I’ll Always Be A Bit Retro

Game Boy Advance SP Watercolor - Day 31

When I was a kid back in the late 70’s, I was thrilled to get my first console game system called an Atari 2600. By the 80’s, I was even more thrilled to have a Nintendo console gaming system. Then I was suddenly an adult, out of college, and started seeing cool new portable game systems appear. My advanced age didn’t stop me from getting a Sega Game Gear for Christmas back in the early 90’s. By the turn of the century, a phrase that I guess now means 2000 and beyond, I was still fascinated by the idea of holding a video game in my hands. In 2003, four years before the world would ever see an iPhone, Nintendo released the Game Boy Advance SP, which just looked really cool so I had to have one. It was awesome, compact, and mine was silver. As for the games, Mario Kart was, and still is, my favorite video game of all time. You get to race around various tracks while shooting turtle shells and other items at your opponents to slow them down. It’s non-violent and incredibly cute, so I adored it. I still have this game system and Philippe pulled it back out to play recently, enjoying a brief little trip back in time. But, today, of course, our phones are capable of playing all types of games at a resolution that would have seemed impossible back in those days.

The year after I was born, the popular game Pong was released and the first console gaming system, the Magnavox Odyssey. So video games and I sort of grew up together. At the same time, personal computers were also entering the scene when I was a kid, but truly took stride in the 80’s. I still remember my Commodore 64 computer that I thought was the most amazing thing in the world, only to be opaqued by the Commodore 128 a few years later. Soon, of course, the 90’s would bring the World Wide Web and everything would change once again. Looking back, I adore the time period that I grew up in because I was precisely the right age to enjoy each new thing as it happened. And while insanely new things were appearing every couple of years, these days things have slowed down a bit. Smartphones are mature devices that don’t really come with anything incredibly new or world-changing when a new one is released. I finally upgraded my phone after four years of using my previous one and was a bit underwhelmed by the difference.

And, today, I see many people much younger than I am who are fascinated by these older devices. I really can’t blame them. They were truly cool things to behold. While there’s no denying the convenience of things that can be grabbed virtually out of the sky, there’s still something alluring about things that are actually tangible. A game or record that comes with colorful packaging that you can hold in your hands. So, I’m quite happy that I had the chance to watch technology grow up. It makes me much more appreciative of all of the advancements that have happened over the years. Tonight, we will be going with friends to enjoy an unusual performance by the Kansas City Symphony where we’ll watch the very first Star Wars movie from 1977 while they perform the soundtrack live. My favorite movie from childhood combined with a live musical performance that echoes the days of silent films, decades before I was born. Sounds like the perfect combination to me! Though change is exciting and new technology will always spark my curiosity, the past is rich with all of the stories that brought us to this point. That’s why, no matter what new thing comes along, I’ll always be a bit retro.

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Game Boy Advance SP Watercolor Sketchbook - Day 31

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    I sort of missed the video game invasion somehow, and I still use a flip phone from when it was amazing that it actually had a camera. I’m to cheap to pay for a more advanced one – that money is all aimed at art supplies! I’d sure love going to that Kansas City Symphony though. That sounds amazing!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Hehe… yeah, I think art supplies are definitely the best investment we could ever make! 😃💕While a smartphone is definitely helpful with my blog while traveling, I really just use it to play games! lol And the Star Wars Symphony night was awesome!! We had a blast!

      • Ogreatgames.com 4 years ago

        Wonderful post Charlie! I feel you about smartphones. I use it for communication but sometimes end up turning it into a handheld game console, especially when I’m commuting. Like you, I also love retro games. In fact, I’m glad that there are mobile Mario games now.

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

          Yeah, I still adore those retro games. Something a bit cooler there that I can’t quite put my finger on. I just love them! 🙂

  2. Laura Hale 4 years ago

    So true! and Awesome Doodlewash!

  3. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Great job painting the game boy. My first computer was a Commodore 64 hand me down that I loved…at the time. The symphony should be wonderful!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yay!! So cool you had a Commodore 64 as well! I adored that thing! hehe… so many wonderful memories! And the symphony was sublime!

  4. Snehlata Maheshwari. 4 years ago

    Very true but i hardly grabbed these games.
    Excellent ddwash.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 hehe… I’m a bit of a geek as they say… so I’ve always loved video games.

  5. Lisa 4 years ago

    You’re about a decade younger than I am so even though I saw this stuff enter the world, it didn’t impact me as much. When I went to grad school we did our first computer searches and had to map out a plan because it cost a lot to be just fooling around on the web. 33 years later and the world is such a different place. I’m very glad I got to live in these times.

    The movie that I loved a lot, and still watch, is Jaws. Man verses nature and all that.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Yeah, I always seemed to be at the right age for whatever was coming out next. Even so… my college degree was Studio Art with an emphasis in computer graphics… those graphics left much to be desired! hehe And I love Jaws!! Would be great if the Symphony played the soundtrack along with that movie. I’d totally go!! 😃💕

  6. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    You just reminded me…I have been meaning to ask my son if he was keeping his Game Boy and games. I love this sketch, it looks just like it and it brings back many memories. Memories of my son. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      That’s awesome! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled this brought back good memories for you! And I hope he keeps them. I think we’re all going to miss these tangible items in the future.

  7. Placid Painting 4 years ago

    This really sparked an old love for gaming devices😃 For me Gameboy color will always have a special place in my heart. The first pokémon games were the greatest part of our recess in primary school ☺

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Yay! Glad this sparked great memories! 😃💕 Yeah… I love these devices… they were just so cool. I was a bit too old I think to ever get into Pokémon, but Philippe loved it!

  8. henatayeb 4 years ago

    That looks great!

  9. memadtwo 4 years ago

    I still see people with their Gameboys on the subway from time to time. My daughter still has hers! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      That’s awesome, Kerfe! 😃💕 I thought about selling mine, but I just couldn’t part with it. Too must nostalgia there!

  10. Jacob 4 years ago

    That looks great! I remember the GameBoy Advance very well as my best friend had one (though not the snazzy SP version). We didn’t have many handhelds, but my sister’s Master System and my PS2 and Xbox 360 are enjoying a well-earned retirement together in the drawer beside me. I still play the old classics frequently – maybe not E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, but plenty of others! <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I had to have the snazzy version. lol And then I had Nintendo Wii before I ever had a grown up console. Now we have a PS4 and Xbox One, but don’t play as much as we used to. I still remember loving E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on my Atari 2600!! LOL But, I recently read that they put so much money into it and it bombed that it contributed to their fall. 😊 I still thought it was cool!

      • Jacob 4 years ago

        Haha, I remember having a go at E.T. when you mentioned it a while back. It was… an experience, for sure. Didn’t they bury copies of that game? An endorsement if ever there was one! 😉

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

          haha… yeah, it was sort of buried… but I thought it was cool! Philippe still thinks the movie is terrifying and doesn’t like it at all. 😊

  11. suburbantimewaster 4 years ago

    My first video game system was the Sega Genesis and I remember growing up with video game culture, even if I had an out with the old in with the new attitude when I was growing up.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Very cool! 😃 Yeah, I’ve always loved video games. My brother managed an arcade when I was young so I got to play them there for free. It was a blast!

  12. smzang 4 years ago

    I have read this article several times. It means so much to me. I have started to reply
    several times and it always grew so long that I just deleted it. The short version is,
    I still have my son’s first computer. It is a Vic 20 which was the predecessor of the
    Commodore 64. I also have his Atari and some of the cartridges. Your article brought
    back so many cherished memories. Thank you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Aww that’s awesome, Sarah! 😃💕 I remember the Vic 20 as well! I love all of those gadgets… they made magic happen and I was impressed each time. These days, it’s much harder to be impressed… it’s sort of expected. Back then, we were living through the time of real magic.

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