Shop Toys Age 5+ by Desiree Cole
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how-old-games-spark-sensitive-feelings-headerHere are the best games from the past and why it's okay to miss them. 

There was a time when the first white box with a screen arrived in my living room. My brother said it would be his new toy, but he might let us play computer games on it if we would stop sneaking into his room when his friends were over. But, the box with a tiny screen became the only thing my brother and I ever had in common. He would show me how to play games with that block-looking snake chasing all of the other green blinking dots. He would show me that this one card game only meant placing the cards in numerical order, and when the game was over, the cards would flood the screen.

But, now after a couple of decades have passed from the ancient computer, how has my relationship with my brother changed since those bonding moments over the first computer games?

166628792Why We Long for Things in the Past

Whenever we're looking in the past at things like old games, we develop this intense nostalgic feeling about how simple things used to be, like being able to have a comfortable conversation with my brother about how many times I beat that online card game.

But, we think about these memories all of the time. We think about things like really old board games and how they were all built on creativity that you just can't find anymore. And why doesn't anybody gift board games for birthdays anymore? How did board games move to our cell phones? Remember writing notes in class to your crush? You can't draw beautiful hearts in your handwriting with different colored pens in a text message. You just can't get that group of friends feeling either when you play a game on your phone.

See? The nostalgic sense of how simple things used to be can be a mind trap and you start looking through these weird foggy glasses about how creative board game inventors used to be, the gifts people used to give, why people have to leave their phones on during a movie, etc. But, we always forget to ask as a follow-up; was it really better the way it used to be? Did people really love answering machines that your whole house could hear when they wanted to?

Why it's Normal to Experience Nostalgia

Remember, you would have never created a bond with that one friend who also shared the same obsession like games. Maybe you guys still go to the casino for kicks once a year or maybe you guys take your kids to gaming conventions because you remember exactly what they're going through. Nostalgic memories, even if it's about board games, creates a bridge between who you started out as and what you've become, showing all of the improvements in between.

For example, that green snake on the old monitor taught me how to be patient when I make a wrong turn and have to take the long way around to get back to where I was. That card game taught me some of the best problem-solving skills because there was no textbook around to help me learn on the spot. That's how life events roll at you too. Nobody trains you for those. You just have to keep experimenting until you get it right and a flood of happiness finally comes your way... or a flood of cards.

Best Old-School Online and Computer Games

  • Snake: Who didn't love this?!
  • Tetris: Addicting? Yes.
  • Minesweeper: Didn't it seem like this game read your mind? It drove me nuts!
  • Helicopter: How far could you get?
  • Oregon Trail: Your ox died. Go back to the store.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon: How much money could you make?!
  • Mah Jong: Are you a problem solver?
  • Treasure Mountain: How many snowballs did you collect?
  • Math Blaster: 9x5.... Ready, go!
  • Zelda: Discovering your inner warrior!

So the question is, what nostalgic old game do you remember playing when you were younger? Let us know what your favorite ones were!

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