“The following is a contributor post by the Kingly Yellow Mage.”
Twas the night before Christmas in 2003
Two eager children waiting. Who could it be?
Fantasizing of what Santa will bring
Always hoping for that one special thing
Would it be clothes or maybe some toys?
Knowing all year, they have been good little boys
Morning came, to presents we go
What did you get? You never know
Things here and there through the room we scan
Little did we know, it was the day that gaming began
When looking back on Christmas memories throughout my life, there is no shortage of exciting topics to talk about. From family get-togethers, various presents, and the overall Christmas cheer that we get in snowy Pennsylvania, I just couldn’t think of a bad year. I spent a lot of time trying to decide on my favorite memory and after days of pondering and brainstorming, I made my decision to express my joy when I received my first video game console.
The winter of 2003 was like most during my childhood, my brother and I enjoying ourselves and playing in the snow with our parents. We’d both get home from school, get into some warmer clothes and waste the night building snowmen and sledding. You know, the average day in the life of an eight-year-old. Growing up, my brother and I didn’t do much gaming because my parents never really had anything. I remember we had an N64 with one or two cartridges and an old PC with all the hits straight out of 1999, so gaming was not really a norm in our household. That was until that one glorious morning where two excited children woke up to one of the best presents a kid could ask for.
Under the tree sat a myriad of presents just waiting to be opened. A few small toys here, some clothes there, and the usual knick-knacks that appeal to children. The morning went by, the snow was falling, and the presents were dwindling. Everything was leading up to the one special present we were told to open last. It was a moment of enjoyment mixed with a brief bout of sadness as we knew this joyous Christmas morning was coming to an end. We moved the oversized package with the whimsical sticker reading “To: Brett and Nick From: Santa” in front of the two of us and went to town opening it up. I do not think that we could have gotten wrapping paper off a box faster. Once opened, my brother and I were met with smiles from our parents, but confusion on our faces. We had received a new Nintendo GameCube. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? I mean, what kid would not want a new video game system? The problem was we didn’t know what it was. The two of us didn’t see advertisements for it, we didn’t specifically ask for it, we just got one out of the blue because our parents thought we would enjoy it. Looking back now, it was one of the best presents they could have ever got us.
The day went on and my parents allowed us to set the system up before leaving for our annual Christmas dinner, but we really didn’t get to play much. It was what festered during our break and the weeks after. Our GameCube came with two things that left a lasting impression on me to this very date. One being Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and a sweet demo disc that kept my attention probably a lot longer than it should have. I can remember the nights where my brother and I would take turns playing Ocarina of Time, just trying to inch further and further, until we got stuck at the stupid Dodongo’s Cavern dungeon that was apparently too hard for my tiny brain. Don’t worry, I went back last year and finally beat it, I promise! It was moments like this that allowed my brother and I to bond and I don’t know if we would be as close today if it wasn’t for this.
The demo disc, on the other hand, is what I would credit to making me into the varied gamer that I am today. It exposed me to various titles from Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg to Splinter Cell and even Viewtiful Joe. These are three games that I would have never experienced without the GameCube and the amount of fun I had with them was insurmountable. So, fifteen years and too many consoles later, gaming is probably my biggest hobby and has stemmed more opportunities for me than not. I honestly do not know where I would be today if it wasn’t for that amazing Christmas not so long ago.
The Kingly Yellow Mage is an engineer by trade, but a king by choice. I am just a man born too late in history and I might be a little obsessed with achievements. Ever interested in chatting about video game, movies, or history? Hit me up on Twitter @Kingsofdispair, we’ll have a grand ‘ole time.
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