That 8 Bit Life

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July 15, 2013 by NowhereButPop

By Khalid Bennett

I was born in 1989. You can say that people born on this year or around this year are part of the video game generation. At that point in time, NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was probably the most popular video game console.

Growing up, I had four video game consoles. I have probably owned at least 20 games. I don’t know the actual count but that’s not the point. Video games have been a big part of my generation. I wouldn’t say that I love playing video games but I do like playing them from time to time when I have my free time. When I’m into my video games, I really concentrate on them and focus on nothing else at the time.

But what is it about video games that I like so much?

It has to be the gameplay, right? Well, not exactly. I never really focus on the gameplay. I just liked playing it. It was when I got a lot older when I focused more on gameplay and actually beating the games.

What about the franchises? I had all Nintendo consoles. Most of my games were part of the Mario universe.

Let me ask you this. What’s the first thing you think about when Mario is mentioned? For me, it’s the music. It’s that 8-bit song that everyone likes, knows, and can be very addicting in your head.

Yes readers, I love video game music.

Not only do I love it, I appreciate it probably more than other genres of music; or at least singles that have become very popular throughout the years. I pretty much listen to video game music almost every day.

Let’s check out some stats and numbers.

According to my iPod, I have 15 video game soundtracks. I have a total of 255 songs that I consider game music. I have about 10 songs that are part of the 100 most played; the most having 39 plays.

My soundtracks include Diddy Kong Racing, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. My favorite soundtrack to play, so far, has been Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I like Super Smash Bros. Brawl because of the variety of music. If you don’t know about this game, it’s a fighting game that consists of characters from many Nintendo franchises. The music from this game features songs from franchises including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Kirby, Yoshi, and even Sonic the Hedgehog. It makes me appreciate how Nintendo has come a long way. I have basically only owned Mario games and some Sonic games. I always like the music from those franchises. I never really listened to the music of other franchises and Brawl lets me do that.

A lot of people don’t understand my appreciation for video game music. I will play it loud on the train without a care in the world. I will go to the options part of the game and take out the sound effects and just have the music on so I can enjoy the music while playing the video games. I honestly feel like the video game music I listen to is much more pleasing than some of the crap I hear on the radio every day. It can be very relaxing and even soothing. It sometimes can be nostalgic.

As a piano player, I actually play video game music and I think I can play it probably better than other songs that I’ve played.

There is something about video game music that I love so much that I can’t really explain it. Maybe writing this article can elaborate it more but I don’t think it can. You just have to walk a mile in my shoes to understand why I appreciate video game music. Does it remind me of someone or something? Do I pay attention to the actual rhythms and melodies and instruments of the song? Do I play the song? Or does it make me into a little kid again?

Just beware that when you see me with my headphones on, it’s game over. No literally, it’s the game over song from some game.

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