: Holiday Meditation: Gaming Memories Connect Us

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Holiday Meditation: Gaming Memories Connect Us

 

It has been my experience that gamers everywhere have a special corner in their heart for the holidays reserved just for gaming memories.

I think that is a piece of the modern human experience that bonds us together despite a whole year of bickering, raging, and thoughtful disagreement. The experience often includes the dreamy haze of nostalgia but can also feel entirely fresh in the moment as the years go by and we can pass this special space onto others.

It is Christmas Eve as I write this, but I of course reach out to our whole PSXE community. I know we have Muslims, Jews, atheists, adherents to the Kwanzaa remembrance of African traditions, and all manner of diverse believers here. I don't think that separates us in any way when it comes to gaming-centric memories.

A student I tutor who doesn't celebrate Christmas because of his religion is still getting a gift. He kept asking me if I knew what a “weeze” was. I of course told him I had no idea, and he said nobody knows. Every day he still asked if it was Christmas yet and about the wheeze. One day it just struck me when he said “You're a grown-up and you don't know what a weeze is?” It clicked, I said “You mean a Wii?” Yup that was it, he said his dad might get him one soon. It brought back plenty of my own memories about Nintendo consoles and games. It's fun to have that extra connection with the kids that are also gamers.

I once asked an atheist friend of mine if she felt nothing positive about the spirit of humanity during the season and she said she felt it, that goodness was certainly at work. Whether you are a young gamer still getting gifts from your folks and wishing for that special game or console (remember this hobby is expensive), or an adult doing your damnedest to re-create the special gaming memories you had as a kid with your own children, we all are connected by a desire to make seasonal and holiday gifts a part of the experience of good will toward man.

It seems counter intuitive to the narrative surrounding gaming today. Games get the blame for mass shootings. Games get the blame for our youth not being active. Games get the blame for addictions. Games get the blame for the difficulty of young men to grow up. However true or untrue any of those things are you and I know that there are spots of light in our hearts that include gaming memories which cannot be replaced by any other thing on earth.

Why? Because games are experiences themselves. They exist as an object in the real world and have a world inside them. If you attach the fact that you have gotten a gift from a loved one that brings you a whole extra world to play in, one that you've wanted a long time, one that impresses you and excites you, then the memory is unique. An action figure or a sled can't deliver the utter and complete awe I experienced when seeing Mario in full 3D on that Christmas that my brother and I received the Nintendo 64.

When we get these experiences they stick, and so those worlds and their surrounding circumstances as a gift stick in our minds making memories that we cherish for life, memories that always surface at this time of year. I tell my stories when I have a mind to: A Gameboy all to myself that I snuck all around the house to confirm before Christmas, the time my brother and I expertly removed Super Mario Bros 2 from its wrapping, played it the night before Christmas and got it back in the wrapping for the big day. I remember how scared we were even though I know now we wouldn't have gotten in any trouble, not reall. Then there's the time when I wanted to get Zelda Ocarina of Time and my parents couldn't find it, then my sister who I am not close with got me in her car and drove me all over the state to find a place where they had just one left. I'll never forget that time together in the car, especially now that she finds her life in a difficult spot.

I don't have kids, but seeing a Mario game in the hands of a niece over the holidays is a heart warming experience. I'll bet some members here have stories about giving games to their kids, playing together, and being brought back in time through the magic of our connection during the gift giving season. Even if the story is nothing but what happened in your mind while you wrapped up a familiar title for your little one or a nostalgic trip you'd like to share I'd like to open up the comments to the community to go ahead and share your stories. Even if you did last year, share them again.

The PSXE community is unlike any other, we fight and agree, we argue beliefs and come together, but no matter the differences our memories of gaming during the season is a tie that holds everyone together. Please share anything you have whether heart warming, funny, or diabolical.

Let's just confirm that this hobby is as integral to this time of year as Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown :)

12/24/2014 David D. Nelson

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robinhood2010
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 12:40:38 AM
Reply

Let me be the first to comment here and say Merry Christmas everyone!

In reading this I thought I would share a few of mine.

As a kid I remember playing Altered Beast a lot in the arcades. We had a Sega mega drive (as it was named in the UK) but had no idea it was out for it.

Well my Dad got it for me and my brother for Christmas that year. I was speechless when I unwrapped it. I had this amazing game to play it home!

I will always remember pushing it into the console for the first time and powering up. The Sega logo. The rising from the grave. The creepy villain and the silver two headed wolves that dropped orbs that turned you into beasts.

So yeah, I had forgotten about it until reading this. Cheers David.

Hope everyone gets what they deserve this year!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:14:07 AM

Cheers!

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 7:59:03 AM
Reply

I remember Christmas when I was 5... Got an NES from Santa!

Then, a couple presents in, I got an NES game from my dad to which I immediately asked my dad.... how did you know Santa would bring an NES?

Dad didn't miss a beat and said, "Oh, I talked to him at the mall."

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:16:18 AM

Funny how kids don't notice that santas workshop making wooden ducks and such doesn't conflict with him bringing complex technology.

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:37:11 PM

Santa wears magic mittens.

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Gaming Prodigy
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 9:00:06 AM
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Happy Holidays!

I dont really recall a lot but when i was around 3 my parents got my sisters and I the NES. I was too young to even understand what it was. After watching my sisters play for 30 minutes I was all over gaming.

The christmas that I really remember was when I Game Gear, got The Power Rangers game with it and once those 2 gifts were open I honestly didnt care for anything else haha. We still all opened the rest of the gifts as a family (as we always did) and then went right back to it. Sadly my gaming was cut short by mom yelling (in a nice way) upstairs at us 3 kids "Clean up the wrapping paper and bring everything to your rooms. You need to get yourselves ready, the rest of our family is coming in 2 hours"
Looking back I used to not always enjoy my whole family coming over...now its something that I truly miss. Crazy how where you currently are in life, it can change your whole outlook

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:15:11 AM

I got Mortal Kombat on Game Gear, it was so awesome and bloody on the go.

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Harerazer
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 10:24:28 AM
Reply

I have two Xmas gaming stories. One was supplied by an unlikely source...my ex. In what was probably her only good memory she got me a Sega CD and 5 games on Xmas. Definitely the peak of her career.

Second, this one comes via my current girlfriend who surprised me with a Nintendo DS and a copy of Brain Age. I had not even thought about a DS, labelling it a waste of time, but one game into Brain Age and I was sold.

Nothing Sony related but maybe had Driveclub been launched when it was supposed to be I would have a story of how I loved having my PS4 and Driveclub for Xmas. grumble, grumble.
Oh, I have a Sony one! Today I turn on my PS4 to find the network is down for "scheduled maintenance" and I can't play my games. Merry Christmas from Sony.

Last edited by Harerazer on 12/25/2014 10:31:05 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:18:32 AM

Yeah I see the maintenance too, what the heck? Not the day for this Sony. Maybe launching "The Interview" got them hacked and they are covering it up.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/25/2014 11:18:45 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:17:34 AM
Reply

When Playstation was new I opted that Christmas for the Sega Saturn, fully doubting Sony could ever be a gaming company.

Virtua Fighter 2 was so smooth and impressive on our big 40 inch projection TV (480p wooo) and I remember it hitting me: "The days of arcades being better than home systems is over".

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Temjin001
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 12:32:28 PM

I wasn't so quickly convinced. I lamented that SEGA Rally was at 30fps, not 60. I also wished VF2 had it's fully polygonal backgrounds (hence why I love the recent PSN version). I also salivated over SEGA's model 3 arcade games that were being previewed. Games like Super GT and VF3 made me nearly fall over. Of course all I could see of these games were a few photos from gaming mags at the time but it let me know that the arcade was once again king for a while more.

For me the Dreamcast was the first hardware that pretty much brought Sega's high standard for powerful arcade hardware home... though SEGA Rally still had problems being only 30fps. Even today I still can't get a SEGA Rally at 60fps! =p


Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/25/2014 12:36:20 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 3:48:44 PM

Dreamcast's fluentness blew me away with games like Sonic Adventure. PS2 could never make anything that smooth, it always had a craggy rigidity to everything.

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Temjin001
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:39:27 AM
Reply

Merry CHRISTmas!

I finished disc 1 of Xenogears late last night!

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bigrailer19
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 2:40:22 PM

Thumbs up!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 3:48:58 PM

good for u

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BlinkBoy
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 7:22:21 PM

Good luck with disc 2, it completely changes style there as the budget ran out and half the team went on to make FFVIII.

Gaming for me will always be before and after Xenogears.

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:38:46 PM

I know you're loving it. :D

Such a great game.

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Solid Fantasy
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 12:58:02 PM
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Okay. there are two significant Xmass Gamer moments to my memory. The first one was the time my sister and I got an NES. We had the Super Mario / Duck Hunt combo, Legend of Zelda, and Kirdy's Adventure. The other is the year I got FFVII. I can still remember making it to Tifa's bar that day.

This year I'm going to head over to my childhood friends place later on today. If we don't hit the bars we're just going to stay in and break out the VGA cables and a dusty PS1 to play some old classics.

Merry Christmas PSX!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 3:49:44 PM

cant beat the classics, how long did you sit there shooting at ducks? lol I shot ducks all damn day pretty much.

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Solid Fantasy
Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 9:17:32 AM

The fondest memory from Duck hunt comes from father owning my sister and I with the Nintendo light gun.

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xenris
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 8:12:42 PM
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First of all Merry Christmas, everyone!

I have two very fond holiday memories of gaming that stuck with me the longest.

The first was my father getting me a Dreamcast and phantasy star online. I played this game non stop for the whole Christmas break. I barely went outside to play or go snowboarding. My friend and I would use his 2 phone lines set up two tvs and two systems in his room and play all night online with some friends we made from Australia. We did this most of the Christmas break. The feeling I got with that online community, playing that game new years eve and everyone in the lobbies spamming happy new year was so unreal for me back then. It was my first real foray into MMO style games.

The second memory was me not getting a game for Christmas because my dad didn't know what to get me, and I just got a PS2 so he said he would rather take me to radioshack to pick something up.

Well on boxing day almost everything was sold out except for this little game called Jak and Daxter. So I picked it up, and was seriously blown away by the game. The facial animations, the gameplay the no load screens everything just left me in awe. It still to this day is my favourite 3D platforming game of all time.

Those are my fondest gaming memories over the holidays.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday and New Year!

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bigrailer19
Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 8:42:03 PM
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I have a few great Christmas memories. But for me the best was getting the internet hooked up to my PS2 and getting ATV Off road Fury 2 and socom and playing them online for days. That was so much fun. My parents got me the internet adaptor for Christmas and so began my love for online gameplay.

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Aranha
Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 1:40:07 PM
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I have two Christmas memories.

The first was getting my Super Mario World SNES bundle, which I played to death. It was my second Nintendo system, and all I kept hearing about were those fresh 16-bit graphics. Despite my small library, I got years and years of fun out of my SNES until...

I got my PlayStation! My mother knew nothing about videogames, and barely even knew that games needed to be purchased for the system. So all I did was play the Jam Pack (vol 3 I believe?) demo for about a month, until my mom finally caved in and let me get the original Jet Moto and a memory card. But that first month was crazy, because about a week or two into playing the demo when I accidentally flipped one of the game tiles and noticed the code on the back, I went bonkers! That immediately extended my demo play time, and kept me entertained for a bit longer. PS1 is also the first system where I was able to grow my library beyond 2 or 3 games, so my mind was definitely blown. Before that I always relied on going to friends' houses to play any new games. As it stands today I have nearly 40 PS1 games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 2:15:21 PM

aah, moms.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 2:14:35 PM
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Thanks for the memories all!

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Beamboom
Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 3:44:12 PM
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Are there really atheists who don't celebrate christmas? That can't be many... If we all did, we might just as well cancel xmas celebrations here in Norway. It's a pretty secular country, still xmas is of cource celebrated like never before!


Merry xmas David. <3

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/26/2014 3:45:24 PM

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 @ 6:19:24 PM
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yeah i guess we can all identify with this in some way, christmas is always a good time for gamers for the most part

happy gaming

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