Basically I just want Banjo and Kazooie to be in Smash Bros
I miss my old video games. I know I can get them on an emulator, but that’s not the point. I miss my video games. And I miss the summers that went along with them. I miss spending all of recess telling each other how you could get to certain levels, and lying about how your big brother found a cheat that fundamentally changes how the game was played.
I always had at least one friend whose mom let him spend twice as many hours playing Nintendo. And their parents would buy them the other systems too. Those basements always smelled like cat pee, and while unpleasant you dealt with it for the privacy and games. You just had to breathe through your shirt.
The main thing about this time of childhood was actually the hours outside the video games. Imagining how those crazy cheat codes would work - imagining playing Luigi in Super Mario 64. Visualizing how the truck would move to reveal Mew. In my imagination the graphics always slightly improved. I never pictured coders or developers, just big worlds where childhood fantasies came to life. I imagined the stories that would be told as those video games continued on forever. It probably helped that I wasn’t really good at video games. I can’t imagine that I would have stayed as interested if I had to keep buying more. Fortunately I could settle with the 5 or 6 I always had on hand.
But that brings me to now. I can’t live in nostalgia and I usually get annoyed at the type of people who try. But there’s something about the imagination that I think can carry over to today. These games, because they were a new medium to me opened up my creativity to places I wouldn’t have thought of before. Sure, I was essentially creating DLCs in my brain but the main thing is that I was creating. If only I had written down every idea, I might have gotten some more practice out of the way all those years ago.
I’ve recently bought a Nintendo Switch, and I’ve tried to take more pauses to get out of the default mode of the modern gaming world, which is often about playing as many games as possible and writing as many reviews as possible and just burning through everything. I’ve even tried to focus on classic games I haven’t played. (Earthbound is amazing!) But always, it isn’t about the game itself but what I can do with the information and whether I trust myself to daydream and write down my daydreams. It’s whether I trust my own likes, dislikes and insight. And that can be tough.
At any rate, I think it’s important to place ourselves in the midst of art that keeps us pondering. And to simply create whatever our minds can come up with, good or bad. Eventually that will lead to art that is honest.
Maybe I’ll make video games in the future, maybe I won’t. Maybe they’ll just inspire my next screenplay. Time and luck will determine where I end up creating. All I know is that I will always want to create and that my old video games helped me get stared.