Memory Museum: Emily looks back at her gaming roots

A featured series on Memory Museum. Read about our earliest gaming memories to the backdrop of what was happening in our personal life and what was happening in the world back then! This time, Emily takes us on a sentimental journey. Interested in reading the other articles in the series? Find them here. 

I’ve been playing video games since I was a young girl and I was started off on my dad’s SNES playing the Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunter combo cartridge. I was only about nine years old at the time so needless to say I was not very good at it. I can still hear that dog laughing at me when I lost. I then moved on to Super Mario Bros 3 and spent hours upon hours playing that game. All was going well until I got to the Water Land map and then I really struggled. I would have to go and beg my dad to come help me beat the different levels. It turned into a great bonding experience that I will always remember!

A walk down memory lane.

Introduction to Handheld Gaming

Fast forward a couple years later to my next major memory of video games when one of my sets of grandparents bought me the Pikachu yellow version of the Game Boy Color, right when it came out as a surprise. This is the system that got me hooked on both Pokémon and handheld gaming because I was able to take it anywhere. It transformed road trips and kept me entertained and I loved that I could play on it any where and any time and I did not have to fight my younger sister for the tv to play a game.

Pikachu GameBoy Color

High-School High Jinks

The next time a video game really impacted me would be when I got a DS and that is how I best remember my senior year of high school. I remember “passing notes” with my best friend during class through the DS’s PictoChat and thinking we were just so cool to be able to draw pictures and write to each other without having to pass a folded up piece of paper that anyone would be able to intercept. Our high school had a field day for seniors every year and we spent our entire day laying on a blanket in a field playing Pokémon Diamond and trading different Pokémon with each other.

Pokémon in the park.

Escape From Reality

I married my husband back in 2011 and three months into our marriage and the day before his birthday, he got into a major car wreck going to work. He ended up breaking his knee and required several surgeries to fix it. I still had the same DS from high school that I hadn’t played in a while and I pulled it out to have something to do when he was sleeping. This was the only thing that could help calm my mind during these hectic months and I learned how much video games helped to act as an escape from real life for a bit.

Since then I played video games off and on throughout the years but never really played too hardcore until the Switch came out. My husband bought me one and I am so thankful he did. I got really into playing Minecraft on it and bought many of the different maps that designers had created and got involved with a couple of the servers that existed.

Minecraft is a great game to keep the mind occupied!

This got me through a rough time too when I broke my ankle helping my nephew get off a carousel at a Christmas Light Festival and being down and off my feet for the very first time. Then, to make things even worse during that time, one of my grandmothers unexpectedly passed away from the cancer she had been fighting. This was the first family death that I had ever experienced and it devastated me. I was thankful to be able to go somewhere else mentally through Minecraft and really helped me get through that time.

COVID-19 Family Time

My next memory comes with the release of Animal Crossings: New Horizons and the stay at home orders that came about because of COVID-19. This game really revolutionized my relationship with my mom and one of my sisters because it was a way we could connect without seeing each other. We visited each other and traded items and worked out a turnip buying and selling system with each other. My mom even came over to my island and we had a mother-daughter night during a meteor shower. It has also given us something to really bond over and it has created some really funny moments within my family even during this stressful times, including one specific time where my dad was listening to us over speakerphone asked why we were so interested in turnips when we didn’t eat them.  It was just a silly moment that I will always treasure.

Wishing on shooting stars with my mom.

I am hoping to continue to make great memories over the years through the help of video games!

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