So. E3 is over and all the stalls, vendors, dude-bros and booth babes are heading home for another year. As we said on the current podcast (Yes! I was on the GKick podcast, no word of a lie!) it was a very underwhelming and bland E3. There were almost no console news to be had other than another glimpse of the Nintendo Wii U. (No Steve, please don’t make the joke about the British police car again…lol).
Anyway. (puts on sensible, editorial head). The Wii U.
I, am one of the biggest Nintendo fangirls you will ever meet. I have owned almost every single Nintendo Game Boy/SP/DS/DSi/3DS console every made, but never any of the tv connecting consoles. The reason for this is that I was forced to play on a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in the US/Japan) for my 11th Christmas. I wanted a NES. I think that my parents must have gotten their wires crossed, and I can remember my brother and I ripping off the wrapping paper with glee- only to be greeted by a giant blue hedgehog on the front of the box. I can remember the look of expectant joy on my parents faces. But we looked at each other with puzzled looks, and I threw an almighty tantrum while my 7 year-old brother cried.
We wanted Mario and Duck Hunt. Well, I wanted Mario. And my brother just wanted to shoot the ducks with a gun. (Certainly not a surprise that his favourite game is Call of Duty these days.) Instead, we had to make do with Sonic The Damned Hedgehog. (Dear Readers: I still play Sonic, purely for nostalgic reasons.) So, Sonic 2 came with the machine and I never remember having anything else to play. Or if we did, I never played. I bought Sonic and Knuckles too, I was obsessed with Sonic. Not with Sega. Or the Mega Drive system.
The Christmas or two beforehand, I had recieved a Nintendo Game Boy for my gift. I had begged and pleaded with my parents for months on end to buy it for me. There was no Duck Hunt, but there was Mario! And Kirby! And Tetris! Actually, I got the pack that came with Tetris. I would take my Game Boy to school with me, sit behind the wall on the playground and be absorbed in the world of Super Mario World for ‘playtime’. Other kids would play netball, or catch, or skipping, or kiss chase. Me? Oh no no no. Far too much energy. It was Nintendo or nothing for me. The problem is, the word got back to the head of the school and he conviscated my console until the end of the day. Then when I went to retrieve it, I was told never to bring it back because it was ‘for my own good that I got some exercise.’ Well, pffft. Exercise, schmexcersise.
I enjoyed being the weird kid at school, always with my head buried in my Game Boy or in some kind of a book. I didn’t like sport and I didn’t like socialising really. Unless it was to trade stickers for my Mario sticker book or to go up to the village to buy sweets. I would try to involve my friends in my little world of Nintendo, but people didn’t really give a crap. Sure, they had consoles. One of my friends actually had a Game Boy too and we would exchange games from time to time, but I could never get into an excitable conversation with her. My other friend had a Sega Master System, and she would challenge me to Alex Kidd competitions. Split screen afternoon fun.
It wasn’t until my male cousins got a Playstation 1 when I was about 13 that I really started to find people to discuss gaming with. But then, all they wanted to do was discuss the size of Lara Croft’s boobs or answer the question of why Crash Bandicoot was orange. I didn’t really want to talk Playstation, I wanted to discuss Nintendo but it was nice to have someone I could actually play games with instead of being questioned why I was playing games in the first place and not off gossiping about boy bands or make up. I wasn’t a typical girly girl and I didn’t want to talk about girl stuff. I wanted to talk games and gaming. My aunt would try to do girl stuff with me, but I wasn’t interested in any of it all. My parents became unsettled in case I wanted to become a raging lesbian or join the circus or something. (Not that there is honestly anything wrong with that- I’m bisexual.)
I was called all the names under the sun by my peers at my new secondary school, I didn’t fit in because all I wanted to do was play games. I began to draw Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario on my school books. I became very good at drawing them. They became almost my logo. If someone saw a book with my drawings on the front of it, they automatically knew they were mine. I was proud of who I was. The boys were threatened and pissed off at the fact that I could easily beat them at Street Fighter II while playing Chun Li. The girls hated it because they were crap at games and I tried to teach them, but they never wanted to learn.
I dealt with this for the next ten years. Fast forward about ten years. I was having a really hard time, suffering from post-natal depression after having my daughter. I’d got nothing to play other than my husband’s Xbox. Which I wasn’t allowed to touch. I wanted a Nintendo DS so badly, I had seen a special edition one I had my eye on. It was black underneath with a red lid. Black and red are my favourite colours. So again, I begged and begged and begged for it. My 24th birthday came around and my husband put the rest of the money towards it. As I walked out of Target clutching my shiny new purchase, I thought I was the bees knees to have a DS. Mind you, I did have a GB Advance SP at home as well as a GB Micro. (I still miss my tiny little Micro.) But the problem with those was that they only played Advance and below games. I had the have a NDS to play the new games. And I played that machine until it came time to move on. I got divorced. I lost everything. That means my entire Nintendo collection. All my GameBoy stuff, my NDS stuff…everything. I was saddened and trailed off back home to the UK with my suitcase and lost dreams in my back pocket.