I have many memories during my childhood involving video games. These aren’t specific situations but rather reoccurring instances of things I used to do. Video games aren’t cheap. Kids across the country must figure out ways to get their hands on the games of their choice regardless of price or family restrictions. If I may be so bold, I’d like to share my idiosyncrasies with you. A child of the nineties, I grew up in Whittier, CA in various homes across the city.
I have many fond memories of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. Even though my parents didn’t have a lot of money, I still had both consoles when I was younger. How did I manage this? Simple. I never had both consoles at the same time. When I first got my SNES, I loved the many titles they had available but eventually I wanted to play the exclusive titles on the Sega Genesis, especially Sonic the Hedgehog, the first game I ever played. So I took my SNES and the games and went to a pawn shop in East L.A.. I made enough money to buy a used Genesis and a couple games.
For the next three years or so, I would switch between the Genesis and SNES by pawning my consoles and buying used consoles and games. Whenever there was a game I really wanted that wasn’t for the console I had at the time, I’d gather my system and games and make enough for a used console. I remember the last time I traded my Genesis was for Donkey Kong Country. One of the best games ever made! Back then, I liked the SNES more than the Genesis but my opinion has since changed. I do this type of thing to this day, except that I can afford to have multiple consoles and the pawn shop has been replaced by Gamestop (Funcoland back in the day). As a matter of fact, I hardly ever buy new games.
I didn’t own many games. During the 16-bit era, I owned no more than twelve games, most of which were used and that was actually after the N64 was released. Therefore, many of the games I played were either one of my friends, or one I rented. Blockbuster was booming at the time and my parents liked to rent movies and I would rent games. However, Blockbuster was kind of expensive. They did have more titles and sometimes when I had more money I would go there and rent the newest game to come out.
However, most of the time, I would go to a local video store called Fastlane Videos. Off the corner of Hadley and Pickering and across the street from an AM / PM, Fastlane Videos was my favorite place to go every Friday after I had been paid my allowance for the week. What I loved about that place is that they had older and quirky games, like World Heroes and Mario Paint (complete with mouse) for the SNES and Eternal Champions and Toe Jam and Earl for the Sega Genesis. TOE JAM AND EARL FTW! My favorite time of the week was Friday night. I’d be finished with school for the week, get my money and have a new game to play all weekend. I remember those cool, clear plastic cases they used to keep the games in. They kind of looked like the plastic cases they made for NES titles. Some of my favorite games I never owned. I just rented them over and over again.
What are some of your video game idiosyncrasies? What consoles did you have back in the early 90s? Do you have a favorite video game store? Comment and let me know.