Video Gaming Corner

commodore-528139_1920You make sure the counter is set at 000, the tape is at the beginning, you forward the tape until the counter shows 198, you press play, the TV screen goes crazy with plenty of horizontal lines flashing, the sound is like some disturbing noise of a broken machine.
Yet, you’re filled with joy and the sweet anticipation because in about only 20 minutes or so you will grab a joystick a get completely lost in the squarish looking world that only exist in memory of your computer…
It was late eighties in Poland. My aunt got a brand new spanking flat and also among other things a brand new computer. It was called Atari and my uncle kept it in protective covers. All the tapes with games were neatly setup. Joysticks were in one of the top drawers of a wardrobe unit, as well protectively packed…
And amongst all of that was the magic beauty of Twilight World (today I found out what was the game called, as before we had our own name for that). And we loved that, we took turns and we waited patiently while it was loading. It was time where I didn’t have many worries, time where I felt save as I was at my aunt’s, time to be a kid and enjoy myself and I did.
And I think, to some degree that my current hobby of video gaming is my little safety valve that somewhat keeps me sane. Knowing that if my son gets me too worked up, my partner and I just argued, I’ve got this world to escape, to jump in and save the world, win a Super Bowl, or overtake an opponent on the last corner of the race for the win. And even if there’s no magic of the crazy flashing loading screen left, no tapes and in my case not even joysticks I still like gaming and I’m happy that we were able to get ourselves PS3 several years ago and PS4 for our son some time later, several months after it came out.
My uncle’s Atari was my first but then, my cousin got Nintendo console and Mario became our Twilight World, I eventually got Commodore 64 and spent many nights not doing my homework, my friend from school got Amiga 500 and Mortal Kombat’s Fatalities became that ever important thing.
Then it was PS1 that my cousin had borrowing from his friend with so many games and one period of nearly 70 straight hours without sleep that my aunt finally stopped when she his the console worrying about my health…
And then world of Windows as my aunt needed a propose computer for some paper work and we (my cousins and my uncle) just happened to have access to some games from magazines… The world of gaming was always around me, even in times when I didn’t have access to technology I had board games like Monopoly, Talisman (first RPG game suppose, that nowadays will sometimes spark in my memory when playing Dragon’s Age or Fallout). There were playing cards, chess. Yes I have always enjoyed some form of gaming and I see no reason to stop, especially that my son loves it too, whether be it Train Simulator on PC, Skylanders on PS4, chess with me, Talisman board game but on Android or standard Scrabbles, he is stuck in this alternative world and I hope he’ll remember his beginnings as fondly as I do.