Friday, April 10, 2015

Video Games Brought My Brother and I Closer Together

Just like Mario and Luigi are video game partners (and sometimes rivals), my brother and I are too

Since yesterday was apparently "National Siblings Day" here in U.S. (or maybe it's just one of those crappy made-up Hallmark card holidays; I honestly don't know), and it got me thinking about siblings and video games and how the two relate.

The way I got introduced to video games was though my older brother.  He got an original PlayStation when we were about six or seven years old. Like any annoying little sibling, I wanted to do everything my brother did, so of course I played video games too. From then on out, he and I would spend countless hours cooped up in his room playing games together, which I imagine caused my parents to stare at each other in disbelief and lament, "Oh god, what have we done?!" 
The first game I remember playing with my brother (and the first game I had ever played period) was 007 Racing for the original Playstation. Yes that's right. A self proclaimed Nintendo fan's first video game experience was in fact not a Nintendo game at all, but a crappy movie-spinoff racer.

Going back and researching this game, it's apparently shittier than I remembered....

Being the blissfully ignorant children we were, this game was the most amazing thing ever made. I remember the elation I felt as I would shoot heat-seeking missiles at my brother's car, blowing it to smithereens, laughing maniacally at the carnage that I caused. Of course, he later tried to make up fake rules saying that I couldn't use the heat-seeking missiles, but being the smartass little sibling I was (and still am), I called bullshit right away, or something like what a six year old child would say. I'd like to think I said bullshit in a high pitched, pre-pubescent, yet eloquent manner, but my memory from my early years can be a bit subjective sometimes.

My six year old self felt no remorse for causing large explosions, and subsequently death. Was I a psychopath? Maybe. A badass? Definitely.

Being the younger sibling, I had to really savor my victories. I don't know what it is about being the youngest, but it always seemed like my brother managed to beat me no matter what. I was always better than my friends who played games, but my brother was always two steps ahead of me. Kind of like Luigi is always in his older brother's shadow no matter what, I'm always in my brother's shadow as well. But, I'm okay with that because playing video games brought us closer together.

I'd like to think that the reason why my brother and I are so close is because we bonded so much in our early years through playing video games together.  He and I are really close in age as well (19 months apart), so we were always each other's playmates no matter what. Video games allowed us to solve problems together. For example, when I eventually got my Gamecube (my very first console), he would help me when I would get stuck in Super Mario Sunshine.  We bonded through playing games together and helping each other out.

Even if my brother got a new game and it wasn't multiplayer, I would still sit and watch him play it. We would talk about what we liked and didn't like about the game, so I think that helped us understand each other more in one way or another.We just spent a lot of time together, and video games were really the catalyst in making our relationship so strong. I will always treasure the memories of staying up late into the night watching my brother play Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, 007: Agent Under Fire and Nightfire (he and I played a lot of James Bond games for some reason, mostly because Pierce Brosnan starred in the games that were released back then and he's the perfect Bond IMO and a certified badass). I still watch my brother play video games to this day. It's something that I love to do because I get to spend time with him.

I may not have as many siblings as the Koopalings do, but I wouldn't trade my brother for anything; quality over quantity!

Nowadays, my brother and I don't have as much time to play video games as we used to (growing up sucks! How do I adult again?). So, when we do get the chance to play together, it makes it all the more special. No matter how old we get, or how much things change in our lives, playing video games with my brother will always be my favorite pastime. Those memories and feelings never age. I know that when we're 80 years old and barely alive by medical definition, he will still demand to be player one, and he will still beat me no matter how hard I try.

Some things never change, and I'm okay with that.


Thank you for reading my blog about my dearest childhood memories with my brother! What's your experience with playing games with your siblings? What are some of your earliest experiences with games? I'd love to hear!

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