The photoshoot for this article was a very pleasant experience; because all I needed to do was pose as a model and play games. The actual shooting work was other people’s job.
Occasionally, I would take out my tabletop console, Puck Monster, to play a game or two. This happens either on a whim, or when I need a change of mood. When I think about it, I realize that it has been quite a while since I had such a whale of a time with this console.
Prepare myself for “focused” mode. Take a deep breath. Turn the console power on. The screen brightens up and the opening scene appears. The innately catchy theme song starts playing. The long-lost excitement hits me once again.
I was born in the 80s when Nintendo’s Famicom game console (commonly known as the Red/White Console) was unveiled to the world. Back then, both the game console and TV were an indispensable part of my life. Even before I could properly hold a pen, I had mastered the skills of holding my game console controller. Indeed, I was one of those kids that were lucky enough to own a game console rather early. Because of that, my house became a meeting place for my classmates. We had so much fun; but then, sometimes, they would cast these envious glances that made me realize comparison is the base on which envy stands.
Among the numerous video games that I used to love (or perhaps, rather, I was actually addicted to them), I especially have a soft spot for the early 2D, 8-bit graphic games. Whether it is the octopus-like aliens in Space Invader, or Pac-Man that is in the shape of a pizza missing a slice, the 8-bit games are uniquely fun and entertaining. Human creativity and imagination can bring forth a game’s greatest potential and allow players to fully indulge in the game without having to read through the instruction manual. Trying to continually beat a new high score can keep players engrossed for hours.
The iconic Pac-Man game, which in Japan was originally called “Puck Man”, came out in 1980 following the launch of Space Invaders which had allegedly caused a shortage of 100 Yen coins in Japan. The tabletop Puck Monster console exists to remind us of the evolution from the original video game arcade to a more portable home video game console. It has the appearance of a mini-arcade machine and features only one game. Believe it or not, even though it comes with only one game, it’s extremely fun! Owning a Puck Monster somehow fulfilled my childhood dream of having an arcade machine at home.
Video games were developed to bring fun and joy to the player. For someone like me, who used to spend days and nights playing video games, I believe they do possess magic that can temporarily sweep you away from reality. Though some might consider gaming a waste of time, I honestly don’t know how I could have made it through the long and depressing days of my youth without my game console. And I’ve also come to realize that by the time I finally understand the motto of “have as much fun as you can,” I may have already lost the ability to have fun.