Monday, July 26, 2010

Has there ever been a technological wonder that you thought would just be a passing craze and then it ended up being something big?

I have been struggling to answer this question for a good while. And I guess the best answer that I can come up with is the Nintendo game system.

I grew up when Atari was brand new. We even had the first model and I promptly played Space Invaders and Breakout and Combat so much that I broke the first set of joysticks. And then, when Pitfall came around, I played that a lot as well. So, I was around when video games in the home became a "thing."

I tell you this to help establish my credentials. And perhaps that helps further establish the fact that when I didn't later embrace the Nintendo system it helps answer the question that this was a technological wonder that I didn't jump on quickly. You see?

But the truth is that we didn't (nor have I a history of) have tons of video games when I was a kid. My family didn't upgrade and/or replace the Atari over time. Other friends has the Intellivision and any of the other systems to come after, including the original Nintendo, PlayStation, Sega, and whatever else. When Ninetendo and the original Mario Brothers game came out, I was alrady out of the gaming scene. And when I did try to play, I was easily frustrated and definitely beaten by young punks half my (then) age of 14 or so. And it was this missed connection with the Nintendo (and a sort of frugalness that comes with being a high schooler/college student with little money) that kept me out of the burgeoning video game system phenomenon in the late 1980s and 1990s that stil continues today.

Now, we do have a Wii and I and the kids play it. But it is a different thing now. I'll always feel that the most important period of videogaming history--other than the orignal period--passed me by.

So, there is my answer.

Thanks for asking.

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