My introduction to video games came with the aquisition of an Odyssey game console, which came complete with 3 built-in games and two sets of three knobs fixed to the console itself. I remember it being off-white, very dirty and unreliable. One of the three games available was Pong, which was fun for 20 minutes every couple of months. I remember busting it out of Mikey’s closet in years past, only to boot it up and play but eventually, it got tossed out with some old tennis sneakers and/or football equipment.
Here’s a chronological list of video game memories. I know you have yours, and our kids memories will include much more than this, with more detail.
In the 80’s I played video games:
- Intellivision: Pitfall, Auto Racing, Space Armada, Donkey Kong, Blackjack. Got good at Blackjack, would come in handy later in Vegas. At the time, other people had Atari or Colecovision.
- Nintendo: Mike Tyson’s Punchout was the favorite. Played before and after school almost every day. Finished it after months of trying. Russian dude with master fast punches was difficult, but not impossible as once thought.
- Zaxxon full size arcade video game. My dad won this full arcade size game, which we kept in the basement. It was a bootleg, actually titled “Jackson”. We finished this game many times, on the same quarter, and rumbled the basement for months.
In the 90’s I played video games:
- Sega Hockey: When the Genesis came out Sega Hockey became an obsession in college. We had tournaments at the local bars. Boston and Detroit were by far the best team to have. Letterman ruled it for some time at St Mike’s.
- From there it was Playstation time and this is when my video gaming slowed to a halt. I had taken up fishing and between that, working and motorcycles, I had my activities dialed. There was little time for video games, and that’s what they really need to flourish, is time on your ass.
Into the 21st Century, video games have blown up and grown up. Second Life has taken the idea to a whole new level. You can live an entirely new life outside of reality in a human video game. You can live, buy, sell, move and collect money, they even have banks. In Second Life, you can even go to jail.
We’ve been talking about Second Life a lot lately, mostly related around advertising and marketing opportunities. But really, what’s bizarre is the opportunity to make real money in Second Life, and use it in your First Life. Mind-bender, I know. I have plans to open a string of pubs in Second Life (Justin knows the name) and franchise them all over the place. Let you know when we go live.
Don’t worry, I don’t yet play online, and I am not a complete gamer nerd. But the fact is, video games have played a large role in my life and in some respects haved helped define the times in my life.
Like movies for my parents, video games reflect people’s attitudes, desires, needs and frustrations. I believe the film industry and Hollywood system are doomed for failure without alternative distribution methods in the face of the gaming world.
People only have so much recreation time (IE: time to waste) on their hands. There are many choices, and crappy movies today just don’t cut it when you can log into Second Life and become the swinging Manhatten advertising executive you always wanted to be.
Actually, is there a bassmaster tour on Second Life? I wonder how the bass fishing is in there? I could earn my way up the ranks and fish to my heart’s content. In fact, I heard I can pay some Indian firm to play my character in Second Life for me, so I don’t even have to do anything to get ahead in there!
I had a thought today: What about creating a reality TV show about people playing Second Life. Like you’re just watching them sitting in front of the computer. And in their Second Life, those people are watching TV shows, like “The Office” on Tivo! Run that back through your mind for a bender. Talk about advertising on all levels…