As I sit in a coffee shop trying to do work, my mind yet again drifts off to my gaming childhood. Video games were not the only ways I was able to get my fix. I remember always bugging my parents to let me use a check to subscribe to Nintendo Power. They never gave in. Until one day I asked if I could have that for my birthday. Yes I know, it was only $18 back then, but boy was it worth it. Game cards, comics, stickers, and all sorts of goodies. I remember receiving the first issue, my dad brought it. I tore through the packaging which was made to look like a manila folder. There stood my first beautiful issue, with it’s awful street fighter II cover art. But I loved it. loved the cheesy game cards, the monthly contests, the maps, the tips, the codes, the comics, and the Nintendo power club store. I must have read every single page. I would even buy older issues at the flea market for a dollar each. I had the first official Nintendo Power issue, the track and field issue, the mega man 2 issue, and many more. When I was older I figured out that I could order my own subscription using money orders from the local store. I loved picking my yearly gift guide with each renewal.
I also remember arguing with my friend about whether Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo was better. It’s funny how back then it seemed to matter so much. Today I own I play whatever I can (in the little time I have). Part of me wants to go and resubscribe to Nintendo Power, but I know that won’t bring back those feelings. Now a days I get my kicks through music, setting up arcades, reading mainstream tech magazines, having beers with friends. I’ll probably never be able to relieve those days again, but man where those days good. Even my college days where a bunch of us would get together to play halo on 2 networked xbox 360s before going out to a bar.. yeah those were good times.
Anyways, I’ve sidetracked, magazines and reading material have helped enrich the imagination that games used to
require. Nintendo Power always had a way of capturing me and making me feel like I was part of something special. I tried other magazines but they always seemed to lack something (sorry Gamepro). The only other magazine that came close was PSM in it’s early days when all the covers were hand drawn. PSM also included lid covers for your ps1 (man they were freaking hard to get off if you changed your mind!) and memory card stickers.
With the advent of the internet we have lost a lot of this. Who knows, maybe kids out there are reading their game informer and having the same experiences. Maybe they get the same joy from being part of a forum and watching video game previews?