I was five years old when I came across my first gaming console. It was the Nintendo GameCube, with its classic indigo color, two-controller set-up and not one, but two memory cards. I pushed down the power button and started up the heart-racing, speed-chasing 2002 classic Mario-Kart: Double Dash. I remember feeling pure joy rush over me while I sped past racers in my ruthless rattle buggy. In reality, I was slamming poor Baby Mario repeatedly into walls over and over again, but you get the point. From that moment on, I was hooked.
My love of video games (almost exclusively Nintendo) has never been something I’ve tried to hide. Ask me what my favorite platformer is and I will easily tell you that it’s a triple-tie between Super Mario Sunshine, Galaxy,and Odyssey. Best story is hands down Ocarina of Time, best RPG goes to the Pokémon series and best addicting series overall is Animal Crossing, which for anyone who’s played one of their titles, knows that my statement is 100 percent fact (2019 Nintendo Switch, here we come!).
What started off as Mario Kart battle-mode fights with my older sister after kindergarten class, grew into a full-fledged passion by the time I hit 2nd grade. When I wasn’t doing assignments I was saving Hyrule, cheffing it up with Cooking Mama, or making sure my Nintendogs actually ate before I went to bed (the guilt still haunts me to this day). Although, what I didn’t realize at the time, was how much these games would impact my life today.
For starters, video games helped me cope with some of the difficult things I experienced during my childhood and adolescence. With fascinating graphics, incredible gameplay and marvelous soundtracks, video games provided me with the perfect outlet I needed to escape, even if it were only for a brief amount of time. No matter the game, the same theme was always present. I was the protagonist of my own story, and had people counting on me to get the job done. Everything else going on could wait.
It didn’t just stop at the console. Video games also found their way into my other hobbies, pushing me to improve each day. Week after week, my sketchbooks slowly filled with Pokemon drawings, working my way from crayon, to watercolor, to the digital art I create today.
I also found myself at the piano more, challenging myself to learn whichever great theme I’d heard last (Buoy Base Galaxy almost made my fingers fall off), and even composing a few pieces for my own video game (dropping 2024- stay tuned).
I loved writing stories too, usually surrounding the main protagonist of whichever title I was playing at the moment. Among my writing work featured a few cringy crossovers that I’m completely ashamed of and will never look at again.
Nevertheless, my point remains true. I was always engrossed in these worlds, whether it was in front of the TV screen or away from it.
Today, I find myself having zero time to play anything new. Being a digital media production major here at SUNY New Paltz really can be considered a full-time job when you add three media clubs to the mix. Toss in the endless amount of potential career paths my major offers, and you’ve got yourself a real four-year chronicle.
However, one thing holds true. No matter what I choose to do, the games I’ve played will always find their way into my work. I mean, they’ve found their way into this paper, which is a pretty great start.