My mom had me when she was pretty young, as I've probably mentioned before somewhere, somehow. As a result of being a child of the early 1990s, I naturally grew up around video games. I watched my mom play the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog, Resident Evil, and of course many, many Final Fantasy games.
As I penned a mini-list this week paying homage to some noteworthy FMV (or FMV-incorporating) games, I remembered that time I accidentally watched some of my mom playing Resident Evil. And it scared me. Genuinely scared me. Looking back on that game now and its blob-like polygons, it's kind of hilarious how much that somehow affected my child mind. Regardless, games were just always a part of my tiny little household growing up.
That's why this week, we want to hear what games you remember watching your parents play while you were growing up. Were they tabletop games? Were they odds and ends, like The Sims? Or alternatively, were they late bloomers in the land of games, and didn't pick them up until they were seemingly everywhere? Let us know in the comments!
Note: Unfortunately Mike and Nadia are out today, but luckily Kat, Matt, and myself have some memories to share!
I picked up my gaming habit from my dad. Back before such things were commonplace, we had computers and modems floating around the house. He even had a laptop—a massive brick that resembled a briefcase with a tiny screen. Under our TV was the ill-fated Atari 5200, which famously failed to match the success of the 2600 and signaled Atari's eventual demise.
We played a lot of games together through my early childhood—Star Raiders, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II—but as tends to happen, he eventually fell out of the habit because he didn't have enough time to play. The game that finally broke him was SimCity 2000. I had brought home the disk, but it was my dad who wound up commandeering the computer for the entire weekend, feverishly planning out his virtual metropolis. It was the most hooked I've ever seen my dad on a game. You literally could not drag him away from the keyboard.
The spell was finally broken when the weekend ended and he had to go back to work. He put away the game and said, "I don't have time for this anymore." And that was it. But whether he knows it or not, I will always consider the time we spend bonding over videogames to be some of the most important moments of my childhood, and I'll always be grateful for them.
My parents didn't play any video games, except that one time I got my dad to play Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64 with me. My uncle did however play games, specifically one type of game: flight simulators. I remember he would play the latest flight sim on his Windows PC after work. He even had one of those flightstick peripherals that my cousin and I would borrow to play with, but not to play games. We just used it to pretend the sofa was a jet or something. Good times.
I've watched my mom play so many games, but the one that most sticks out in my memory is Final Fantasy IX. I fell in love with the world of Gaia. I was older than I was when I watched her play through the series' predecessors, and even then, honestly had no idea what was going on. But Final Fantasy IX was absorbing to watch and it was the first time I felt like my mom and I truly connected while playing a game together. Much later on, she would get me Kingdom Hearts as a surprise, thinking it would recapture the Final Fantasy magic mixed with the Disney junk I loved. (Unfortunately, it did not capture her attention like it did mine, or like the Final Fantasy games of PSX once did. Oh well.)
On the opposite spectrum, my stepdad was never big on video games. He'd watch me play them in-between taking naps, but they never seemed to be his thing outside of the occasional racing game. That was, until the Wii graced us with its presence and he bought a hilariously obtuse makeshift bow for the Wiimote. He got a hunting game—something with the Cabela's moniker I believe—and would play it for hours on end. It made sense too, since he loved archery in his spare time. (He also loves cars which upon reflection makes me understand his draw to racing games so much more.)
When I was in high school, I was a pescetarian. I always wanted to be a vegetarian, but my mom thought I might die of anemia or something and wouldn't let me. There was one day where I decided to try out this Cabela's hunting game that my stepdad loved so much, only for him to laugh at me and call me a hypocrite for playing a game about killing animals. To which I still say: They were just digital animals pops, geez. (For the record: I am no longer a pescetarian.)