I am not a gamer. Let me put that right out there. I have occasionally played video games (love the Lego series!) but I have no real passion for them. However, I am married to a gamer and I do have a passion for him; so I do play infrequently, just so I can enjoy something he enjoys.
My husband, Jeff has played video games since the 70's when the Atari 2600 first landed into his hot little hands, and he has never looked back. I was given full disclosure before I married him that he was a gamer...that he'd always been a gamer...that he'd always be a gamer until the day they pried the holographing transmorgaphying controller module out of his cold, dead hands (hopefully around the year 2070 or so).
I didn't mind. Every man is going to have a hobby. Could be fishing, could be hunting, could be golfing...whatever. It's gonna be something that takes up a certain amount of time and money, but they need it to keep them on an even keel.
I figured that video gaming would be more expensive than some hobbies...but less expensive than most (no bass boat needed). And even if he spent a lot of time doing it, he was just down the hall in his man cave and not out in the middle of a lake.
Jeff and I got married in 1990. It was a busy year. Getting our first real jobs, getting married, getting our first home up and running. Somehow, some way...Jeff missed the fact that Nintendo was having their World Championship tournament. There were 30 cities where you could qualify for the event, that was held over a single weekend. One of the cities was an hour and a half away from our house. Jeff was just sick.
He said at that point that he'd never, ever again miss anything like that.
Now children, please let me explain. In the1990's, the internet was a wee, little baby thing. In 1993, only 1% of the world's two-way communication took place there. And that was mostly military and some banking (remember Hackers? That was 1995). We old-timers had to get our information in print...monthly gaming magazines or via phone. (as in, a telephone...usually one mounted on the wall with a long cord that would stretch into the living room). Nintendo had a TIP HOTLINE that you could call. It was called the Nintendo Power Line and when you called, it hooked you up with a game counselor (a live human being) to help you if you needed hints and tips about a certain game.
One glorious day, Jeff read about this:
This list was just the beginning...They added LOTS of additional locations. We had the time of our lives that summer. Jeff would call the Power Line frequently to see what cities had been added, we'd sit down with our Rand McNally Atlas:
Nintendo would roll in to the site:
This trailer would then set up with all of its pomp and circumstance:
At the ends of the trailer were the qualifying stations. This is where you could put up a score for the "finals". Generally, the event lasted all weekend. On Sunday, the four high scores would compete and the winner had a trip to the finals in San Diego. Besides this prize, there was swag aplenty...if you won your "heat"...during the qualifying, (you went up four at a time, if you won out of that set of four), you got a t-shirt like the one you see in the picture above. You got a black Nintendo hat for playing a qualifying round...there were also magnets for just folks who wandered up.
Jeff in his lucky shirt with Georgia (she came and stayed the weekend with us back in 2012) and Scott (aka, Beavis...still in contact with that guy via Facebook. He's now a very handsome (and I'm betting some day famous) actor in New York