My favourite retro gamer: interview with my kid

Retro gamer

Today, I want to tell you a little more about my retro world and my retro life and I decided to do that through the eyes and the words of my eldest son.

As you can read in the About RGL page, James wants to follow in my footsteps and write his own retro stories on this very blog. He has been asking me to publish one of his articles for a while… Honestly, he is only 11 and obviously still green, but starting off with a dad-son talk about our common passion, will definitely let him gain experience and be known by my readers.

Below is my interview with James, my favourite retro gamer or – as I affectionately call him – my Retrokid.
(I also call him RetroJames, but only when he defeats me in a video game or does/says something extraordinary.)

(Affiliate Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that – at no additional costs to you – if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a commission) 

Andrew: 1. Please introduce yourself to RGL’s readers.

James: Hi everyone, my name is James and I am Andrew’s eldest son. I am 11 years old and I am a young retro gamer, according to my father’s definition.

I understood the actual meaning some time ago: despite my young age, I like playing old video games. But that seems absolutely normal to me… I grew up seeing my father playing video games from the 80s and the 90s and for years I thought they were the only existing games. When he bought me a PlayStation 4 and I saw the difference I could not believe my own eyes. I thought it was a joke. I am honest, I like new games so much, but old ones are a true passion.

(Listen dad, can I not just say “the games I saw YOU playing?” I feel uncomfortable… How can I address you and talk about “my father” at the same time?)

Andrew: (In this case I am interviewing you and you are addressing my /our readers so for the next hour we have to pretend to not be father and son… Come on, we can do it! 😀 )

2. Now please tell me when you started gaming.

James: I do not remember exactly, I rely on what mom and you told me. I was one and a half years old and I wanted to maneuver myself the joystick or the joypad my father was using. I laughed like crazy when I saw that my movements affected the action on the screen. That I personally remember, I started to actively play (James: “Is actively appropriate, dad?” Andrew: “Yes, James”) when I was around 4 and as for the first video game that I have ever played…

Andrew: (Just stop there, that is the third question … Do not rush lol.)

3. What was the first video game that you ever played?

James: It was a video game that today is considered Retro… Back then, it was very popular: Mario Kart Wii, for the Nintendo Wii.

I started playing it when I was 4 and I stopped… No, I have never stopped, I played the other  versions too, both the old and new ones and I think it is one of my favourite games ever. Definitely it is the game I am the most fond of. In retrospect, even then I was amazed, because until that moment I had seen my father playing only old titles on the Wii.

Mario Kart was colorful, instead!

I then recall that I gave you a hard time da… Er… That I gave my father a hard time when he came back from work. As soon as he set foot in the house I would say: “Let’s play toy-car daddy!”. I said that because my father had created a Mii that looked like himself and was his first choice to race. He never used any characters from Mario’s universe.

Mario Kart had officially changed its name, at least at home.

Andrew: I remember, you were slightly insistent 😀 , but also nice and funny. It was hard to say no. And then you were very good: after a week you won your first offline race. After two months, you placed 1st in an online race (for the readers: in may of 2014 Nintendo Wii online play was discontinued, thus making Mario Kart Wii an only offline game)… When it happened, your mother and I started screaming like crazy, we could not believe it… I took 6 months to win my first online race, you little phenomenon!

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii

4. Do you remember your first online win?

James: It is just impossible to forget, because my parents have been talking about it for 7 years and have told it to all the people that I know. So I just cannot tell you if I remember it because it was exciting or because I have heard this story dozens of times.

I am joking, do not get mad. I am happy that I was able to surprise my parents and also that I learned to play early. It is just impossible to get tired of playing Mario Kart: every race is different, something new happens every time and you never know who is going to win.

Andrew: I agree, that is why – despite my passion for Retro gaming – I have always made an exception for Mario Kart, by also playing its newest releases. The secret is that, regardless of its inevitable technological evolution, it has never lost its cheerful, carefree spirit. It is a retro game inside!
Now that I have made this clear, let us go back to us.
*


5. What about your second game?

James: Haha, I knew you were going to ask me that… The truth is that since the first time I had the courage to play, this has been an endless journey…I just cannot recall that, I have tried too many. I have to say that maybe I have taken too many liberties at times, like when I would pull your Amiga 1200 or your * Dreamcast out of the closet without your permission or when you were not at home.

Andrew: Okay, white flag here! Please stop saying “my father” and address me directly. 😀
That said, before getting cross with you for what you have just said (just kidding 😀 ), please answer the following question.

6. What do you mean by “having the courage to play” ?

James: I mean that I was ashamed to play in front of you… I saw you both as a teacher and as a master and I was afraid to look bad. If you recall, it took you a while to get me to try Mario Kart, even though I was dying to play it and the same went for other games: I preferred to practice on my own before playing versus or in cooperative mode.

Luckily I overcame this fear and now I am happy that we play together, also because I beat you often. 😛

Andrew: Do not cross the boss! You are forgetting about the times you asked me (and still ask) for help to kill a boss or clear a stage. In any case I must say that you are really good and the student will certainly become the master, but that has not happened yet! 😛

7. Let us go on: So you used to play with my beloved, precious retro machines when I was not here?

James: Daddy, I am so sorry, I know I should not have done it, but I assure you that I always handled them with extreme care.

Andrew: Come on… Again, just kidding! Did you think I had never realized that? Had I not known that we both handled objects with care, I would have hidden all of my beauties long ago, my dear RetroKid.

Let us play a game now (no, not a video game lol): I am going to name a few video game genres.

8. Just tell me your favourite title for each of them, deal?

James: Yes, Daddy.

Andrew: Let us start!

A. Adventure?

James: Uncharted! I played it on your knees.

Andrew: I do remember that. 🙂

Uncharted

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

B. Platform?

James: * Super Mario 64. I drove you crazy to get all 120 stars!

I remember that too…  🤨

C. Puzzle games?

James: Puzzle Bobble! When I won the tournament that you and your friends arranged in that pub, I was over the moon… The following Monday at school, every now and then someone stopped by to congratulate me on my victory… What a great feeling!

Andrew: So glad to hear that and well, your victory was exciting for me too. I did not expect that!

D. What about role-playing games?

James: I am going to name two: Dark Chronicle and  * Rogue Galaxy.

The former is also the first RPG I have ever played, the latter is the first RPG I have played and beaten by myself, without asking for help (just some advice).

Dark Chronicle

Dark Chronicle

I remember you did not want to let me play RPG because you thought the stories and the game modes were too complicated. You said I was too young to understand every aspect of such games.

In the beginning, I could not really understand anything. I was about to quit, but then you suggested that I carefully follow the dialogues and explore the menus and everything changed… You could have said “I told you”, yet you gave me some very good advice and encouraged me to continue. Thanks dad!

Andrew: Thanks to you for having faith in me and not giving up.

E. Any racing Games that you like, other than Mario Kart? Maybe a racing simulation?

James: Not really, but I do like Super Sprint and I promise you that one day I will beat it …

Andrew: There are 85 stages James and some of them are almost impossible…

James: Mmm… I will try anyway. I reached the 42nd stage, almost halfway… I know I can make it to the end!

Andrew: Excellent mentality, good for you!

F. Okay last title: Soccer

James: Swos, Swos and again Swos … You introduced me to Swos when I was 5 and you started training me at 6. I asked you to do that, I wanted to learn to score your spectacular header combos and your banana shots.

I was afraid it would not rank first on your top 10 retro soccer game list. Regardless, I have to ask you something.

Andrew: What is it James?

James: Why did you leave SFG Soccer out of the ranking? It is super fun…

Andrew: Because it was released in 2009, it cannot be considered a retro game, at least for the moment.

James: But there is no online mode …

Andrew: good observation, but it is still too new in terms of technology, do you know what I mean? Anyway, I agree with you, it is a true gem and we are talking about an Indie video game.

James: Mmm, okay…

Andrew: No worries, in 10 years I am going to update the ranking … Or how about doing it yourself, maybe in 20 years? 😀

SFG Soccer

SFG Soccer

9. Now please tell me: Is there any other games that you would like to name among your favorites? I did not mention all the existing genres…

James: Yes, I was going to tell you… I will name them in no particular order: Excite Bike, Elevator Action, Crash Bandicoot, Golden Axe, Mario Party, Metal Gear Solid 2, Wii Bowling, Street Fighter 2, Bubble Bobble and WonderBoy in Monsterland.

Andrew: Just a couple… And I thought you were tired of answering. 😀

10. Well, last question now, anyway: what is your finest memory related to video games?

James: l have many, Dad: first of all, the first time I played together with my siblings and you. The 4 of us playing  Mario Party 5… Too good to be true, but it was. What a blast! I want to thank you dad, because you have taught me from an early age that we should never be ashamed to do what we like. You would tell me: “Look at me: I am in my 30 thirties, yet I enjoy playing video games like a kid. This is because I associate video games with many beautiful memories and many beautiful experiences with my friends. I am serious when I have to be serious and I have fun when it is time to have fun. ”

It is just like that dad, I like to have fun: I have always tried so many things and had a lot of pleasant experiences.

Sport, music, video games… I have always been open to anything and I am happy I have such a mentality.

Moreover…

Andrew: No need to go on, you have already given me a very good answer …

James: But I would like to go on, I am not finished talking.

As I was saying, besides this, I would like to mention my victories in the tournaments that you arranged with your friends.

To be honest though, I had fun, even when I did not win. Do you remember the Wii Golf tournament, the one where I placed fourth? We were in this club and you had put a signal on the entrance door that read: “Maximum number of players: 16”.

The problem was that people kept coming and signing up. We ended up playing a 32-person tournament and we left the club at 10 pm rather than at 7. When you informed the club’s owner that you needed some more time, he did not want to have it, but then he saw that there was a nice, relaxed atmosphere and agreed.
At 9 pm he came up to us and said: “you can stay as much as you like, I want to see who wins!”

That day was unforgettable!

Andrew: I think that we can end this interview here and we are ending with a bang… Maybe you did not realize, but you said something special: you are young, but you are transmitting positive values here.

I am definitely biased, because I am your father, but when you talk about your love for your siblings or that you wish to play and have fun, regardless of whether you win or lose, I am just proud of you!

James: Thanks daddy… But tell me: is this interview over? It was fun…

Andrew: 11. Would you like to say one last thing?

James: Yes! I cannot wait for you to publish this article, I am very proud to have been interviewed. (I am a bit ashamed actually, but you keep telling me to not worry about it and that everything will be fine).

And then, I would like to confirm that one day I will write my Retro stories for your blog, it will be our blog!

I am not as pure a retro gamer as you dad – not yet at least – but I know what you mean when you talk about being in love with the past: we must never forget our happy childhood memories and – above all – we have to keep playing and having fun, in order to not grow old. This will allow us to maintain a positive attitude towards life and others.

For you, this is a way of life and I thank you for having instilled it in my siblings and me.

Andrew: Even if I wanted to, I could not ask you anymore questions, you moved me… Very many thanks

                                                                      RETRO James

 

 

 

*

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About Andrew A.

Andrew is the founder and owner of RetroGamingLoft. He considers himself a natural-born gamer and is on a mission to keep our younger gaming years alive through the medium of Retro Stories. His event recount includes hopes, dreams, broken joysticks, magic, nostalgia and another final boss defeated.

52 thoughts on “My favourite retro gamer: interview with my kid

  1. Anna

    This is so awesome! I’m so glad I got to read this. James sounds like he has got it figured out!
    He seems to be a rockstar in the retro gaming world, monsterland… I totally forgot about that game until now! Some of those games are real hits!
    It’s good to read content that is informative not from one but from two sides in one post!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Anna, thanks for stopping by and for your nice words.
      The rockstar really enjoyed the way you called him, hahaha.
      As for Wonderboy in Monsterland, I will tell you a very, very short story: I loved this game as a child, but I was never able to complete it.
      I did it as an adult with James. He helped me clear the last dungeon (a labyrinth) and get to the last boss.
      What can I say? I owe him one! 😀
      Stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  2. Wina

    Hey Andrew,

    This is a super cute article! Nice that you get to share this passion with your son and that he’s loving it!
    I’m not big on video games now but I remember the times that I will play mario kart with my brother – well more of watching him play lol
    & it’s super nice and big-hearted of James to say that he doesn’t mind winning or losing to his siblings!
    Super cheeky article. Will look forward to reading more and perhaps from James next time!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Wina, thanks for your sweet comment and for pointing out the importance of being gracious in defeat.
      You know, I believe that only by learning to accept defeats you can develop a positive attitude towards life.
      Winning and losing are part of competition and competition is part of playing.
      Is there anything nicer than learning something by playing?
      By letting my kids practice sports and play video games, I am trying to teach them to lose honourably.
      So far I could not be any prouder.

      Stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  3. Palm

    Hahaa this is a great article. I actually like the little guy, he sounds like a Pro gamer after having played so many games at such a young age. You are absolutely right to say that, you are now in your thirties but still play games because of the memories they give you, memories of your friends and childhood. But as for, I did not play games with my Dad, I did with my brother instead, he was my guru in car racing games by then. I personally haven’t been gaming for quite some time now but I think this article has actually brought back some memories and I feel like it’s high time I give it a shot.

    Thank you for a great read.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Palm, great to read from you again!
      I will be honest, I wish I could still be in my thirties, but sadly I am 41… James said so because I have been telling him such things since he was 5 or so. That said, people tell me I look younger than that, so it is true when I say that playing makes us stay young lol.
      I am very glad I was able to bring back some memories and maybe ignite the desire to play again.
      Take care my friend!

      Reply
  4. Babsie Wagner

    I absolutely love your article about your son.  My sons are 25 years old, and when they were about 15, my husband bought an old used Nintendo system, and they absolutely loved it.  It came with a bajillion games, and even I used to play those games with them.  I cannot even play the new games, but the old ones I’m pretty good at.  My sons still have the system, and they occasionally pull it out and play.  It’s hysterical.  Thanks for an enjoyable article and interview.  Awesome!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello again Babsie and thanks for another nice comment.
      It is great to hear you also had some gaming experiences with your kids and I can understand your frustration with the new games.
      You know, I regularly visit flea markets and once I bought an Atari 7800ST with a few games (a nice amount but sadly not a bajillion 😀 ) for 10 pounds. The seller wanted to trash its box because it was dusty and wanted to put the Atari and its games in a large plastic bag. Fortunately I stopped him right before he tore it (I think I would have cried lol). Back home, James just could not believe it… He had never seen an Atari in person and absolutely wanted to try it.
      It was a cold, Winter Saturday and we spent such a pleasant day at home, playing BasketBrawl and Winter Games… 🙂
      Till next Retro Story!

      Reply
  5. Terra

    Wow this is a brilliant theme, I love it interview style with your son. I love this because it captures a softhearted family feeling and personable experience with the reader. The atmosphere as a reader was very enjoyable as I couldn’t wait to here how this duo was going to inspire me next!  Cheers, Terra

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Terra, that is such a sweet comment, thank you!
      I am glad we were able to provide you with a friendly atmosphere and show the softhearted side of our family. It truly means a lot. All credit goes to James anyway, I only asked some questions. 🙂
      Till next Retro Story!

      Reply
  6. Mandy

    Hi Andrew!

    To start off, I want to say how sweet I thought this interview was. James really did teach some very valuable lessons, even if he may not have realized it at the time.

    Now, onto gaming. I am a gamer myself, and was so happy to hear Crash Bandicoot mentioned! I love Crash, with his goofy ways. I am just loving the revamp they did! I play Crash Bandicoot on my Xbox One.

    My question to you is where do you prefer to get your games and game systems?

    Amanda (Mandy)

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Mandy and thanks for dropping by.
      Yours is such a nice comment, James too read it and thanks you very much!

      Guess what? I LOVE Crash Bandicoot!, Part of my 1998 Summer was spent trying to beat Warped! I got 105% and every platinum relic. While the former was not that hard after all, the latter drove me crazy and I really do not know if I would do that again, today.
      I just cannot tell how many times I repeated both the “Hang’em high” and “Flaming passion” levels. A slight mistake and just could not beat the clock any longer. You had to start those levels again.
      I am planning to write a Retro Story about it, just stay tuned! 🙂

      As for your question, to begin with, I own many old systems. I have had some for 25+ years and I bought some others at flea markets or on * Ebay.
      Secondly, the last two generations of consoles (Xbox 360 and One, Playstation 3 and 4, Wii, Wii U and Nintendo Switch) have brought classic games to fans. You can purchase them individually (e.g. PlayStation’s classic games on PlayStation 4) or with a paid online membership(Nintendo Switch).
      Last but not least, if you are looking for arcade games here is an excerpt from another reply. I hope it will answer your question: ”Actually, today you can buy some old or newly manufactured arcade machines featuring thousands of old, classic games (including soccer ones, of course).
      If you do not have enough space for a cabinet – which is understandable – there are some new devices that you can use as handheld consoles or directly connect to your tv. Prices do vary…There are both very expensive arcade machines and quite affordable devices. I think it depends on how nostalgic we are. 😉”

      With that being said, let me thank you once again for your comment and please let me know if I can be of further help.

      Reply
  7. Steve Crozza

    As a father myself with three grown young men it is pleasing to see that a father is able to combine his personal loves (retro gaming) with the ones he loves most, and brainwash them into his way of life (I am having a bit of fun here!)

    Seriously though, a child will not follow in their father’s foot steps unless they actually love what it is that their father does.

    It is clear that you, the father, actually love retro games, and it is abundantly clear that your son has joined you in this area, and together there will be much more fun.

    I do really like it that you both enjoy the game no matter the outcome.

    One of the reasons we have so many issues with violence these days is that there is a desire to win at all costs, and if that win does not occur the person often has trouble dealing with the pent up frustrations.

    So glad that playing and engaging for enjoyment is your caper, go team!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Steve,
      To start off, please let me tell you that it is a great feeling to be appreciated by an experienced man with grown children.
      In order to echo your words I would like to paste an excerpt from another reply. It is about the importance of being gracious in defeat:
      “You know, I believe that only by learning to accept defeats you can develop a positive attitude towards life.
      Winning and losing are part of competition and competition is part of playing.
      Is there anything nicer than learning something by playing?
      By letting my kids practice sports and play video games, I am trying to teach them to lose honourably.”

      I too have identified a desire to win at all costs as one of the reasons for such a violent society and I want none of it.
      Being a role model and raising my children as caring, lovable human beings is how I contribute to changing the world (I call it “my silent revolution”).
      I would be honoured if you kept coming for more Retro Stories.

      Reply
  8. Rick H

    Andrew,

    This brings back memories of when I used to play video games with my son. I remember when we first played the hockey game, I beat him bad. That was our first game. In the second game he had it all figured out and I could no longer win. Seriously, I never won again.

    Unfortunately, having played so many games with him and having had a Blackberry that my job required me to have and respond to 24 hours a day, I ruined my thumb joints.

    It’s great that you have this relationship with your son. James, good job on the interview! Andrew, did I miss it or do you have younger sons and/or daughters who are also gaming – or should I say retro gaming?

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Rick and thanks for your nice comment.
      I can obviously relate to your experience: I think I have always been an above average gamer, but there are games where I just cannot compete,… James is better period.
      It is the evolution. 🙂

      Seriously, I am very sorry for your thumb joint condition. Partly, I have similar problems: I can no longer play with handheld consoles for more than 10 minutes or my thumbs do hurt. Fortunately my kids are not very keen on handheld gaming devices, it would be bad to not be able to play with them.
      And yes, I have younger kids who are also (retro)gamers: James’s beloved siblings are Melody who is 8 and everybody’s favourite Retrotoddler boy Darren, who is 3.
      I will interview them too in the next few years! 😉

      Reply
  9. Chas

    Hi Andrew,

    Reading this took me for a ride down the nostalgic trail for sure. Some of the games I grew up with go back a wee bit further. Do you remember pong? or frogger? Space invaders? Ah, such a long time ago, and very early simple games. They were played on the Atari game system! Did you ever play Atari?

    It is nice to hear your son describe the memories of playing games with his father. You must have taught him well to have him win tournaments at such a young age! And I also was fond of the Mario Kart game, I played that with my son as well. now he has continued to play, while I left that in the past, and I pursued actual ten pin bowling. You get a lot more exercise!

    Thank you Andrew for the trip down memory lane, and maybe I will have to show my grandchildren some of those nastalgic games as well. But, they are getting harder to find nowadays! Where do you think I could find these older games? Activision is very hard to find one still operating! 

    Chas

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Chas, I am grateful for your nice comment.
      I remember -and tried – all the games the mentioned, I could even tell you where I played them for the first time. 😀
      As for the Atari, I played it a couple of times as child, but I did not own myself. One of my cousins had it.
      Today I am the proud owner of an Atari 7800ST. I bought it a couple of years ago at a flea market.

      To be honest with you, I did not expect James to be so good, but what I like the most about him is his fair play. That makes him a winner in my eyes, regardless of how he performs.
      I am glad to hear you too played Mario Kart with your son, you know what, it is just a carefree, cheerful experience… I like actual bowling too of course (I like anything that is fun), but for the moment I can only play its virtual counterpart. Fortunately I play it with my family and my friends. I wrote an article about it, you can find it here.

      About your last question, are you talking about only Atari games or nostalgic games in general?
      If you mean the former, please take a look at * Ebay and search for Atari FlashBack 8. You do not have to look for Atari Games (they are very hard to find, I know), as such release comes with 105 in-built games.
      I got to see its list of games days ago and it features some great classics.
      If you mean the latter, today you can buy some old or newly manufactured arcade machines featuring thousands of old, classic games.
      If you do not have enough space for a cabinet – which is understandable – there are some new devices that you can use as handheld consoles or directly connect to your tv. Prices do vary…There are both very expensive arcade machines and quite affordable devices. I think it depends on how nostalgic we are. 😉”
      Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you keep coming back for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  10. Suzie

    Andrew, it’s great to see that you and your son James are strengthening your family bond by playing retro games together. Whilst the games are retro, they are fun to play and require skill, tactical strategies and hand-eye co-ordination.

    My husband and son used to play Super Mario on the Nintendo for hours on end. They also played racing car games and some of the soccer games too. That was about 20 years ago and till this day they still enjoy playing the retro games whenever they get together.

    I hope that your father/son relationship remains strong and that in 20 years’ time you will still be enjoying each other’s company through retro games.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Suzie, this is such a sweet comment, thank you very much!
      Please tell me, did they get all 120 stars? We did but as James pointed out in his interview, he absolutely gave me a hard time in order to do that. Well, I am saying this with a smile of my face of course.
      You are absolutely correct when you talk about tactical strategies: there are games that still surprise when it comes to clearing a stage or beating a nasty boss… Developers often used rudimentary equipment and programs – especially compared to today’s technology – but creativity at its best!
      I am glad to hear your husband and your son have a similar relationship as James and me and your wish for us is my wish for them! 🙂
      I would be honoured if you kept reading my Retro Stories.

      Reply
  11. Dora

    The interview with your son was so cool.  My nephew and his dad have a similar relationship as you and your son.  They have collected over the years all the retro game systems and games that they could fine.  From time to time they allow me to borrow their Dreamcast because I love playing crazy Taxi as I did many years ago.  

    I really enjoyed reading your article and I hope your son keeps following in your footsteps.

    -Dora

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Dora, yours is such a sweet comment.
      I am glad to hear that James and me have things in common with your loved ones and that you are also a gamer!
      My beloved wife said it best: “Not only is the bug in your DNA, it is also contagious!”
      She said so because she was not too much into gaming when I met her, but it was not long before she got intrigued. 😀
      Thanks again for your words, I hope you will stay tuned for more Retro Stories.

      Ps.
      Many thanks from James!

      Reply
  12. Karin

    Wow! James you remind me of me when I was young! I loved playing video games on our Atari with my mom. She didn’t play often, but when she play with us we had so much fun! She would play Pacman and later Ms. Pacman. We also liked to play a game called Journey Escape! We loved it!
    I loved reading your responses to your dad’s questions! I still love my Nintendo 64. I miss playing Donkey Kong 64. I love that game and kept hoping they would release it on the Wii, but never did. My Nintendo 64 bit the dust a long time ago and my spouse loaned my game to one of our kids and I never saw it again.
    I appreciate that you have such respect for your systems and games. Not all children do! (Case in point, above!)
    Keep on enjoying the retro games, James and keep enjoying the time playing with your dad and siblings—it is irreplaceable!
    Best wishes,
    Karin 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Karin,

      Well you addressed James, so the stage is his 🙂 : “Hello Karin, this is my first reply, forgive me I do not know what to say. I am happy that you liked my interview, I will soon write an article myself, will you read it? Bye for now and greetings from my siblings.”

      He got a bit red, his first reply ever, hehehe…I can guarantee he would have liked to tell you a lot more, but emotions stepped in the way.
      What else can I say? Thanks a bunch for making his day, Karin!

      Reply
  13. Nancy

    This post was very sweet, I know many dads out there that come home from work and play video games with their kids. They can relate even more than I do.  I love old video games and I was quite good in my heydays.  I loved donkey kong and a Mario bros.  I think time just got in the way and I stopped playing the way I used too. I think If I had someone who challenged me, I would be playing some of these games today.. Keep playing with your son, and challenge yourselves. Keep it real and fun.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Nancy and thanks so much for your sweet comment.
      Glad to hear there are many dads like that out there, I would love to hear from them and it would be super cool to create a sort of “dad/kid gamer community”.
      How cool would it be to share our memories and feelings all together?
      Many greetings from James (he now wants to say hi and thanks anybody who leaves a comment, hehehe).
      Till next Retro Story!

      Reply
  14. Ty

    How nice to see a kid playing retro games in 2018. I find that to be funny and unique to a sense. The oldest game I can remember playing is probably Spyro. I’m definitely hyped that they made a new one. I’ll probably get that for myself after I finish red dead redemption 2

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Ty and thanks for dropping by.
      Well, as Steve jokingly said a few comments ago, I have brainwashed him into that lol
      Seriously, before interviewing him, he liked retro games a lot. After publishing his interview, he just feels proud to be a retro gamer. I guess he did not expect such a good reception (neither did I) and feels very thankful.
      Good to hear there is a bit of Retro left in you, I hope you will enjoy the new Spyro!
      Stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  15. Shane

    This article is awesome. I like what you have done, you have used the bonding with your son and expanded your love and experience of gaming towards him. It reminds me of when parents want to re live awesome childhood moments by doing those fantastic things again, but this time by teaching their passion to their kids and seeing the experience completely re lived from the perspective of someone else. 

    I’ve been to national gaming events where the latest games that have been released and yet to be released are playable by literally hundreds and thousands of gamers. Its called eurogamer / EGX and at the moment is held every year in Birmingham in the U.K. So its a passion isn’t it? Gaming is a passion which you can share the experience with towards your own family or even complete strangers in a gaming event.

    So yeah gaming is great and i have an appreciation of how you have shared it with your son, creating the bonding between you and himself! 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Shane, your comment is awesome, actually! Thanks so much for your nice words, you perfectly described what I wanted to convey (so maybe I did it. 🙂 ).
      I know the EGX very well, I was there in 2013 (it was held in London) with my then 6 year-old James and it was a blast to say the least. Little James kept saying I had taken him to ToyLand lol… Oh and he delivered one of his most memorable lines ever. I went: “What are you going to play, first?” And he replied: “I do not know Daddy, I am in two minds… No I am lying, I am in three, no in four… Mmm, I am in countless minds!”
      He literally cracked up both me and the people around who overheard him.
      Yeah it is a passion that – in our case – binds a life for life.
      Very many thanks again for stopping by, I would love you to stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  16. Neil

    You know, I haven’t played video games for such a long time! 🙁

    But I absolutely love Super Mario because Super Mario Bros was the first ever game I played on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I had both the NES and Mario one Christmas and no matter how much my family tied to drag me away from the game for party games, I was just glued to it lol.

    And then over the years, I upgraded to the Mega Drive with Sonic The Hedgehog, the N64 (again with Mario) and ESPECIALLY Golden Eye, then the Wii with Mario Kart (AWESOME game), and finally on to PS2 with Grand Theft Auto as my favorite game.

    Plus, can’t beat the original GameBoy with Tetris and Mario!

    And although today’s graphics are out of thise world, I still think “retro gaming” will always be king. Period.

    It’s great that father and son share the same passion when it comes to retro gaming, and you both definitely have good taste. 😉 I was always a platform kinda guy but also loved the odd racing game here and there, especially when up against family.

    I think it’s especially awesome that retro games consoles (or at least remakes with games built-in) are on the come back!

    Do you know if the Sega Game Gear is still being sold? That’s probably the one held-hand gaming device I really wanted (besides the GameBoy) that I never had.

    Thanking you and your son for sharing a super cool interview!

    Neil

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Neil and thanks for your extremely nice words… Again, I am flattered.
      I can relate to your gaming resume and I totally understand the “glue feeling” (we would call it like that, back then lol)… I too never had enough. 😀
      You know, I have always maintained that there are two kinds of video games: the good ones and the bad ones: I am glad to see we both like the former (James cares to let you know he also likes the good ones lol).

      As for your question, * Ebay are still selling several second-hand units, so you can easily get one there. I found one at a flea market last year and it was a nice surprise as – just like you – I had never got the chance to play it. Sonic rules, my daughter Melody likes it a lot!
      Thanks again for stopping by, I do appreciate that you took some time to tell me about your passion.
      Stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Ps. It is a real pity that you are not playing any longer. I truly hope that you will go on to buy a Sega Game Gear and get to rekindle your old passion.

      Reply
  17. GeeEss

    Awesome interview Andrew. You must be one hell of a proud father. I could not move my eyes till the time I finished the article. Love the way your kid James answered your questions. You and your kid took us back to our happy childhood. My son is also an avid gamer. Although he has now become a little busy with his studies but takes gaming break once a while and I love the way he becomes fully engrossed in the game when he plays.Thanks again for such a lovely article. Keep it up. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Gee and thanks for dropping by. Your comment was very sweet, I appreciate it a lot!
      You are right, this is what I am trying to do: by taking myself – and hopefully my readers – back to our childhood, I am trying to teach James and his siblings to never forget the most carefree period in their lives. I know they will fly the coop, but bearing in mind that my house will always be their happy home and what a fun home!!!
      I am also glad to hear your son is a gamer and although he is busy now he still finds some time to rekindle his old passion. Again, your comment made my day and I would love for you to come back for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  18. Shane Black

    Hi Andrew!

    This was an amazing interview to read!

    I am a relatively new father (my son is only 13 months old) but he has already started picking up little habits… for example, he grabs the PS4 remotes and turns them on by pressing the PS button… then just sits there waiting for something to happen!

    This interview has given me something to look forward to as I’m sure my son and I are going to have many conversations similar to this one.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Cheers,

    Shane

    Reply
  19. Andrew A. Post author

    Hello again Shane, it is so nice to read another comment of yours. 🙂
    Your comment took me back to when James was 13 months old and I could not help shedding a tear. But I am glad it is your turn now and hey the little kid looks promising, hehehe.
    It is me who should thank you actually, as you made feel James proud. This is what he is telling me in real time: “I did not expect people to like our interview so much… The last guy Shane, he is also a father and he wrote he will talk about gaming with his son when he grows up… Dad this is awesome, he wants to do what we do… He thanked us, he appreciated us! We are passing on the legacy!”

    Enough said Shane, my favourite retro gamer said it all. Again, thank you very much!

    Reply
  20. Diane

    Hi – thanks for sharing this heartwarming article. I would be looking over your shoulder if I were you, James is a star in the making. I am old enough to remember games from way back – I was so jealous when my friend first got Pong, it seemed the coolest thing ever! My grandson is four years old and he is already a gaming geek. I am hoping to introduce him to some old-school retro gaming. All the best to you and James, happy Christmas, Diane 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Diane and thanks for dropping by.
      Yeah, you are right, he is impressive, honestly and improving every day. I believe the secret is he takes video games for what they really are… Just games, just fun! I have never seen him getting angry about losing or not being able to beat a game.

      I can understand your jealousy, I felt the same when one of my school mates got a Commodore 64. Earlier that year I had got to play some Commodore Vic 20’s games at my cousin’s house, but C64 was beyond state-of-the-art technology, to my eyes.
      Congratulations and good luck with introducing your grandson to Retro Gaming, please let me know how it goes!
      Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

      Reply
  21. sheilandc

    wow this is fun, so cute. i love how you have the same passion with your son. how they say all the time like father like son. He definitely got your passion. He sounds like he got it all figured out. He’s a natural gamer and and a pro already at this age. He can only get better and achieve more success with you by his side to guide him. Great read. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Sheila and thanks for your lovely comment. I am glad that you appreciated his interview so much. 🙂
      Like I said, what I like the most about him is that he is humble. I try to spend as much time as I can with my kids, trying to raise them with good principles. I did not expect myself he would give such mature answers.
      Thanks again for stopping by and please stay tuned for more Retro Stories!
      I wish you a merry Christmas to you ad your loved ones!

      Reply
  22. Eden

    Really enjoyed reading this interview with your son. I absolutely loved playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii and have many good memories of playing against friends when I was younger, the online feature was amazing. 

    It’s true that we should not be ashamed of what we like to do, no matter what people think. Video gaming brings together people and creates fun memories as well as learning about new things. Although I think its important to have a balance, so children are not on the video games all day, me and my friends would spend a long time on them, but they are great fun though. 

    I liked a few retro games but I loved playing Fifa football and action/adventure games. I stopped gaming a few years ago, but the graphics seem to get better and better in new console games. Even the retro games in the past had fantastic graphics in that period of time.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Eden and thanks for your comment.
      Yeah I think James would reply the same (actually he wanted to reply himself to you, but he must have forgotten): Mario Kart is the game that has provided him with the most fun memories.
      I was a restless gamer back then, so when I noticed James was getting hooked on gaming, I was quick to create a clear set of rules he had to abide by (I think he mentioned that in reply to another commenter).
      I can say that he probably loves gaming even more than me, but he is very respectful and knows when he has to stop. As a positive side effect, he enjoys his gaming time to the full and he never gets bored.
      Thanks again for stopping by, please stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  23. momsmith78

    Hey Andrew,

    I really like this format. I enjoyed your interview with your son about retro video games. My family also has a few retro games that they enjoy. I’m glad you are connecting with your children in this way because I feel this is important. Your son is learning some valuable information from you.

    I enjoyed when you talked about how when it’s time to work, I work but when it’s time for fun I have fun. Kids need to see this in action so when they grow up hopefully they can repeat it!

    You are doing a great job!!

    Elaine

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Elaine and thanks for your lovely comment.
      Well, my kids are my favourite playmates, but I have to keep in mind that I am their father and I have the duty to raise them as good human beings. So I thought to myself: “Why not to teach them life lessons through play?” It is one of the best feelings ever, because we spend quality time together and I can show them where and why they went wrong.
      Then of course, when playtime ends, I show them that I am a hard worker and my leisure time is a prize for my work ethic.
      It is rinse and repeat with them, but it is far from being boring.
      Thanks again for your kind words, I hope you will stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  24. Michelle

    Hello Andrew, 

    Great article…it was like walking down memory lane for me…and it was so totally funny…you doing an interview with you cute son. I was smiling the whole way.

    Of course, I love the interaction with you and your son. It is touching that you both share the same interest. AND, that at his age, he is not discriminating what his ‘ole dad’ played ‘eons ago’…LOL, especially considering what the youngsters of today have access to.

    I love and still do – Mario…lol. Do you also sell your ‘retro games’ on places like eBay? Or do you just hang on to them and maybe wait until they become ‘real treasures’? 

    Keep up the great job.

    Michelle

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Michelle and thanks for leaving another lovely comment.
      I am glad we were able to bring back good memories and make you smile. Well, I only asked questions actually, the stage belongs to James in this one. 🙂

      And no he is not discriminating what I used to play when I was younger, not yet at least, lol. Fortunately he still considers me “the coolest dad of the coolest dads ever” and looks up to me as a role model. I hope I will be able to say the same in a couple of years lol.

      Regarding your question, well I tend to hang on to them but without waiting for them to become real treasures… They are already to me! Seriously, I sell some stuff every once in a while but I only get rid of the games, the consoles and the accessories I do not really like. James calls them “The Expendables”, hahaha.
      Thanks again for stopping by, please stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  25. Sondra M

    Andrew, thank you for taking the time to share the interview of the Retro game kid.  That was a fun interview to read.   

    As a mom, I have invested a LOT of money in games over the years.   Most of which fall into the retro game status now I think.   I came across a box of old games and a xbox game console the other day.   Thus, I decided to search online to see what people think of the old games now.   I was excited to find this site.   I think my sons, Christmas gift this year, will include to real retro games.   I know that my grandson enjoys games also, so maybe someday he will be a retro gamer also.   

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Sondra and thanks for dropping by.
      Glad to hear that you enjoyed James’s interview and sorry for the delayed reply. Christmastimes slowed me down a little bit. 🙂
      I hope your sons enjoyed their gifts, please let me know what they said! I am very grateful for your kinds words and I truly hope you will stay tuned for more Retro Stories. Oh, maybe even your sons and your grandson will become regulars. 😉
      I wish you all a happy new gaming year!

      Reply
  26. Michel

    Wow, it sounds like gaming is a real passion with your family. It’s wonderful that you have something in common to bond over and it’s great that James also enjoys the old retro games. In fact it’s quite rare, as most kids now only like the latest stuff. 

    Our family started a bit differently with the Spectrum computer. My brothers used to love writing games and this is how they learned to program, which are their jobs now. Personally my favorites were Pac-Man and Jet Pac. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Michel and thanks for commenting on James’s interview. I would say your brothers have got a strong case for proving wrong all the people who frowned upon video games back in the 80s (a lot more than now lol). I am glad to hear their gaming passion turned into a real job.

      Oh, a message from James: “Hello Michel, I just wanted to say that Pac-man is immortal and I like it to bits!”

      You have to know that James is the one who introduced his younger brother Darren to gaming and guess what? Pac-man is the first game he showed him. Darren would often ask James for help and he was so proud to be able to help his little brother. So yeah, I guess we definitely have something in common to bend over and as a father it is great to see my kids caring so much for each other.
      Thanks again for stopping by, I hope you will stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply
  27. Kevin

    It must be great to be able to relate to James by playing games together! I’m personally of one of the younger generation at the age of 16 but I have played retro games when I was younger. Still have my DS and Wii. Most of the games I played still have new editions being released like Pokemon and Smash Bros.

    Honestly James has a great passion that I wish my brother has. Not only does he like these games but he’s also willing to write articles on them. Most children are only into the game part like my brother. It’s a hassle to get him to do anything other than play games.

    Great interview!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Kevin and thanks for your comment, it is great to hear from a new generation gamer, who does not dislike playing older games.
      Regarding your brother, I do not know how old he is, but maybe it is just a matter of time. James has been actively (retro) gaming for 7 years and only expressed his desire to write articles when I launched this blog. What I know is that one is really passionate about something, sooner or later he will feel the need for sharing his experiences with others. For the time being, you can start writing about games on your own if you like… You might end up capturing his interest. 😉
      Thanks again for your appreciation, please stay tuned for more Retro Stories!

      Reply

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