Goodbye Super Mario Brothers, Pong, and Other Video Games

Do you play video games, or did you play them in the past? My experience playing video games was short lived, and I’ll explain why in a bit.

Do you remember when the first video game came out?

Pong – The beginning of a new global obsession. It first came out as an arcade game by Atari in 1972. Then a home version appeared in time for Christmas 1975. We had one. It was so slow, we took naps while waiting for our opponent to hit the ball back to us.

Go to 1:15 in the video below where it shows the beginner version of pong. That’s what I remember playing, but in my memories, the game was much slower than this.

The video below features an old arcade Pong game, but modern kids are trying to play it. Very interesting!

Check out this video from 1969. It documents the first video ping-pong game.  Why wasn’t this in color? Weird. I was 13 years old then and wouldn’t become familiar with Pong until 1975 or later.

After Pong, newer video games sped up the pace. I liked Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

Here’s an original arcade Pac-Man game in this video:

That was just my speed.

Then there was the beloved Donkey Kong:

Super Mario Brothers was by far the most popular video game in the late ’80s. It has withstood the test of time. It ranks 5th in the Five Best-Selling Video Games Of All Time, which is amazing considering how old it is.

My nephew, Corey, excelled at it. I think he was only nine when he mastered the game. His younger brother and my son and sometimes my daughters would patiently watch and wait for nephew’s turn to be over.

I admired nephew’s skills, and my son was pretty good, too. Every so often, I butted in and took a turn. It challenged me, and when I actually got some points, I wanted to jump up and down and say, “I did it! I did it!”

Lynn Kelley Author, video games, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon mysteries

Instead, I had to focus to get another point or two.

I’ve got to give kudos to whoever wrote the theme song. That catchy tune played in my head the rest of the day. Yep, ear worm.

One night my husband George nudged me awake. “You’re grinding your teeth so loud, it woke me up. What are you dreaming about?”

“Really?” I said, trying to recall my dream. “Oh, wow! I was dreaming I was one of the Mario Brothers trying to jump over all the objects.” In my dream, Mario’s world was life-sized. Not an easy feat to hop over boulder-size objects.

With that, my gaming days came to an end.

“Lynn Kelley – age 32 – Official 1988 Video Games Wimp”

Lynn Kelley, video games

July 1989 – Look what happened to me after I gave up playing video games. No, that’s not a tent I’m wearing. It’s a maternity dress.

Nowadays, I guess Minecraft is a biggie. It ranks second in the above link of the Five Best-Selling Video Games of All Time.

When my grandson (nickname Grasshopper) was not quite five, he became obsessed with watching Minecraft on YouTube. He wasn’t allowed to play video games yet, but somehow he discovered it on YouTube and was mesmerized watching some other kid play it. Go figure.

Hey, it sure made it easier to be his caregiver.

Lynn Kelley, video games, Minecraft

Grandson’s Halloween costume

Now he actually plays it. With his dad. They’re both hooked. Look what Grasshopper wore for Halloween.

I haven’t kept up with the latest in video games. Nope. I was left in the dust decades ago. The global obsession has been building momentum since its inception. I wonder what the games of the future will be like. What do you think?

Do you like video games? Did the sound of the video games in the clips trigger any memories for you? Do you think video games are healthy for us? Any other thoughts?

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4 Responses to Goodbye Super Mario Brothers, Pong, and Other Video Games

  1. That’s a cool costume.
    We had Pong. Yes, it looked awful and was slow, but it was all we had and my brother and I played for hours.

  2. My daughter learned to read playing Pokemon with me, so I definitely see the positive in video games. Back in the day I enjoyed Omega Race and Ms. PacMan. Now I’m more into casual games on the computer, which I like way too much…

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