Gaming by Generation
I belong to a generation of gamers that has seen explosions of change. Once called Generation X.
We grew up with the early beginnings of trying to cross mountains and avoid dysentery on a PC while trying to avoid alien attacks on an Atari or playing in an utopia with the Intellivision. From there we progressed to plumber on giant ape action with the Nintendo, a speed junky hedgehog on a Sega and landed with a Playstation by Sony. Microsoft jumped into the foray with the Xbox and that is only scratching the surface of games and consoles that have come in between all of those.
My generation now has children that are growing up with high-end gaming with world-class graphics. They don't really know the ordeals that we had with 8-bit graphics and the excitement we show when GTA V shows the most realistic graphics we've ever seen. Some of our kids might try to argue this point of realism with Minecraft, but even that makes Pong look archaic.
Where Has the Time Gone?
With all of that said, we are in a generation that is starting to see 20 year anniversary editions come out to remind us of the days of glory past. Included in this list is the recently released NHL 14 that includes the NHL 94 Anniversary edition game mode. It is through this option that I have now welcomed my 7-year-old gamer into my history of gaming.
I hadn't played a hockey game on a console in some time, maybe eight or more years. Being a huge hockey fan I downloaded the demo and was once again hooked. NHL 14 was a must-purchase. With that buy the years of training and playing came back to me like riding a bike. I would play hours of NHL 94 on the Sega in a barracks room in Okinawa, Japan, with a Lieutenant (my boss) - trying to out deke one another and claim bragging rights. Seeing the NHL 94 game mode in this new release was icing on the cake as the game itself is already wonderful. Logging an instant bulk of hours on this game made it easy for my son to see this and want to join in. NHL 14 is a bit advanced for him so it only made sense to classically train him and get him started on NHL 94 mode, which uses limited controls.
He's now hooked! I couldn't help but smile and feel proud as a gamer dad. I also had to laugh because he would cheer with happiness when he scored and get frustrated and determined when scored against. Just like I used to.
What a Difference 20 Years Makes
Some twenty years later it is amazing to think back at those days of 8-bit gaming and compare it to what our kids today get to start with. Even gaming on a smart phone is gaming with better quality than what the original Gameboy offered (although nothing beats Tetris!). Watching my kids play Minecraft on a PC shows a hand/eye coordination that took me several years to practice as opposed to their year or two. My 7-year-old can navigate a smart phone and text and game as if it were part of his routine...my dad, not so much.
Gaming is easily one of the best ways to break down the generational gap. It is one aspect of "social media" that has transcended decades of changes. Gamers love to talk about games, play games, compete and share in the triumphs and pitfalls with other gamers. Age, sex, race, religion are terms that gamers usually don't care about. Instead, they want to hear about what console or platform do you game on, what is your favorite game or genre of gaming, and whether or not your online.
Gaming is in my blood. It's in my genetics. And I have successfully passed it along to my kids. That makes me happy and is a better "respawn" than any game could ever offer!