Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why I love the Nintendo Gameboy

Growing up I was never afforded the allowance to get swept up in the newest and greatest electronic crazes, everything I owned was second hand at best. So when I learned that one of the neighborhood kids was selling his Atari 2600, I quickly starting begging my parents. After they bought it I learned that I had to share the Atari with my sister, who honestly never really connected with it as deeply as I did, but still that meant the system was never fully mine.

It wasn't until a few years later that I received my first brand new, and all my own Nintendo Gameboy for Christmas. Through the following years I slowly started collecting games for the little handheld, as they were cheap and plentiful. By this time most of the kids I knew were already bragging about their Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gears, as nobody really wanted to own the Nintendo Gameboy anymore. I even specifically remember one of the kids in school coming back from Christmas break and saying his mom had bought him NBA Jam TE for the Gameboy, and how much he hated her for getting it for the wrong system.

Needless to say I adored my Gameboy, which lead to countless nights sitting on the couch trying to catch just the right glimpse of light from the hall light, countless hours of sitting by the window at the dinning room table to catch the fading sun. Playing NBA Jam, Kirby's Dreamland, Metroid 2, Madden 95, F1 Race, among other Gameboy classics, until I knew them backwards and forward, and I loved them all. Until one day I threw a major childhood tantrum, smashing the screen on my Gameboy, it was dead... it was gone.

This taught me a very valuable lesson, as I spent months wishing I could play my Gameboy, but through my own childish stupidity I couldn't. I actually had to find other means of entertainment, which mostly ended up being me watching TV. The months went past and yet another Christmas arrived, perhaps this year I would get my own NES, or something to help me forget about my inability to play my Gameboy. What happened was Mom bought me a black "Play it Loud" Gameboy. I was ecstatic, and I knew better than to destroy this beauty!

I was back catching fire in NBA Jam, sucking up enemies in Kirby's Dreamland and rolling around aimlessly in Metroid 2. That is until I bought myself Pokemon Red; to be fair I gave my Mom the money and had her get it from her work, with a slight discount. After acquiring Pokemon Red I almost never put my Gameboy down, I was hooked! A handful of friends and I discussed Pokemon tournaments before Nintendo ever officially said anything about them. We planned them, but never actually held one.

I still clearly remember the joys of owning my very own system, even though it seems nobody other than myself and a small group of friends even wanted to own the Gameboy. I still remember the endless hours of enjoyment, throughout all seasons, weather conditions and all the time I spent just looking into that little green screen, lost within a completely different world.

Then came another addiction: Guitars. About the year 2002 I had been finding so many guitars at pawn stores that I wanted, it forced me to sell off stuff that I no longer had any desire to play, which happened to be video games. One of the first things to go was my entire Gameboy collection. I still regret it to this very day.

As the years have gone by I've acquired a few Gameboy consoles, in various working order, and I've even bought Gameboy Pocket and Color consoles, which I never had before. Even though I own more various Gameboys and games, accessories, etc. for the Gameboy I still regret having sold the collection I once had. Maybe in time it will come back to me, albeit slowly, but just maybe.

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