There is so much negative nowadays about the game industry that is printed and shared. With unscrupulous game practices like on disc DLC and companies suing beloved gaming advertisement icons, sometimes it’s easy to focus on all the bad and become cynical and jaded, forgetting why we love this great hobby in the first place. Hopefully this article is a small reminder for you as it is for me.
When I was a child I had a strict hour long time limit daily that was imposed upon me from my mother when it came to gaming. Mostly I didn’t mind as I had other things to do, I loved being outside and adventuring as it were, but video games were one of my favorite things to do in the house and as such I did anything I could to get around the time restriction. Sometimes my brothers and I could earn extra time, but more than not we couldn’t play longer with one exception: we could combine our time if we played co-op. As such me and my brothers (especially my younger one) would always search out games that had cooperative play enabled within them and my love for co-op abides to this day because of it.
After my mother and father got a newer system we received the older one typically. The Super Nintendo is one of my favorite systems of all time, for many reasons, so I remember the day I got it was a wonderful day. There was one game though that ruled all my affection and I did everything I could to get it. Finally holding Final Fantasy 6 in my hands and putting it into the system for the first time was a bag of mixed emotions. The hour long restriction loomed large and I knew that this game would take forever to play and each time I turned it off would be like torture. However, I discovered upon accident the ability to assign characters within my party to a second controller. In this way I brought my younger brother into the experience which meant that I could play a full two hour stretch with him, which was much more satisfying when it came to RPG gaming. Little did I know that these play sessions would end in not just the memory of my favorite Final Fantasy game, my second favorite game of all time, but in a stronger bonding with my brother that has remained till this very day.
A RPG in those days was very much a single player experience. You went through the story alone and though you could talk about the game with friends, never would you sit down and experience it’s telling at the same time. So it was rare to experience every step of the journey that was Final Fantasy 6 with my brother. We maxed every character to 99; I had my favorite characters I played and he had his. I distinctly remember a day that we were both sick, and because of that we were banished to our bedroom. We spent the entire day, fevered, but in gaming heaven with SNES game controllers locked firmly in our hands. Not wanting to break up brother bonding time, and I’m sure because it gave her a bit of a break, she let us be and we played probably a good 8 hours together. Never again did we get to so entirely and utterly break the rule, so that in and of itself was a treat, but even more long lasting still have the desire to game when I’m stuck home on a sick day and it’s akin to the “just right” feeling you have when you curl up for a nap when it’s storming outside.
To this day FF6 holds a special place in my heart, and I share it entirely with my brother. It sounds a silly thing, but looking back on it not many siblings get to experience nearly a hundred hours of something together.
Every time I see a sprite of Sabin or Edgar (brothers within the game and our favorite characters) I can’t help but smile and think of my little brother. Sure, it helps that the game was absolutely fantastic, but FF6 will always remain firmly in my heart because it was something that me and my brother shared together and that we both have a deep and abiding love for.
Do you have any fond gaming memories that you look back on? A game that shaped your life in some way or the act of sharing it left an indelible mark on you? Share in the comments. If possible, I’d like to post your experiences in an ongoing series of Fondest Gaming Moments. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being featured.