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"Video Games Are My Hobby" : An Essay From a 12 Year Old In 1982

Things change, things stay the same. Video games are not just my hobby now, but they are my job as well. This is how I saw it 30 years a go.

My essay for Mr. Davis' 6th grade English class, March 22, 1982, Foster A, Begg, Junior High, Manhattan Beach, CA.

(text below)

Steve Fulton

3-22-1982

Essay

My favorite thing to do is play a video game. After school on Thursdays I run home, grab 10 dollars, and nag my mom to take me to the arcade.  When we get there, I jump out of the car and run into the arcade to change my money.

When my money is changed, I run over the nearest GALAGA machine and start to play.  What great fun it is to blast space ships out of the sky, and when it is over I slide another quarter in and play again.  The sounds and colors the game makes are crisp and real.

When your (sic) playing the game its(sic) like your mind goes blank and all you can see is your ship blasting other ships.  You usually play for about 5 hours, and when you finally leave you have a very bad headache and are dizzy.  You feel so bad that for the next 7 days your sick and on the 8th you recover and on that same day you go back to the arcade.

(end of essay)

First off , it's not even a proper essay.  Where are the 5 paragraphs and the conclusion? Slacker.  Secondly, The whole bit about having $10 and playing for 5 hours is a total fabrication. It was more like $2.00 and playing for 2 hours because they gave 8 tokens for a dollar at Castle Park in Redondo Beach on Thursdays.  I probably did not mention tokens at all because I did not think the teacher would understand.

Ms., Davis must have assigned an essay where we had to use the numbers 10,5,7 and 8 or something like that.  She also probably wanted us to describe an activity in detail. By the way, not every kid wrote about video games in those days.  In fact, I imagine I was going out on a limb with this essay because Ms. Davis could be fairly strict and straight-laced (as far as I recall).

The 3rd paragraph is the most interesting to me because it describes how my 12 year-old self felt when I was playing a video game.  Par for the course today, Pretty scary stuff for the video game naysayers at the time I would believe!  

I'm sure there are kids today who might write the exact same essay (substituting Xbox live and Minecraft for the arcade and Galaga of course).  The games, genres, platforms, and developers might chnage, but the feeling of wanting to to do nothing more than run home and play your favorite game, that feeling never goes away.

 

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