Why We Game

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From an early age, most of us are drawn to video games, almost inherently. Whether it’s because of the smorgasbord of colors, the cacophony of music and sounds, or purely the interactive nature of the medium, the fact remains; we love to game. And chances are, if you’re reading this, video games are more than just a passing interest for you.

So let’s dig a little deeper. Apart from the more obvious reasons, such as enjoyment and escapism, what are the distinct, individual reasons we choose to play video games? And what keeps us coming back? Everyone has their own ideas and explanations, but it’s likely we share similar conclusions. Continue reading

A Love Letter to Nintendo

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The most fundamental reason we play video games is because they bring us enjoyment. And no one knows pure joy like children. I believe that kids are likely some of the happiest people on Earth, partly because they’re not hung up on how they’re perceived by others. They’re able to wholly appreciate and revel in the things that bring them joy without fear of being judged. To a certain extent, kids aren’t worried about their self-image, and I think we’d be smart to take note. Continue reading

Turtles Back in Time

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I don’t recall my first experience playing video games, but I do remember a mixed bag of encounters with games from at least the age of three. As an ’80s baby, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time in video arcades. By the time I was old enough to really, cognitively play a video game, arcades were dying, although you could find the occasional arcade cabinet in the movie theater or other random places.

One of those random places was a local Mexican restaurant near my house, called Tijuana Junction. As a three-to-four-year-old kid, I had some difficulty pronouncing that, so I just called it “The Train,” because of the toy train that would go around the restaurant on the tracks that were in place near the ceiling. My parents also took to calling it that because of me. The Train is no longer in existence, unfortunately. And while I fondly remember eating their yummy burritos as a child, what I miss most is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade cabinet. Continue reading

Quick Note: Changing the Game

When I started this blog it was my intention to focus on nothing but retro games (or SD games, as I like to call them). As I’ve gone along, I’ve realized there are certain topics that will take more time for me to appropriately address, and that leaves me somewhat sparse with content. I’ve also jumped  back into a lot of contemporary games lately.

So after some thought, I’ve decided I’m going to broaden my focus for Backtracking and expand on what I want this blog to be. The focus here will now be on games in general, however, I do still intend to give a lot of attention to retro games. I just find myself experiencing a decent amount of contemporary games and wanting to write about them. Hopefully, changing things up a little bit will bring more content for you to read.

Thanks for your understanding, and I hope you enjoy all of the new content to come!

Welcome to Backtracking

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Before actually producing content for this brand-new blog of mine, I figured I’d preface everything with a bit of a mission statement — explain why I created it. My intent is to explore and rediscover the best video games of the past — to boldly go where many gamers have gone before! To elaborate, allow me to go back in time (we’ll be doing a lot of that here).

One of my earliest memories of gaming comes from when I was about five years old. My older brother, fresh out of the Army, had given me his Nintendo Entertainment System, as he’d moved on to the flashy new Super NES. The first game I remember playing was Super Mario Bros. And I played it relentlessly — to the point I actually got blisters on my thumbs. At first, I wasn’t very good, but I really didn’t care. I was having a blast, regardless of my lack of skill. Continue reading