5 Things My Old Nintendo Taught Me

by beagooddad on September 20, 2006

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I played a lot of games on the original Nintendo growing up. I still remember being dazzled when the Playstation came out years later, but never really enjoyed any of the games as much as I enjoyed that old Nintendo.

A lot of parents don’t like video games but there are some positive things that kids can learn from them. Here are some of the things I learned from my old Nintendo.

  1. Practice makes perfect. Running through mazes and scrolling platforms takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. If you can try to figure out how to get through a level of Mario Bros. for eight hours straight, you’ll probably be able to remember trig functions if you practice them a few times.
  2. If practice doesn’t work, read a book. After spending hours trying to figure out how to find the next sword in the Legend of Zelda, sometimes you just have to break out the reference materials. If you can swallow your pride and read the reference materials for Zelda, imagine how much easier researching the origins of democracy in America is going to be. Quick note: the answers will probably be in a different piece of reference material than you used for Zelda.
  3. Get creative. When you are trapped by a bad guy and you don’t have a weapon, try jumping on his head. Who would see that coming? When you are trying to get into a building and the key doesn’t work, maybe you should try the flute, boomerang, whistle, or penguin that you are carrying in your backpack. Learning to think outside your normal paradigms is good for strengthening creative thinking.
  4. Sometimes simpler is better. When you play football outside, how many colors do you see. Don’t bother looking that up, it is a very large number. The new XBox 360 can display a large number of those colors all at one time on the screen. The old Nintendo could display about 25 colors at a time. The spectacle of the new games is fascinating to watch, but it does not come anywhere near the fun of watching Bo Jackson break another 90 yard touchdown to win the game in overtime. Or watching the fat hockey player squash your skinny hockey player only to watch your other skinny guy steal the puck and break away for an easy goal.
  5. Girls can be cool too. Long before Lara Croft started bouncing across computer screens, a hero wandered the crazy world of Metroid in a full body space suit and helmet. He flipped and killed with impunity. Nothing stood in his way. Then you got to the end of the game and he took his helmet off to show his long hair. Wait a second. He’s a she. Cool. It made you think twice before making fun of girls at school. You never knew which one was about to kick your butt.

Update: This is wildly off topic, but with so many people reading this indivdual post, I figured I’ll mention it anyway. I’m going to be hosting the Carnival of Family Life this week. If you are interested in submitting a post from your blog in the carnival or interested in learning how a blog carnival works, please go here for more information. If you are not interested in contributing, please stop by on Monday to read the entries anyway.



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