Video Games, A Generational Thing

I’ve tried over the years to embrace video games. When my son Mark was young, video game systems were just arriving on the consumer landscape. The Sega and Nintendo systems provided hours and hours of In-His-Room entertainment. I tried to participate with him but mostly ended up sitting and watching him master the games. As time went by and as he became more social, he would beg his Mother and I to drive him to the nearby Mall to spend hours at the Arcade. I thought that was a waste of money and encouraged him to invite his buddies over to play. This was before the internet and remote video game access. The same has been true for our grandsons.

I never developed interest in all things video games. By comparison, my childhood and adolescent years were very different!

My early memories include saving up to buy baseball cards (with a piece of bubble gum inside each package). Collecting major league baseball cards was fun and it was a bonus if a St. Louis Cardinal showed up in a pack! I would sneak them into school and trade with my buddies during recess.

Next I went through a phase of buying model car kits and would spend hours gluing the tiny parts together. But I dropped the model cars when I got my first bicycle. What freedom the bike allowed. I used any extra money to customize it with accessories to make it look cool. Mom would let me ride outside the immediate neighborhood to a City Park to fish. (it was a safer time back then)

Just before my teenage years, I began receiving a weekly allowance from my parents. I spent every penny at the local record shop. I kept up with the latest songs on the radio and spent many Saturdays perusing the 45 rpm releases to bring home to my record player.

Those records led to a desire to play an instrument. Dad bought me a bass guitar and my cousin Jack invited me to play in his band, The Shades of Dawn…after my brief experience with school mate Keith Hinshaw’s band The Bandits. That was a great time for me all during my high school years.

My generation was not exposed to video game technology. And for that I’m grateful.