How I cheated Christmas with an NES in 1988

This story comes from the personal files. Given the Christmas season and its strong association with new video games for boys and girls the world over, here is one of my most memorable experiences as a video game enthusiast.

Though I dabbled with an Atari 2600, I was raised on the NES. I have so many fond memories of that system because I associate with it so many good times from my childhood. Don’t get me wrong, I think gaming is just as good today as it was back then, but one generally enjoys reminiscing about the past. I am no different.

The year was 1988, and Christmas was quickly approaching. My brother and I had heard really good things about this game called Tecmo Bowl, so we asked the moms to pick it up for us. Turns out, about a month before Christmas we spotted one of the first gifts under the tree that was in the shape of Nintendo cartridge box. Being the busy woman that my mother was at the time, and the fact that she had to track presents for 6 children, my brother and I couldn’t help ourselves. We unwrapped our present a little early one day after school without her noticing.

Sure enough it was the much anticipated Tecmo Bowl. We starting playing immediately. Once the first long session was over, we re-wrapped the gift and slide it back under the tree at night. Next day, rinse and repeat. Pretty soon we started having friends over to play as we we’re the first ones on the block to get the game. It got so bad in the end that my mother would come upstairs, open the door to see us all playing “some video game,” and just assume it was a title we already owned.

On Christmas day, my mom handed my brother and I a tattered, repeatedly-tapped and re-wrapped present, and with a smile asked which one of us wanted to open it. It was no use. We had all but worn out the game playing it daily for a month straight and had grown tired of it. I hope our feigned faces still had enough smile on them to show our appreciation for the great gift that was the original Tecmo Bowl. Thanks, Mom!

So as the holiday season approaches, what fond gaming memories do you have?