I have always been a fan of games consoles. My father was a Television Engineer and we were fortunate to get the latest systems in the 70’s and 80’s. My favourite game was ‘Burgertime’ on the Intellivision system. You were a portly chef that had to make a burger before being caught by a ‘sexy sausage’, ‘weird pickle’ or ‘fried egg.’ It was awesome. I was actually quite good at it.
‘Watch out for that Sexy Sausage!’ Burgertime, Intellivision, 1982
As I grew up and got my own flat, I became obsessed with the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System). The graphics were more sophisticated and the objectives were increasing challenging. It was at this point that I discovered the joy of two player games. In the past, you would have to wait for the other player to take a turn, whereas now, we could play at the same time on the same screen. My favourite games were Megalomania, Super Star Wars and Mario Kart. Yes, kids, we played Mario Kart long before ‘you’ were the controller.
‘Your design is finished.’ Mega-lo-mania, Snes, 1991
‘I think my brother and Mr Minty will have fond memories of watching me struggle with this level for HOURS!’ Super Star Wars, Snes, 1993
‘Get the chrystal! Oh, wait. No, that’s The Chrystal Maze.’ Super Mario Kart, Snes, 1993
The weirdest thing about it is that as brilliant as those games seemed at the time, to play them now is unbelievably dull. They are frustratingly slow and predictable. I love the adrenaline rush when a Creeper sneaks up on me in Minecraft (Xbox 360, 2012) or the joy of free running over roof tops in Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (Xbox 360, 2010).
I wonder if I am one of the only females of my age that loves games consoles? Are they just for men and children? I don’t think so. Once the housework is done and the children are in bed, I don’t want to watch programmes that remind me how dull real life is. I want to become a member of a secret revolution or an agile archeologist. I love the escapism of gaming. Reading is nice to unwind at bedtime, but the exhilaration of winning is far more fun.
Images taken from the following websites:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zre6xmhY4UE Super Star Wars
http://romhustler.net/rom/snes/super-mario-kart Super Mario Kart