Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Video/computer games and me

I was reading a book recently (Shift by Kim Curran) which the story opened with a character playing a video game. The thought suddenly occurred to me about how video and computer games have shaped certain periods of my life. I thought today, I might share with you some of the highlights. I wouldn't normally consider myself gaming nerd, but apparently I have been one in the past!

The Oregon Trail

When I was still in elementary school, I went to special Talented and Gifted classes once a week at another school.  Only a small handful of students (sometimes just the two of us) came from my school, so it was a fairly big deal.  We'd go and spend time with a special teacher who would give us work in different subject areas that was more challenging than the normal schoolwork we'd get.  I have very fond memories of these get-togethers.  Mostly because the problems we were given to solve were done in such a way that it was really fun.  It was nice pushing each other and ourselves to learn more and do more and put different bits of knowledge together to learn something new.  But it wasn't all work without any play.  There was also a corner of the room dedicated to a very primitive looking computer and a small bunch of computer games.  One of which was The Oregon Trail.  I don't remember much about it, other than the basic graphics and some horrifying facts about the harshness of the trail.  But it was good fun as well as being educational.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

At home, we also had our fair share of computer games and video games.  My older brother was quite into them.  But Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? was definitely MY game.  I LOVED playing this game. I remember sitting in the living room of our house playing this game for absolutely hours.  Who knew learning geography could be so much fun?  I still remember little facts because of this game.  (I just hope they're still accurate!?)  I loved being a detective, flying around the world, collecting clues and then arresting the villians.  Having a quick search of it for this post, and I see there's an updated version of the game still available.  I could be up for some more sleuthing while the boys are at school!

Mario Bros and Legend of Zelda

My brother had an original Nintendo gaming system thing.  I didn't get heavily into any of the games apart from these two.  I absolutely loved Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda.  I don't know what it is about these two games but I could get quite easily addicted to playing them.  Mario Bros is such a classic.  We have an app (or whatever) on our Wii that allows us to play the original game, and just hearing the music the other day was enough to bring back memories spent sat in front of the TV playing this game. 

It was a bit different with Zelda.  It's the only video game that I've enjoyed watching instead of playing.  And luckily my brother would quite happily play for ages and I would quite happily watch.  Because these were both on the original Nintendo, I remembered we'd have to blow into the machine and into the cartridges to get all the dust out so that the thing wouldn't crash.  Ha, how technology has changed over time!

We do have an Xbox and a Wii and all kinds of other games consoles and things.  I'm not really into playing any of them.  But there is just the one computer game that interests me...

Rollercoaster Tycoon

I had a different type of game similar to this previously, but I don't know what happened to it.  When the SIMS were big, I never got into it.  I've still never once played any of the many versions of SIMS at all.  But Rollercoaster Tycoon?  I love it.  Perhaps it's all the time that I've spent at Legoland over the years? I don't know.  But I told N not to install this game onto my laptop recently until I'd finished an important uni assignment.  Because I know what I'm like.  Once I get started trying to make the ultimate theme park, I really just won't stop.  There's something really addictive about it that speaks to my competitive side that makes me want to do bigger and better with this game! 

What are some of your favourite computer/video games?


  1. I love computer/video games. My sister and I are addicted to the Mario ones - but who isn't? ;) Great post.

    1. Oh I don't know, I feel like Mario is a bit old school. I had no idea people would still be playing it and being addicted to it :)

  2. I'm not much into video/computer games. Actually my knowledge in this area is pretty sketchy! Apart from a little bit of SIMS and Mario here and there, I haven't delved into this pastime nearly enough... though maybe that's a good thing. I don't need another addiction on top of reading! :D

    1. Yeah, I can definitely see the logic there! I'm not sure I have enough time in my schedule to fit another thing in :)


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