Nineteen-ninety-six was an important year for me. It was…wait! Let me start again…Let’s travel through time.
When I was a young lad, I didn’t come to dinner one night when my parents called because I was playing world 8-4 on Super Mario Bros: the final castle. Killing King Koopa was more important to me than eating my greens. This did not happen in 1996. When I was in grade nine, I brought the game Quake home and played it for twelve hours consecutively. During these twelve hours, I ate six ice cream bars. This did not happen in 1996 either.
This article is not about a link between video games and obesity. Maybe is should be.
What did happen in 1996 was the release of the Nintendo 64 console. This article, at least a little, is about how important that was for me, and for all the nerds my age. The N64 was the last video game console to be fun.
That last sentence wasn’t true.
Or was it? Maybe it would be better to say that it was the last video game console to be entirely fun. I won’t argue with the success of games like Halo 2 and the Grand Theft Auto series that have come out on later consoles and which have had a great deal of success. These games are fun. But they’re the exception, not the rule. I’m going to get angry letters for this one. There are fans of Gamecube and Playstation and Xbox. Just because I’m not one doesn’t mean that the games aren’t fun. Right? Just because I’ve never seen someone get excited about a rousing game of Ratchet and Clank doesn’t mean that nobody does. Right?
The thing about the N64 is, we still play the games today. This console was released nine years ago. I was playing Mario Tennis on the N64 nine minutes ago. Ocarina of Time. Goldeneye. Perfect Dark. Smash Brothers. We play these games and we love them after all these years.
The fun factor is through the roof.
Let’s take a great leap forward. Sometime in 2006, Nintendo is releasing a new console, the Revolution. What’s revolutionary about it? The controller! It’s wireless! And looks like a remote control! You can move your character in three dimensions! Insanity! The lion lying down with the lamb! Dogs and cats, etc.
This is brilliant. The character on the screen moves when you move. Imagine! I can shoot monsters and aliens and enemy soldiers in real. . .space. Or something.
There’s fun factor to spare just thinking about it.