How I became a “Nintendo Dad”
Hey NintendoDad.org readers,
Thanks for checking out my first blog post!
First, I want to tell you a few things about me. I am married and a father of 3. I am a lifelong Nintendo fan.
I grew up in the 1980s in Cambridge Ontario Canada. One of the more memorable moments of my childhood was the day my parents bought our first Nintendo Entertainment System. It included the pack in-game Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt in one cartridge. As an 8-year-old, it was hard to believe that games like these could be played in our home on our TV. I was totally sucked in by the immersive worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom and Hyrule and once I was in, I wouldn't want to leave.
I don't remember why, but for our next console, we went away from Nintendo. I guess my parents and I were sucked in by the marketing of the Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog is no Mario, but he was cool too. The Genesis did have something that I hadn't Nintendo really hadn't at the time, games that were for a little more mature audience.
When it came time to purchase our next console, my brother and I were at the age when we had our own money and could start saving up for games of our own. The Nintendo 64 with its innovative controller got us back to team Nintendo. I remember going to the local Blockbuster video, renting 3-4 games and sitting in front of the tv all weekend trying to decide which one we liked the best. We would try to best each other at any game and wouldn't give an inch. If my brother won too many mini-games in Mario Party, it wasn't my fault, my controller button was sticking.
When the Nintendo Wii was released, Nintendo misjudged its popularity, and it sold out of stores quickly. You had to know someone to get your hands on one of them. I had a friend who was the assistant manager at a local Zellers (a retail store like a Target for the non-Canadian readers) who was able to track one down. The Nintendo Wii made video games a little more mainstream. The new controller motion with control appealed to people like my aunt and uncle. They really enjoyed games like Wii Sports, with bowling, golf, and baseball.
The Wii also brought with it the revival of the 2D Mario game with the New Super Mario Bros. It had all the 2D nostalgia I wanted from the original Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros 3, with the ability to play with 4 players simultaneously.
As much as people didn't like, or took a pass on the WiiU, it has a special place in my family, my son, and me especially. Like the NES had been my entry into Nintendo and video games, my son is a child of the WiiU. His definitive Mario game was Super Mario 3D World and New Super Mario Bros U (until Super Mario Odyssey was released).
My son didn't jump into video gaming but playing with him was a lot of fun. He wasn't that confident with his gaming skills at first. If a section of the level became too difficult, he would retreat to "his bubble" and would watch as Dad got past that part of Bowser Jr.'s castle.
Currently, we are a two Nintendo Switch family and all three of my children take an interest in the games. Mario is a favorite for all the children, and like the rest of the world, they are catching Animal crossing fever. Dad keeps a Nintendo 3DS for when he needs some time to game on his own.
Now for the real reason, you clicked on this article.
As a huge fan of NES and SNES games, I wanted to find somewhere to share/build on my passion with others. Going back 3 or so years my commute to work was much longer and I would listen to podcasts in the car and on the train.
I searched for "retro NES" in my podcast player and the Dad Retro Rewind episode appeared at the top of my search (this is why anyone who does a podcast asks you to rate and review their shows).
Retro rewind was exactly what I was looking for. It was a trip down memory lane, all the great memories I had of the games I loved growing up. It also had a history of the development of the game, and why we loved them so much. I recently went back and listened to a few of the episodes, and it just sucked me back in. Plus, Zack Erikson!
Not only did Nintendo Dads relieve that itch for retro games, but it was a great resource for Nintendo news and how to share the love of games with your kids. It showed me how to get kids interested in this thing I liked so much growing up, and how to do it responsibly. It has inspired me to do my part to contribute to what the guys are doing with the podcast and now with the site www.NintendoDads.org.
I want to use this platform to talk about NES or SNES games. I hope I can start a conversation about the games you played growing up, or if you have recently revisited some of them today. I don't know how often I will be able to post articles on here, but I would love to have your feedback on the topics you'd like to talk about, or just how the original Super Mario Bros is your video game comfort food when you need to escape the real world.
I would like to thank Marty, Justin, Jesse, Tim and Gary of Nintendo Dads for allowing me to be part of the Nintendo Dads family. I look forward to talking to you soon.
-Christopher Logel (@chris_logel)