[Chatter] Growing Up Nintendo #07: Christmas MemoriesChristmas is about a lot of wonderful things, but for one little nerd growing up in Central Oregon, it was mostly about games.
[Chatter] Growing Up Nintendo #06: Mario for DreamersMario's second adventure became my obsession, captured my imagination like few other games ever could. Man, I was a boring kid!
For a little kid who lived out in the sticks, passion for Nintendo could have been difficult to maintain. The answer? Nintendo Power!
The letter lay on my parents' bed. Mom had come back home from the near-daily walk to the local post office (a walk that took only a minute or two, since the post office was located just across a vacant lot and a lifeless street), and the letter was sitting there by my dad as he sorted the mail and decided what to read first. I stared at the white envelope and the familiar name, circled in trademark red: Nintendo. We had received mail from the gods of gaming. Surely this was a great day, a momentous--
My dad tossed the envelope aside in annoyance and reached for a bill. I picked up the discarded message from Nintendo with something approaching reverence. We'd never had mail from Nintendo before.
I grew to love Zelda II, but it wasn't an immediate condition. There was a time when my second journey to Hyrule was a disappointment.
If you've been following along, then you know what I think about The Legend of Zelda. From the very first 5 minutes I spent with the game, I knew that it was something truly special. That opinion hasn't been changed by the hundreds of games I've played over the more than 20 years that followed that first exposure. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, when I say that I began pining for the sequel the instant I learned that it existed.
For my third grade self, there could never have been anything more magical than The Legend of Zelda.
Months and months of begging for something that I'd never even played had finally paid off. A Nintendo Entertainment System sat on a tipsy TV tray in the living room, just in front of and below the aging television. I don't know how I slept that first night, but I remember that sleep came only after a long time spent tossing and turning and a trip out to the front room to find that my parents hadn't gone to bed after issuing the order that I retire for the evening. They spent another hour or two playing Super Mario Bros. all by themselves. Parents get to do things like that.
I wasn't always a gamer. There was a time when I was in love with what gaming represented. One fateful evening changed all of that.
In the summer between my second and third years of elementary school education, I moved from Perrydale, Oregon to a backwoods town known as Ashwood where I had previously resided while attending Kindergarten. Ashwood's primary claim to fame was that it had once been a mining town with a booming population of around 800, but decades later when I lived there in the 80s, most people knew about it only if they knew of the neighboring town of Antelope.
                                                            
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