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  • Lainey Huffman

Nostalgic Gamer

Written By: Lainey Huffman

Edited by: Shania Kuo

Dear Gamer,


Nostalgia is a powerful feeling, especially when it comes to remembering childhood video games. As a kid, I grew up with my older brother who was pretty much a gamer since the day he was born. When I think about my own experiences, his influence is really what brought me into the gaming world. Some of my fondest memories go back to the two of us sitting on video rocker chairs and binge eating pizza rolls with a controller in our hands all day long.

Banjo-Kazooie on the Nintendo64 comes to mind as the first game I played at about five years old or so. At first, I would just watch my brother play until I gained enough confidence to grab a controller and get in there myself. We would play multiplayer minigames - shooting eggs at each other or flying our Kazooie birds into colorful rings. Eventually, I worked my way up to playing the game myself. It was one of the most exciting things I had experienced. Characters like Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo Jumbo, Tooty, and even Gruntilda became reality for me - I loved learning their storylines and controlling their fate. It truly opened up my eyes to a whole new world: one where I could get lost in games and immerse myself in their stories.

Banjo-Kazooie was only one game, among many others, that I fell in love with. Of course, my brother and I played every Mario game under the sun. Super Mario 64, Mario Party, MarioKart, and Super Mario Brothers were always with us while we grew up, and we still play all the new ones today. Super Mario Odyssey and every remastered version of Mario Bros or 3D World end up in every gaming console that we own. Gaming always was, and still continues to be, a way in which my brother and I bond and remain close to each other. In the beginning we sat beside each other hooked up to the same console, and now we play online games together on our PCs.

One of the first online games I remember with a nostalgic feeling is Call of Duty Black Ops. When I was in middle school, this game was one of the first experiences I had with an online multiplayer platform. Through Black Ops, I learned to connect with hundreds of people from all around the world. The interactions you can experience through an online multiplayer game can lead to funny conversations, memories, and even lifelong friendships. I still talk to some of the people I met through this game, and it really opened my eyes to what I can accomplish from my own setup at home. Coming from a shy and quiet person, these interactions gave me the confidence to approach and get to know people. I have made lifelong memories through Black Ops, and it created a whole new avenue for how I could approach gaming. Where I was used to the comfort of split-screen with my brother, I learned that there was a vast world of gaming that I had yet to explore.

Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether it was single player console games, local multiplayer, or MMOs, there was always a game I was playing throughout each phase of my life. Largely, I have my brother to thank for my love of video games. There isn’t a nostalgic memory I have of gaming that doesn’t include him. To this day, he is still the person I go to for gaming questions or advice, and I will always be grateful to him for the influence he had.

Your Fellow Gamer,

Lainey

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