My childhood games: a retrospective

Audrey Basher

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My childhood games: a retrospective

Sometimes finding a deeper meaning is hard. A hidden message or lesson I can learn from the world around me is sometimes not there. The amount of games from which I either have learned something from or learned something about myself from is surprisingly high, but not every game has a purpose.

Nostalgia is all I need for a game to have an impact on me; in fact, I spent money on a game I had played several times and even still owned. That was all because my computer didn’t have a disc reader that the game required.

That game would be Spore. Spore is a game that was released by EA in September of 2008, making the game not that much younger than me. Even so, this is one of my favorite games for its sheer simplicity that I could understand when I was young.

I can even picture one of the first times I played it; sitting in my basement in front of my dad’s computer and enjoying a game that was fun even though I didn’t have any skills at playing video games.

The premise of the game, I should say, is that you control a creature that you get to make and customize. The gameplay differs from most with its top-down perspective in which you control a cell on its way to sentience, building a civilization with that same creature’s posterity.

The customizing is the fun part; the way you do so changes how you play the game. Are you a pacifist or a ravaging carnivor? Do you build relationships with other tribes or be the only tribe?

As you play, the game gives you different perks for committing to a certain path that makes staying the same easier. The customization doesn’t stop at just affecting gameplay; you get to fully customize your creature and its whole species. 

Change the design, the shape, the abilities, and the colors. Everything that you want to create for your creatures is a possibility. From funny to serious looking, you can make whatever you want. 

sitting in my basement in front of my dad’s computer and enjoying a game that was fun even though I didn’t have any skills at playing video games.

Spore isn’t the only game that I’ve done this with. Other prime examples would be Putt Putt and Pep’s dog on a stick. Surprisingly, they are both games in which I know for certain that I played in my early childhood. Those memories stick with me in a way that I can’t explain.

How can I so vividly see myself sitting in the little cubicle in the back corner of my church’s main room while they were doing their yearly garage sale of donated goods? My mom would help and buy things too with me being too young to stay home alone.

Of course, as a child, I needed entertainment which came in one of the most simple games that I know: Putt Putt. In it, you play a dog on a pogo stick and try to collect bones while avoiding enemies and oil slicks while jumping from pillar to pillar.

Those two games hold a serious place in my mind, yet many other games have been in my youth, and many of my memories come from them. I remember watching all my siblings build a roller coaster in Minecraft. I remember playing modded Minecraft on the big T.V. in the basement, and I remember other games like Terraria, which I’ve already written about.

Video games have been in my life for as long as I can remember, and those memories are some of my favorites. Those few memories of happy times from my childhood are the predominant few I can remember at all, but I’m more than glad that they are the ones that stuck around.