Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Memories are Framed by Video Games

When I was a small boy, my family and another family traveled to Cape Cod three or four summers in a row. What I remember from those days is hanging out under a bridge at the beach, washing sand off my feet in an outdoor shower, playing flashlight tag at night, building with Legos and playing Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins on my Game Boy. In fact, the first thing I think of is usually Super Mario Land 2. When I wasn’t playing Mario at my Cape house, I remember playing in the sand at the beach with tiny objects, reeds and rocks and other beach things, and thinking about the game while I did so. Video games are intertwined with my past and my memories are often framed in the lense of whatever video game I was playing at a certain time.

                My grandfather’s house in Maine reminds of playing Castlevania: Bloodlines at one stage of my life, Astro Boy: Omega Factor at another, and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap late into the night another time. I remember playing Super Mario Bros. 3 with my childhood best friend in his basement and dreaming up my own Mario-themed worlds for the game after playing it. There is nothing more powerful than my imagination and video game have often sparked it in tremendous ways. Thinking about innocent days when I hung around with my brother playing Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage 2. And two separate occasions when was feeling ill I had played my two favorite Zelda games: Link’s Awakening and Majora’s Mask. Even sickness reminds me of fond memories of gaming, finally solving that one puzzle in the Bottle Grotto dungeon in Link’s Awakening, and battling through the Woodfall area in Majora’s Mask. More modern memories are also framed by video games. Freshman year of college reminds me of playing Half-Life 2, travelling through the dark tunnels  of City 17 and fighting off headcrab zombies late at night while my roommate slept.

                Certain smells and sights often trigger memories of certain places and people and events in our lives. For me, video games are often these powerful triggers and vice versa. Places and events remind me of video games and video games remind of those places or memories. Video games have such an important place in my heart and memories, much of my life is lensed by that wonderful gaming experience I was having at a certain time. The way it captured my imagination. The way it captured my soul. My memories are framed by these experiences.

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