Firstly let’s celebrate the fact that I’ve finally uploaded my first official actual writing piece (woo hoo!). Hopefully, more ideas will come soon, but until then let’s begin with this little thought I had.
When I was scrolling through YouTube I had come across a trailer for Super Mario Odyssey. Those who don’t know much about this game, it will soon be coming out on the Nintendo Switch sometime during 2017. From what I can tell it’s a “world exploring” type of game, similar to Mario Sunshine in a way. I don’t have a Switch console myself, however, I’ve been excited ever since I saw the teaser for the game! However, a little wave of sadness swept over me, which made me think.
Am I getting too old for things like this? Why should I care about some silly video game?
As a little girl who was born in the 90’s, I grew up with the Nintendo Gamecube as my first ever gaming console. I remember receiving it as a gift from my pare-! um I mean Santa Claus :D! I was overjoyed, mainly cause I didn’t really know what a gaming console was. Inside was also two games, Mario Kart Double Dash and my all time favorite game Mario Party 4. So as you can guess, I’m a little bit of a Mario fan.
After getting the Gamecube I was basically attached to it. I would try to revolve my life around as much as I could, even sometimes waking up super early just so I could play it (and waking up early as a 6-year-old is tough, makes me miss sleeping in now that I’m an adult haha). Every time I played I would pick the one and only, Princess Peach! She was just this amazingly strong woman, she was so fun and kind and made me feel honored that I could be her in the game. She made me feel graceful, beautiful and determined in real life, I was never unhappy when she was around me.
Soon I would invite my friends over, well mainly the one good friend I had. He was this goofy kid, always laughing and telling jokes. I invited him over to play Mario Party 4 for the first time, and he immediately fell in love with it too! So as I was the lovely Peach, he went for the lovable green dinosaur Yoshi. Not going to lie, we were extremely competitive, but we always had so much fun. Of course, our parents would want us to get some exercise. So to actually get the blood flow pumping we would play the Bowser’s Bigger Blast game. Every time someone chose the wrong button to press the fuse would begin to make its way to the Bowser’s head.
Before it would explode me and my friend would quickly grab a pillow and race to the other side of my basement to duck and cover. It was like we were trying to escape the deadly blast in real life, it was always good fun!
So as I grew older I kept on getting more games to play, like Kirby Air Ride, Animal Crossing, and many others. All these characters became like family to me and taught me so many real life lessons. Kirby taught me to never be too hard on myself even if I mess up, Link taught me to always explore and try different things, and Tom Nook taught me that paying your mortgage is important:’D.
The biggest influence was the little red plumber himself. Mario taught me that I was never alone, that your friends, your family, and even the people you don’t know will always be there to watch and support you. It’s like all these characters were my second family.
A family I could rely on to cheer me up and stay positive.
Now I am no longer a tiny 6-year girl, I’m an adult finishing up my last year of high school. I haven’t even touched my Gamecube in so many years, not that I didn’t want to play it, but now half the cords have gone missing so I wouldn’t be able to play it anyways. Times have changed of course and I’ve done other activities rather than just playing my gaming systems. Although I’ve started losing so much of the life lessons I was taught through those games I once played. I realized that not every situation can be easily fixed through determination, not every person will be supportive of what you do or want to do.
It was like once I hit the first day of Highschool, I was completely on my own. Through the 4 years in school, I’ve become so different. I was less adventuress, less hopeful, less determined, just becoming more unhappy every coming day. My real family who I love so much was always trying to help me get through any situation(which I appreciated their efforts to help), but they didn’t understand how to help me the right way. They didn’t understand how some silly video game would help me in life, that I should grow up and do something more productive and social with my life. So writing this to you now…
Do you think I grew up? To answer.
No, I didn’t, and I never will.
Video games had become so important and meaningful to me, and I would never want to give up how much they’ve helped me over the years. Even if I’ve stopped playing my Gamecube, that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how happy I was back then. How the characters shaped me into becoming more mindful. When people would hurt me I try to think them not as a villain, but rather someone who is hurting inside and needs someone to help them. On the outside people may look or act as a bad human, but we don’t actually know anything until they tell us themselves. I love that my video games could give a positive way of thinking, even If it means inviting the Koopa King to play a game of Mario party.
So as this extremely long blog post comes to an end, let me ask you this. Have any video game characters helped shaped you into becoming the sort of person you are today? Who has helped you become more adventuress, feel more confident, make you feel like you’re a hero yourself? Feel free to let me know in the comments, I would love to see who your video game inspiration was growing up when you were younger.
So this is for you Mario, Thanks for teaching me so much! I’ll never forget the fun memories and the lessons you’ve taught in over these years. You will always be appreciated.
Love ya, buddy!