Always a legend

Kelly Skahan

Whether it’s a Nintendo DS in Stanford or an Xbox hooked up in Farley, all sorts of video game consoles are on campus, and students aren’t shy about one of their favorite pastimes.

“Currently, I have N64, GameCube and PS2,” junior Martha Runkle says. “But at one point in my life, I also had NES.”

While it’s true that a lot of ‘Nova students have access to the latest and greatest in video game technology, it’s the older consoles to which they seem to be most attached.

“If you want nostalgia, N64 is the way to go,” freshman Matt Dubay says in reference to Nintendo 64, the first 64-bit system available that was released in 1996. It’s this system that most students relate to the best.

“Of course I got in trouble for playing too much,” Dubay adds. “I was a kid and my parents thought I needed to do other stuff.”

Runkle had similar problems with her Nintendo. Fond of the N64 game “Goldeneye,” based on the James Bond film of the same name, she would often become involved to the point of frustration.

“The only bad thing was that sometimes my anger took over, and if I couldn’t beat a level, I might throw the controller,” he says. “I almost broke a PlayStation doing so.”

A childhood favorite, Super Nintendo Entertainment System came earlier in the video game chronology.

“Super NES really introduced Zelda in ‘A Link to the Past,’ which happens to be my favorite game of all time,” freshman Dan Gelwicks says.

“It was one of the first adventure games that you never wanted to stop playing, and could keep playing over and over again. In ‘Mario Brothers’ you go to a level, beat it, and play the next level. In ‘Zelda’ you travel around, go the way you want, and there’s more to figure out than just beating levels.”

Some Villanovans go even further back to the original 1985-released Nintendo Entertainment System when recounting their first video games. Many students recall spending hours as kids playing the original “Super Mario Brothers” and “Donkey Kong Jr.”

By far the most popular old-school video game is “Duck Hunt.”

“When I was little I had the game where you shoot at the ducks,” freshman Sarah Beck says. “I loved ‘Duck Hunt.’ It made my life. That game was amazing.”

While it’s true that today’s video games are much more advanced and involved than the systems of the ’90s, it’s often true that newer isn’t necessarily better. Students often prefer playing older games because they bring them back to grade-school days when papers, finals and resumes never crossed their minds.

“You grew up with them,” freshman Katie Grasing says. “You’ll always love them because playing them reminds you of more carefree days.”