It started off innocently enough. After months of pleading, I finally decided to give in to my nephew and join him in a game of Far Cry on his X-Box 360. Having been a die-hard gamer during the late 80’s, I knew a thing or two about how to rack up some scores, so I was rather smug in my determination to show this kid how it was done.
“Do you know any cheat codes?” he asked.
Well, that was a new one. Cheat codes? For what – a test? Apparently, the confused look on my face was enough to send him into a fit of laughter, which he quickly followed with more information on cheat codes than I could possibly squeeze into my 40-something year old brain. Yes … I am, by today’s standards, an old gamer kid.
As a teenager during the 1980’s, there were some things you just KNEW, like how to tie-dye a t-shirt, how to work a record player, and how to “feather” your hair like Farrah Fawcett. You could recite every line from Grease, and if you owned a satin pink jacket like Sandy and the rest of the Pink Ladies, then you were the epitome of cool. There were also certain things you knew about video games, such as:
- Before Atari came along, if you wanted to play games like Pac-Man and Frogger, you had to go to the arcade. Yes, as in asking your mom to drive you TO the arcade. There was no sitting on the bedroom floor in front of your television for hours as a time. And when you ran out of quarters, that was it.
- There were no cheat codes and other fancy things. Our game controllers had a joystick and buttons that moved you left, right, up, and down. Sweet, simple, and easy to remember.
For the record, my nephew did stomp me in Far Cry that day. (Hmm … maybe there is something to these cheat codes after all). Oh well, give me Donkey Kong or give me death! These fancy new games can never top the good times and fun that came from being an arcade kid from the greatest decade EVER!