I’ll start by mentioning that I stopped following video games in high school. The two systems I really owned and played were SNES and N64. I played a ton of both through high school and Mario Kart for N64 proved to be a big dorm room game in college. We even ended up playing Kart 64 at my bachelor party. But I couldn’t tell you the first thing about any platform created after 1998.
Typically, I keep my games packed away. On the rare occasion that I’ve got someone to race against, I’ll take the time to set up the system. This is partially strategic. I tend to get very sucked into things and I don’t need yet another distraction in my life. A couple weekends ago, at my wife’s suggestion, I visited Arisia, and sci-fi con of sorts local to Boston. They had a room set up for video games, complete with an NES, SNES, Sega, and N64. The game selection was small, but I was still a kid in a candy store. I also felt like I had given myself permission to play all I wanted. I’d paid my admission to the event, it was up to me how I spent it.
A week later, I see an old elementary school friend and his brother share on Facebook a video explaining a glitch in Super Mario World for SNES. This is arguably my favorite SNES game, and the one game I was ever really a pro at. I didn’t think anyone cared about the game and I also didn’t think there was anything else for me to learn about the game. I then fell down one of the deepest YouTube holes of my life. I watched speedruns, I watched glitch explanation; matter of fact I’m still a few episodes into a 50-something part series explaining glitches in every level. This was how I spent my commute time all this week. I was that jerk on the T who was totally absorbed in his phone. And I wasn’t even playing the game. I was just watching. As this weekend arose, I knew I had to play. (more…)