power when it comes to certain events in your life. I, for one, remember waking up each birthday with an unadulterated excitement to receive what I knew would be the video game I had asked for. In the instance I am recalling it was Banjo Kazooie for the Nintendo 64, for which I rushed downstairs (I always used to play brand new games on the “big TV” in the living room) to fire that bad boy up.
. If not for video games would we have ever destroyed the Locust threat to planet Earth? No. Would we have ever traversed through the fields of Hyrule to claim the Triforce of Courage? No. Would we have ever been able to scale great city skyscrapers as a super hero with electrical powers? I don’t think so.
I often find myself sifting through YouTube to listen to music from a certain video game I used to play as a kid; usually these are tracks from the Donkey Kong Country series on the Super Nintendo or the Final Fantasy games (VII, VIII and IX. Obviously.) For me this shows how powerful video games can be at leaving a mark on a person’s memory. I usually listen to songs to remind myself of being in a certain area of a game or to awaken memories of my childhood, playing games into the late hours of the night with my younger brother.
This ties in nicely with the fact that multiplayer games just aren’t what they used to be anymore. Yes, online gaming is very fun, but for me personally, it just doesn’t beat a good old fashioned get-together where you get to kick the hell out of each other on some Super Smash Bros or team up with one another to beat that certain level that you just couldn’t do alone. I remember, fondly, planting trip mines in certain rooms on Goldeneye 007 to blow my friends to smithereens when they entered.
I know from experience that you don’t have to be a gamer to acknowledge their limitless power. Much like a favourite film or childen’s book, video games have the power to captivate the mind with their fictional landscapes, dreamlike protagonists and beguiling soundtrack. My girlfriend, who’s gaming career barely makes it past The Sims, still talks of her affections towards a game she played with her brother as a child, cross-legged on a bed, trying to fire arrows into a pixelated dragon. My younger sister can name characters, compare versions of Final Fantasy and recognise music from games she had accidentally fallen into as a result of watching me and my brother battle our way through an endless birthday of games.
This is why video games play a vital part in a person’s memory. Sure you may have visited the Grand Canyon, but have you visited Lakeview Hotel in the town of Silent Hill? For me that’s just as important and it’s a memory that I’ll hold dear to me until my final days.
I may not play them as much as I used to, but video games will always be a big part of my life and I’ll always love them.