While it sometimes comes as a surprise to others, I like video games. My aunt bought my brother and me a Super NES when I was about six. Back then, we had Super Mario World and played it to death. Okay, better put, I played the first little section of the map to death. I never could make it to the first castle on my own and always marveled at anyone who could.
In subsequent years, we ended up with subsequent systems. And since my closest girl friends moved away as I reached my teens, the boys became my closest friends. They were all into video games , so I ended up playing them as well.
My favorite, though, has always been The Legend of Zelda. (Or racing games. Did I ever tell you about the time I played Cruisin’ USA in an arcade on vacation? A bunch of teenage boys who were just about my age were playing it, seemingly trying to impress me, but only managed to get last or second to last place. I hopped on and won second on my first try.)
My first exposure was when I was about seven. My aunt’s boyfriend (who was, in part, responsible for our SNES) handed over the controls and let me roam around outside of a castle. I had no idea what to do, but it sure beat getting so easily killed in Super Mario World. And it was fun to cut down the grass.
Years later, I started playing them on my own (and actually figuring out how to get into the castles). While I haven’t played them all, there’s certainly a charm about it. The story is very similar every time yet decidedly different, as though multiple cultures were telling the same ancient legend over and over again. I also love the bookishness of it. No on talks. (At least, not proper English. Besides “Hey!”) All of the dialogue must be read, which has always been one of my favorite parts about it. Not only does it happen at my speed, but it also makes it feel like living inside of a book.
It also makes for great jokes. Back when we resodded the yard, we had some fun with the extra sod and the abandoned lot next door. One of the hallmarks of Zelda games is finding a special sword, usually in the middle of the forest. We decided to make our own homage to it.
Do you play video games? Have you ever tried The Legend of Zelda? Do you have a pastime that no one would expect you to have?