The Power of Gaming
Many of us can recall when we played our first video game. For some of us, the memories of Pong are hazy and as well-defined as those 8-bit images on a dark screen. For others, it’s the vivid worlds of Toad and Link which have left an indelible impression. And yet, for all of us, our first game sticks like a badge of honor. Nostalgia plays a major role in how gamers connect with one another. Collective first experiences with gaming are in many ways like gamers themselves. And they bring us all together in a way little else can.
Some 30 years after introducing Mario and Zelda to the world, Nintendo is as captivating as ever. Striking a resonant chord with every gamer across generations, Nintendo is synonymous with gaming and continues to capture our imagination. It unites the world. When the ASTRO Gaming Crew learned we would be partnering up with Nintendo, each of us reminisced about the first time we had ever played a Nintendo game. Those stories were different, but the theme was unmistakable: our experiences brought us together and connected us through the power of nostalgia. We want to share some stories from the crew.
Like father like son — as a kid I’d visit my dad on the weekends. One weekend in particular sticks out in my memory. One Friday after my dad got off work he picked me up and took me to Toys R Us. Standing in the that aisle between the wall of games he said I could pick out any game I wanted. I vividly remember looking at all the game slips and ended up picking the Goonies 2 for NES. We ordered pizza and played the game all night. I was the first to crash out and when I woke up in the morning my dad was not only still playing but he had drawn all these maps and written all the continue codes down. I had no idea my dad shared my love for games until that moment and we spent the rest of the weekend and future weekends renting and playing games together.
I think that my dad would be happy knowing that now as a father myself, I get to share that love of gaming with my kids.
Favorite Console: SNES
Favorite Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Favorite Character: Link
Favorite Item: Master Sword
I was four years old when I first played Duck Hunt. We didn’t have a whole lot of tradition growing up, but we did have Nintendo. My mother was a proto-gamer and brought home our first NES, but she really loved her GameBoy. I would spend hours upon hours playing everything I could on it, and would watch her every time she played Batman. My little sister and I would argue about everything, but we always stopped long enough to play Battle mode in Mario Kart 64. I guess we were able to focus our sibling rivalry into something we both enjoyed. When we played, we never stopped laughing. From Nintendo, I learned the power a shared passion has in bringing people together, even if they can’t stand each other (for the time being). I learned how to get along, how to share, and how to keep those lessons vital and alive my whole life.
Favorite Console: Nintendo 64
Favorite Game: MarioKart 64
Favorite Character: Yoshi
Favorite Item: Blue Shell
I grew up in Japan, so gaming was embedded in our lives and Nintendo was at the forefront. When I was 7, I got my first console: the FamiCom, and it started my love for video games. Eventually, I graduated to the Super FamiCom. After I left Japan, the only way to get new games for FamiCom was in Japan, so I had a very limited library. When they released an adapter to play SNES games on the Super FamiCom, I was able to play all the games available which was great. I still have all my original consoles and games, and I’ve recently started collecting the “classic” version of all of them. Retro is in!
One of my favorite Famicom games growing was Dr. Mario – I remember being excited when I passed level 20 because of the cut scene. Then I discovered that every 5 levels had a different cut scene, so that pushed me to keep beating levels. I love that it’s made somewhat of a comeback in the Nintendo world championships and the NES Classic. These days, I still go to the Nintendo Store every time I go to New York and see what’s new/old and cool.
Favorite game: Donkey Kong Country
Favorite Meme: Luigi side-eye
I had a Game Boy Pocket growing up, among a bunch of other consoles and handhelds. I remember playing Pokemon Red & Blue with my brother during a family trip to Yosemite. We didn’t stop playing, even while hiking. Our parents tried to get us to look at the beautiful scenery and sights but we had other plans. Being able to playing in nature was an unforgettable moment for me. While we were camping, we would use the snake lights for night lights when it got dark outside. I finished the trip with scabbed up knees from tripping on tree roots and random holes, but all 8 Gym Badges were mine and the Elite 4 was defeated, so it was worth it back then. Bonding with my brother, playing on our Game Boys during that trip is a memory that I’m pretty fond of. It me showed that Nintendo made quality, long-lasting, and most importantly fun products.
Favorite Console: Gameboy Advance
Favorite Game: Resident Evil 4
Favorite Character: Samus Aran
Favorite Meme: My body is Reggie
Nintendo has always been a part of my life: my parents were supportive of video games in the house at an early age. I started with the SNES and lost many hours to The Legend of Zelda: A Link To the Past, Mario Paint, and Yoshi’s Island. My brother and I would binge through games on the weekend together while my parents would watch. It was a way of bonding with my family in general. As an adult, I look back at those days fondly and thank Nintendo for allowing my family to have those moments together. As a homage to my Nintendo love, my first tattoo was the Zelda Wingcrest!
Favorite console: Switch
Favorite game: Breath of the Wild, Minish Cap, Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Favorite character: Waluigi and Boo
My first experience with video games was with SNES and playing Mario with by older brother. We played Super Mario World, DK Country, and Link to the Past all the time. I always played Luigi while my brother played Mario. It was a way to bond and spend time together every day. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is classified as a high-functioning type of autism. From an outsider, he would probably just be written off as shy, but he has a lot of social anxiety when speaking face to face with people, which has caused him to miss out on making many friends. So gaming not only been a medium to strengthen my relationship with him, but it’s helped him create strong relationships with others throughout his life when he wouldn’t have otherwise. From gaming, my brother found a community of friends. I think it’s important to speak about it, because gaming has allowed him (and so many others) to open up to other people and make lifelong connections.
Favorite console: SNES
Favorite game: Link to the Past
Favorite character: Navi the Fairy
The first time I really remember playing Nintendo was during Christmas at my relatives’ house (I think it was around 1986). The whole extended family was there; my memory is a bit hazy but I believe two sets of cousins got NES systems that year. Duck Hunt was an especially big hit since most of that side of the family are actual duck hunters. I also remember watching my cousin play Super Mario Brothers and being completely blown away that the game had secrets like the pipes you could go into, the vines you could climb, and of course the warp zones. I’d played a lot of video games in my lifetime up to that point, and I had never seen anything like that before.
That was the beginning of a huge explosion of Nintendo mania. Soon every other kid had an NES at home. Sadly I was one of the kids that never had one of my own, but I still spent plenty of time playing NES at friends houses whenever I possibly could. My best friend who lived on my block had one with Excitebike, which was a great game and the first game I had ever seen or played that contained a level editor. Some weekends I would loan my Sega Genesis to the neighbor kids in exchange for their SNES with Street Fighter II. I was able to experience growing up playing Nintendo games despite never actually owning a Nintendo console of my own, because gaming brings people together.
The Legend of Zelda™: Breath of the Wild A10 Headset
As gamers, we believe in delivering players unsurpassed audio quality with premium products that enhance immersive gaming experiences. In large part because we are honored to pay homage to an icon, ASTRO is delighted to team up with Nintendo to create innovative products that ignite nostalgia and passion for gaming. With that said, we are proud to introduce the new The Legend of Zelda™: Breath of the Wild A10 Headset.
Featuring a black design imbued with gold runes, Hyrule Crest, and the iconic Zelda “Z” and Master Sword emblem, this headset delivers Hyrule to the living room in legendary style. The Special Edition A10 Headset is durable and universally compatible with all 3.5mm audio ports, and comes with a Switch-compatible chat cable so you stay in command of your communication.
Passion For Gaming
We believe our shared love of games creates a community all at once diverse and accepting; one that welcomes anyone and everyone because we all have a passion for gaming. It’s this passion for gaming, with a foundation deeply rooted with the indelible mark Nintendo has left on generations, that has us thrilled to celebrate the start of this partnership with Nintendo alongside the ASTRO family.
The Special Edition A10 Headset is available now at astrogaming.com.
We look forward to inspiring all gamers with this partnership, and we can’t wait to see where this adventure leads us. Welcome to the ASTRO family.