The year is 1992. Having just been gifted a Nintendo Entertainment System bundled with the Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet with an accompanying “power pad,” I am on top of the world.

Years later, I learned that the bundle I received was an incredibly rare release in North America; the complete bundle has been sold at auction for more than $10K USD in recent years.

Anger at my younger self for not keeping my childhood treasure aside, some of my first and fondest memories of gaming are Nintento related and attached to pre-school and kindergarten afternoons spent in front of CRT televisions, taking turns with friends on the iconic gray and white console. Some games that stick-out from my memory are:

  • The Astyanax
  • Battle Toads
  • Blaster Master
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers
  • Double Dragon
  • Dr. Mario
  • Duck Hunt
  • Excite Bike
  • Galaga
  • Ice Climber
  • Jeopardy!
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Mike Tyson’s: Punch-Out!
  • Paperboy
  • Prince of Persia
  • Silver Surfer
  • Super Mario Bro’s 1, 2, & 3
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Top Gun
  • Wheel of Fortune

Looking back on that time, it’s very easy to get caught up in the nostalgia. My biggest worries on a day-to-day basis were with whom I would build blocks that day or getting the toy I wanted in my Happy Meal. That being said, NES games had a pretty high difficulty and learning curve.

Out of the games I shared above, I have only ever finished a handful. In addition to my fond memories of the 8 bit pixelated sprites and music, games, in part, taught me one of the earliest characteristics I learned about myself: A firm sense of dogged perseverance and stubbornness.  I try not to be a person that puts anything on a pedestal, but I can say without a doubt that having gaming as a hobby as a young boy helped me develop a strong sense of  determination and a life-long love of iterative improvement.

Feel free to share your earliest memories of gaming in the comments and make sure to watch for my next feature where I’ll continue delving through my gaming history.

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