“Growing Up an Unbiased Gamer”
By Michael Mygind
On several occasions, I’ve had debates with one of my oldest friends about whether or not the Sega Genesis was a good console. He attests to how much better the Super Nintendo is/was and how crappy the Genesis is/was. I never took a side on this when I was younger and I still don’t, because games are games. Video games were a crucial part of growing up and I welcomed them all in.
From learning about the secret warps in Super Mario Bros to playing Combat for the 2600 on a five inch TV in my room while pretending that it was a monitor in a military control room, games were a fitting escape from boredom and the frequent bullying that I found in school. A good part of each week was spent at my sister’s Girl Scout meetings where I’d find myself in another room playing a multitude of co-op SNES games with every other brother that was “dragged along” to the meeting.
Time with my cousins in Port Angeles, WA harkens back memories of seeing just how far we could get in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 before it was time for dinner. I eventually traded off my SNES and its games to a fellow Boy Scout for his Sega Genesis, 32x & Sega CD with a box of games. While this might bring pain to my friend’s Nintendo faithful heart, the introduction to new consoles was exciting.
Upon moving to a new town, I made new friends. One of which stood firmly by his Atari Jaguar, which I can admit wasn’t quite as cool to me as he claimed; but man, was Aliens vs. Predator a cool take on the FPS medium that Wolfenstein 3D and Doom pioneered. More systems came and went through my growing up with their own unique features and diverse catalog of games, making their own impact on me as a gamer and later on, collector.
So, when someone plays the role of the fan boy and defends their nostalgic affiliation to one console, I simply shrug my shoulders. Every console had/has its strengths and weaknesses, but they were/are all a new take on an art form that has meant just as much to me now as it did when I was growing up.