Compared to today’s standards, I grew up in a poor family in the 70’s and 80’s. We had the clothes and food we needed, but there was no money for anything else. That made me more a spectator than performer in terms of video/arcade games.
I have to laugh when I think about it now, but in my childhood in Haugesund, it was cool to hang in Haraldshallen after practice. This sports hall was the site of much of the sport in Haugesund when I was little. I went to football and athletic practice there myself. In addition to this hall the three football clubs had their club houses in this area, which is actually a large sports park. There was also a café, a kiosk, where we bought french fries.
Unlike today, children and adolescents didn’t have much money back then. The few kids who had any, had only enough for a small serving of fries and 20 kroner to play games afterwards. The other cool place was the fast food shop Jali downtown. It was situated directly behind the film theater and was often a pit stop on the way to the film. There was also a caravan across the street where you could buy hot dogs and candy.
But back to Haraldshallen. That’s where I got my first encounter with the fascinating game world. You may remember Pong? Incredibly simple game, but at that time you could not find anything more fascinating.
I had a friend a little later that had a job delivering newspapers. He spent all his money on the Hardy Boys (he had the whole book series) and Nintendo. The graphics on the Nintendo was not much to boast about then, but it was a quantum leap compared to my debut, the wonderful game of tennis in Haraldshallen. Everyone had fun watching my body language, because in the heat of battle it looked like I was on the football field, tennis court, car track, etc. To put it short, there were arms and legs all over the place.
Later, I befriended a pinball machine in a diner. This mechanical game is brilliant in its simplicity. The construction is simple, but complicated enough that it never gets boring. I believe it is still one of my favorite games, but have not seen one in years.
The first game I got at home was a console that contained 5 games, including pong. It was outdated when I got it, the Nintendo Game Boy was the cool thing to have then, but I still enjoyed it.
I’m still a little childish and now I play on a Playstation 2. I am not concerned with owning the newest and coolest games. I play a lot of Fifa 05 and 08, and played quite a bit during Euro 2012. It is actually much more entertaining than watching a bunch of adult millionaires who spend more time with their stylist than at the training ground.
If I could choose any game, I think I would go for the original Super Mario from 1985 + a pinball machine of course.