Here’s the opening for the revised ANESthetized:
The Nintendo Entertainment System Catches My Attention
“I’m thinking of asking for a Nintendo for Christmas.”
That’s what I said to a group of my friends on the last recess of our sixth grade year. We were walking around the playground and talking. That is what we did during recess in those days. We never played. We were too old for that. We just walked and talked. On this last recess, we were talking about life beyond the summer break. That life seemed too distant to ever arrive, but we were talking about it anyway. And that’s when I said it. That’s when I said, “I’m thinking of asking for a Nintendo for Christmas.”
The Nintendo Entertainment System, a new home video game console whose name we were already shortening to Nintendo or NES, had been released in select American markets in the fall of 1985, but my friends and I on the west side of Columbus, Ohio didn’t learn about it until the spring of 1986. That’s when it started appearing in local stores and on weekday afternoon TV commercials. That’s also when I began thinking about asking my parents for one.
Just thinking about it? Yes. Just thinking about it. Modern kids don’t think about asking for the latest Nintendo console. They don’t need to. They know what Nintendo is and they know they want whatever console Nintendo makes. But it wasn’t that way back then. I didn’t know what a Nintendo Entertainment System was. I knew it was a home video game console, but I didn’t know what it or its games would be like. I didn’t even know what Nintendo was. I had never heard that name before. Yes, it was right there on the side of my local arcade’s Donkey Kong cabinet, but I hadn’t noticed it. Nintendo and its Entertainment System were complete unknowns, at least to me.
Not only so, but home video games were not popular at the time. Arcade video games were. I had been eagerly dropping quarters into every arcade cabinet I could find for years and was still doing so. But home video games were not. The luster had long since worn off the Atari 2600, which had been the reigning home console since 1977. It had also worn off the Atari 5200 and the Intellivision and the Colecovision and all the other home consoles. I wasn’t playing them as much as I once did. I wasn’t buying games for them. I wasn’t talking about them with my friends and they weren’t talking about them with me. Home video games were not a big part of our lives.
So I was just thinking of asking for a Nintendo. I wasn’t sure I was going to ask for one. I wasn’t sure I wanted one. But since there was nothing else in the department stores and toy shops that interested me, I was at least thinking about it. And I told my friends I was. That made me the first in our circle to say he was thinking of Nintendo. It may even have made me the first in our school.
As it turned out, I did ask for a Nintendo for Christmas. Did I do so because I had gotten more excited about it over the summer? Or was it because there was still nothing else that interested me? I don’t know. I just know that I asked for and got a Nintendo for Christmas 1986.
Or perhaps I should say Nintendo got me, because that’s what really happened. From the moment I pulled that Nintendo Entertainment System out of its wrapping paper, I was won over to Nintendo. In that instant I became Nintendo fan. At that moment I was aNESthetized. ANESthetized for life.
What was it that so aNESthetized me? What was it that won me over to Nintendo and made me such a Nintendo fan? Turn the page and I’ll show you.
Hope you liked the changes. The full book will be out soon!