For most people, Christmas (or X-Mas), is a time to spend with family, friends, and other close people to your life. In my case, I’m going to talk more about what two most important gifts my parents provided for me – reading and bonding.
Corrected Reading – 1989
X-mas morning. I remember waking up to a small box wrapped that was for me specifically. At first I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what to think since so much was running through my head at the time. I opened the present, and discovered the one thing Santa delivered – Nintendo Game Boy!
Boy was I excited! I remember loading up Tetris for the first time. Not knowing what I was doing moving the blocks around, trying to figure out what to do. Initial intuition was to press Start to pause the game to use the bathroom out of excitement. Upon looking at the screen, I was first noticing I was able to read the prompt Press start to continue playing.
“I can read the screen, and locate the Start button on the Game Boy!”
For the first time in my life, I was able to read something on a digital screen. Over time I was able to realize certain words I was able to finally recognize, say, and even know what they mean. As time went on, I remember buying a book regarding space travel and rockets. One summer night, I remember sitting outside with my Mom showing her I could read a complete sentence without trouble, even in the dark. She asked me to walk inside to finish reading but instead I went inside and started playing another Game Boy game I owned. Her sacrifice of buying an electronic device helped her son later in life.
X-Mas of 1990. Nintendo was getting popular around my school, and some of the kids my age owned one already, while I was still enjoying my Game Boy. I remember seeing a box the size of the Nintendo (Nintendo Entertainment System, NES) wrapped in what looked like brown paper bags.
“This is to your Grandma Mary,” Dad replied.
I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward to X-Mas morning, that same box was under the tree for me. I opened the present, and it was the NES! So excited! I remember spending so much time playing some of the games I owned that my parents had to put weekend restrictions on my game time. I remember gaining my first friend through talking about video games and various toys we both had at the time. To this day we still occasionally talk through messenger, and he has his own family to take care of.
Granted I didn’t make the best decisions early in life regarding the Game Boy and the NES, I can say some of the bad decisions then meant making better decisions later in life.
So through NES, I earned the ability to bond with others who also have similar interests.
Other notable video game consoles and their respective firsts:
Sega Genesis 1993 – Bonding with dad, some kids in middle school, and the start of realizing I had a skill in fighting games
PlayStation 1998 – Helped with early depression and coping with High School
The main take away is to raise awareness of video games, and to think outside the box. In my case, my parents realizing deep down that video games helped their son in ways the school system couldn’t. They complain on the outside of how much time and money I spend gaming, but on the inside they both know it’s more of leaning about who/what I am as a person.
I love you both, Mom and Dad