A lot of people have varying childhood memories about holidays away with the family, or notable milestones or achievements that they had when they were young that have resonated with them throughout their adult life.
Do you know what my memories consist of? Hours-on-hours playing Alex Kidd, Sonic the Hedgehog, Wonderboy, and many, many others. Even when other consoles came and went, and the rise of PC gaming started to take hold, I still returned to my MS2 and my GameGear. Long car trips consisted of me, my GameGear, an adapter that allowed me to power the GameGear from the cigarette lighter, and a handful of games to keep me entertained. Kids these days are criticized for spending too much ‘screen time’ in front of their iPads or phones … well, kids, let me tell you about a guy who has spent his life consuming video game content and is still – on balance – a normal, well-rounded human being.
(Even if it’s not true, I’m not a serial killer, so I feel like I’m still more normal than not.)
With that context set, I hope you will empathize with me a little in this next part of the story. To cut some background information short, my grandparents have recently moved into full-time aged care, and my mother is spending a lot of time cleaning out their home in anticipation of putting it on the market later this year. As part of that preparation, and antique dealer was scheduled to come through the property and essentially ‘cherry pick’ anything he wanted. My mother, the enterprising woman that she is, decided to migrate some of her own ‘unwanted’ stuff from her place into my grandparents’ to see if the dealer would want any of that as well.
What nobody knew, was that this ‘unwanted stuff’ also consisted of a large, plastic tub of my shrine to a Sega-fueled formative upbringing.
Unsurprisingly, the dealer didn’t take much from my grandparents. A few agricultural souvenirs and the odd tool, but what he did take – was that plastic tub.
“Well, it’s not worth as much as the original Master System,” he said to Mum. “But I’ll give you fifty bucks for it.”
Now, my mother – as enterprising as she is – wouldn’t know the true value of a piece of retro gaming. As I look on eBay now, prices vary, but one in good condition – sans games or even the GameGear, fetches in the vicinity of $100.
Look, this very much is a ‘spilt milk’ situation. The Sega is gone. Que Sera Sera. Carpe Diem, or pick a Latin saying that best fits – the net result is that I have a few less Sega systems and games than I had yesterday. Should I have taken them from my childhood bedroom and locked them away in my own home? Probably – but I also didn’t expect them to be so brutally snatched and sold off into slavery.
It seems then that my only course now is to pen this farewell to an old friend. I hope you find a home with a gamer that gets as much joy and nostalgia with you as I have had, and that will take care of you much better than I did, and have. May your life outside of the dusty closet in an airtight plastic tub be liberating and may your controller enjoy the touch of human flesh once more as you fire-up the in-built entertainment of Alex Kidd in Miracle World.
In the meantime, I’ll be here Google’ing ‘divorce from parents’.