Friday, 14 September 2007

Bloody Plumbers….

Shamelessly lifted from

It was 22(!) years ago today when……Super Mario Brother was released for the NES. It was one of the first side-scrolling platform games and introduced video-game players to expansive worlds that forever changed the way video games were played, perceived, and designed. The game sold approximately 40 million units and holds the Guinness World Record as the best-selling video game of all time. It helped revitalize the floundering video game industry and made Nintendo one of the world's most recognized video-game manufacturers.

I must admit that I was never really much of a Mario and Luigi fan, I always found that the Nintendo output was always appealing to a target audience slightly younger than me. However I don’t think anyone can doubt the positive impact that the game had and its effect on computer gaming.

Its spin off effect on the world of cinema is in slightly more doubtful.

No, I was more of a Sonic the Hedgehog fan although as time, technology and platforms evolved the delightful Lara Croft came to fill a special place in my heart.

I’ve always found blasting Axis Solidiers / Alien Invaders / Rebel or Imperial troops, building empires, fitting together descending shapes and pretending to play (and be any good at) Cricket / Football / Motorsport (and I’ve never been fined for using opposition technical data!) quite therapeutic after a day at School / College / Work.

And now I have the pleasure of starting to play some of the age appropriate games with my own children which is great fun.

Of course there is a suggestion that by a certain age that one shouldn’t really still be playing these games.

I don’t agree.

I think it’s a generational thing. As a pre teen I had a ZX80 /81 (bit of an age give away there) and it’s kind of stuck as an option as something to do when there are a few moments spare. As I suspect is true of many.

I don’t think that this is a ‘Kidult’ reaction to ageing or responsibility; gaming has just become something else that one can do along side (rather than replacing) more traditional entertainments or pursuits. And I’m rather pleased it has. Having read about Hannibal Barca at Cannae it’s always going to be fun to pretend that you are Hannibal Barca at Cannae surely.

If you have an interest in such matters please feel free to comment on your favourite video game characters or games.

If you think that I should just grow up one of us may have missed the point.


kate said...

I am so hooked on games , it all started with sonic on my sega mega drive, Have progressed onto bigger and better things psp, ps3 and finally a nintendo ds. That is my only escape from the real world.
As for a fave game I really don't know guitaroo man was much better than i expected and motorstorm is very good. Anything with coloured blocks or balls is sure to help me loose a couple of hours.

Julie said...

Hi, my eldest son introduced me to computer games when he came home raving from school, aged ten, about an 'educational' PC game they'd been playing in class named 'Sim City'. We bought him his own copy and I soon couldn't resist building a city myself, and have been doing so at intervals ever since, the cities becoming more fascinating with each new version of the game. The other game which occupied me for far too long around the same time, and of which we also collected each (ostensibly for the kids!) was the 'Commander Keen' series. It's so dated now - it's incredible how sophisticated the graphics and game engines have become in such a relatively short space of time.

More interesting than 'Sim City' to me now is 'The Sims' which I've also collected since it was launched; my devotion is such that I run a website dedicated to 'The Sims' and 'The Sims 2' games, at which other players can download the many add-ons I have created to go into them.

It's all far too time consuming though, so I tend not to play any computer game very often these days. I used to enjoy Lara Croft, too - but found great difficulty in playing the underwater parts - too submerged in virtual reality, I felt I was going to drown! Never could complete the game due to the water...strange, but true. I have had a wander through 'Second Life' on a few occasions, but I just don't 'get it', and prefer the entirely private virtual world of 'The Sims'. :-) Fortunately, the whole family enjoys games - Flight Simulator, Championship Manager, GTA, World of Warcraft, Final ever needs to have a dull moment. Hopeless cases. :-)

Alice said...

I was left out of any craze at school that involved my mum buying me expensive machines, but someone recently gave me their old Sega Megadrive with Sonic the Hedgehog and some other stuff. It's just as good as I thought it'd be, and now I'm the one who's had enough recent practice to be any good at it and I can beat all my friends. The music is unbelievably repetitive and catchy though, it feels a lot like being hypnotised!