It’s Sunday afternoon on a sunny summer day. You enter the bedroom, eyes squinting at the sunlight squeezing between the blinds. There’s a twin bed neatly made in the center of the room. As your eyes adjust, you notice two TVs and a Zelda poster enveloping the otherwise bare walls. Clearly, a gamer’s bedroom.
Oswald is a Zelda fan, not Ocarina of Time, but every other. He started of as a Mario fan as most people have, then had yearlong obsession with The Goonies. He had skills, no one around him could get as far ahead, and he new all the tricks. The reason he was so much better than everyone else around him, was that he had… resistance, I you will. He could get through several levels in one sitting. While others quickly gave up, he carried on. “ I wanted to see what happened at the end, “ he says. He wanted to know where “ all those little kids he rescued would go”. These were the days before memory cards, sticks, hard drives, online gaming, cloud storage and all the other gaming aids. You had to win right then and there, or else…
“ You had to go ALL THE WAY BACK to the beginning!” Oswald says with a bewildered expression, looking far into the cemented wall of the room and though immersed into a distant past. Then he smiles snidely and says: “Well, when I got tired, sometimes I would pause the game, turn off the TV, and leave The Goonies on hanging out inside the Nintendo for days”. I laugh and he adds shaking his head from side to side: “Then someone would come to clean while I was out and unplug all the damn cables”. I laugh even louder, because I’ve been in similar situations when my memory cards are full and I am too nostalgic to erase their content. Except in my case it was I who was silly enough to forget and unplugged the cords myself to rearrange my consoles.
I look up toward his computer desk; a Mario plush figure rests comfortably against a desk lamp, feet stretched onto the computer’s keyboard. Oswald is standing by the small TV puling out remote controls and pressing buttons on what looks like a converter, or an old cassette player. He explains, he bought the small apparatus from electronics’ store and it serves to plug in the wires from different gaming consoles in their respective socket. This way when he wants to switch systems he does not have to unplug every wire form the back of the TV and connect the one he needs a that moment; instead, he simply presses the respective button. “I stand up and walk over to look. There are five buttons. They are labeled: Game Cube, Play Station, Nintendo 64, and ________ Game.” I ask what the last is for and he answers: “Well, for my birthday I’m going to get the Wii or the NDS 3D”, then on Christmas he says he will get which ever he did not get on his birthday. Either way he’ll need that extra connection. Given his enthusiasm I believe he will make good use of it and hey, he is turning 65 this October, so he may even get both things at once!
Although he remains faithful to Mario in despite the format, he always makes mention of how far technology has come. He says: “the first time I saw a computer I walked into a small room full of buttons and lights looking for this revolutionary technology, I didn’t know I was actually inside the computer, it was a big as a room”.
Corky is a freelance writer for GGVogue.