The Nintendo 64

As a child and teenager I had many games in my house. We had plenty to do and we had plenty of space. My sisters and I often had friends over for play dates and sleepovers, and they were great. We would play all day, have a blast, and have too much fun to want to go home, so my mother would call our friends’ mothers and ask for permission to have them stay the night. It was great fun, as we would keep playing until bedtime. As I got older the games became different, as our interests changed. When the Nintendo 64 came out (I would have been about 15 years old), I had been working odd jobs around the house and on friends’ farms to make some pocket money, and I scrimped and saved to buy a console as soon as I could. My parents were so impressed with my hard work and ability to save that they bought me a small TV for Christmas that year. I was able to keep the Nintendo 64 in my room and play it whenever I wanted. However, I was very focused on sports and school at the time so I rarely played it. I did play it a lot, though, when my friends came over.

When my friends came over we would challenge each other to epic multiplayer battles, playing two of the best games ever created for a video game console, GoldenEye and Mario Kart 64. Both games were incredible single player games, but their multiplayer modes went beyond that, especially if you had good friends to play with. Those days weren’t like today, when people can go online and have a multiplayer game with someone on the other side of the world. This technology has its merits, but there was something special about the times spent with my friends sitting together in my bedroom playing the Nintendo against each other. The energy and atmosphere of friendly competition that was created was something I will never forget, and I don’t believe games these days can replicate it. We would play for hours against each other. Sometimes we won, sometimes we lost, but we had great fun. We also devised a number of ways to make the games more interesting. We made bets or challenges for the losers to do silly things or even things like push ups, handstands or any other number of stupid things.

As we got older and started to drink, the games turned into drinking events. We made all kinds of rules for those of us that lost, and my house was the go to spot on weekends. My mother was very tolerant of us drinking and partying at home, as she always said, “I would rather you be here, where I can keep an eye on you, than have you out in the streets looking for trouble”. It was a smart move on my mother’s part, and my friends and I loved it at my house. We eventually turned my back shed into a hang out zone with a used ping pong table, a dart board, a bar fridge and we moved the Nintendo out there as well. If we had no other plans for the weekend, my house was always where we went. My sister would often have her friends over too. Those really are great memories for me, and I truly appreciate my parents for allowing my friends and I to have those experiences. I hope I can do the same for my children.



to have a blast (idiom) – to have an awesome or great time
pocket money (noun) – sometimes called an “allowance”, money young children get for doing small jobs and helping around the house
scrimp and save (idiom) – to save money in a way that you don’t enjoy other luxuries until you have saved the desired amount
devise (verb) – to create or invent something new
the go to spot (idiom) – the most popular place that everyone wants to go to, or is everyone’s first choice