5 Things Playing Nintendo Taught Me About Real Life

I had a pretty decent childhood. My own room, my own desk, my own bike, pet, etc. Being an only child can sometimes rock because you don’t have to compete with anyone and you don’t have to share anything.

Of course, it can also turn you into a rotten apple of Honey Boo-Boo proportions.

My mom feared this more than anything, so on the list of things I was not allowed to have (in the totally unfair midst of all my friends having those things) was :

– My own TV.
– My own phone.
– My own Nintendo system.

OMG, right? Ugggggghhhhh, SO NOT COOL.

But now, in hindsight, I can see that my mom was, for the most part, on the ball by raising me that way. It did have some adverse side effects, though. If I was ever at a friend’s house, playing their Nintendo or watching their TV was all I wanted to do. It was like crack to me.

And kids are, like, crazy. When they discover their version of crack, they will rock it out so hard, wringing that baby dry until it disintegrates into a puff of smoke, never to be seen again.


Now? I am fortunate enough to have married a man who owns every single gaming system/console they ever made. The 8-year-old in me is squee-ing quite vivaciously.
Now? Now, at 25, if I play any kind of virtual game for longer than 60 minutes, I start going cross-eyed.


However, I am not too old to escape learning certain things, things I may not have even noticed as a child.

Here they are in all their 8-bit glory.

1. Don’t let your limitations hold you back.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just a little Italian plumber – if you have a heart of courage and a little cashish in your bank, you can accomplish a lot of stuff.

2. Boys, choose a woman of quality. It’s worth it.

Some girls are not good for much other than constantly getting into trouble to garner attention from the menfolk. Peach, I’m looking at you. I understand that your dilemma is the very reason I’m playing this game, but if I have to hear your “Hay-ulp! Hay-ulp!” or read, “We’re sorry, but your princess is in another castle,” one more time, I’mma lose it.
(Actually, it appears that even Mario hasn’t learned this lesson yet.)

3. Food + Rest = Life.

If you are hungry, stop. If you are tired, stop. In these states, life is leaving your body, and I swear it transfers over to how much life you have left in your game. Extreme hunger/extreme tiredness = your fingers pressing buttons that make you leap kamikaze-style off a cliff.

4. Don’t be afraid to be small.

Sometimes, being the small guy is more beneficial than the big guy with all the firepower. Those little nooks and crannies and secret passageways to other worlds might be accessible only by YOU.

5. What goes around, comes around.

So there you are, traveling through life, when all of a sudden, a Goomba comes into contact with you, shrinking you down and making you practically invisible for 5 seconds.

It sucks. I get it.

But while it may be tempting to take vengeance on the next Goomba you see, be careful. In your turtle-smashing rage, your emotions may cloud the fact that you are in a “2-tunnel” barrier. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, this: you release that turtle shell, watch the Goomba die with satisfaction, and then quicker than lightning, that turtle shell ricochets against 1 of the 2 tunnels that you are surrounded by, and if you don’t move quick, you will be the victim of that sad little melody that announces your death.

(I am so very, very aware of the Karma that exists within Mario Land that I was willing to talk about it in a horrible run-on sentence. Forgive me.)

I’m sure there are more valuable lessons to be learned from the wonderful world of NES, but I’ve reached my one-hour capacity for the time being. If you have any knowledge to impart, don’t be shy. If we keep silent, Bowser will win.


“Not today, Bowser. Not…today.”

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