Nostalgia: Growing Up Gaming in the 90s

Art credit to  Pixabay

Art credit to Pixabay

I was born in 1988. Video games were always a part of my life starting with the original Nintendo system (that was released in 1985) with games like Super Mario 3, Zelda 2 and Mega Man 3.

Through the 90’s, I, like many other millennials, played the first Nintendo, Super Nintendo, the first Gameboy, Nintendo 64, PlayStation one and games on PC in the late 90’s. I was fortunate enough that over time, my dad bought all the systems but we only had one TV, so I and my 3 siblings had to share.

During the 90’s, there was no sense that the graphics were simple and primitive. There was no thought of comparison to modern times. Did those early games shape and contribute to our personalities and character? Did they affect what we liked and didn’t like as games evolved? It may have even affected what we grew to like for movies and books. I wonder what my life would be like now if I grew up without any video games. Would I be a different person now?

Playing these games as a child made me determined to explore and be adventurous. Video games made it so that I could experience things outside of the real world, that I could visit imaginations of the mind that I delighted in.

Why is it that when I see Mario, I think of Super Mario 64? Why does thinking about Mario bring forth feelings of fun and comfort? Mario 64 must have made me feel pretty good as a kid and somehow some of those feelings are still inside me decades later.

I thought about collecting the old game consoles and some of the best games associated with those consoles. I am not alone on this. I (like others) am willing to spend money to bring back the good feelings of the old days and relive some of my childhood. I don’t have those old consoles anymore. I suppose that I got to a point in life where I didn’t feel like I would play those old games anymore.

Now I feel like I should have those games and consoles around like someone holding on to a toy that they had when they were a child. I now realize that people are willing to pay for things that bring them good feelings about their childhood.

Looking back, one can think of how the old games evolved over time to the games of 2018. The worlds in modern games can be massive. Modern games are so much more complex like in leveling your character and selecting abilities to use. Back in the 90’s, they depended so much on the style of the game, and by this I mean it more as an art form and having characters that you got attached to. Story had to be good back then. Today many games just focus on the gameplay and the combat. They can more easily get away with not having original characters and great stories. Not all modern games are like this but a lot are.

What kids are growing up with today is very different than in the 90’s. Are modern games better in some ways? Yes they are. I however wouldn’t trade my childhood experience for modern games because I loved the originality of those games that I grew up with.

Here are a couple links to the games that started the industry. Super Mario 3 & Final Fantasy 7.


Evan McKinley

Evan McKinley is a 2nd year professional writing student that aspires to be a novel writer in the genre of fantasy. Favorite books and movies include The Lord of The Rings, Neverwhere and The Alchemist.