ANASTASIA MONTAVON, AUSTIN VAN PAY, BENJAMIN K. PAPLHAM, SAMANTHA KOLB, ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNISTS
Anastasia: “Zoo Tycoon”
I remember when I was introduced to “Zoo Tycoon”during first grade show-and-tell. A kid named Aaron brought in his copy, and I knew I had to have it. I got it for Christmas a few months later, and it changed my life. This was the first video game I spent hours upon hours playing. Ultimately, the game led to my love of both computers and video games. I can’t exactly prove it, but I’m pretty sure this game is what set off the chain of events that led to me wanting to go into computer science. Unfortunately, my old PC destroyed my disc for the expansion packs many years ago, and I haven’t really played it since. Hopefully, one day it will be released on Steam, so I can spend more hours reliving my childhood.
Austin: Xbox 360
I remember it like it was yesterday. I woke up Christmas morning back in 2005, hoping that Santa had left me the most wanted gift of the season, an Xbox 360. Of course, Santa provided and I almost burst into tears when I finally got my very own game console. This gift was so memorable because I had always loved video games growing up, and it was a dream to have my very own game console. Through the years, I would play my dad’s Sega, my brother’s Nintendo 64 and my friend’s PlayStation, but they were never mine. Finally, the Xbox 360 came into my life, and gaming has become something I love. If I hadn’t opened that Xbox 360 back in Christmas of 2005, I may have never continued to call gaming my passion like it is today.
Ben: “Lemmings Revolution”
This was a Christmas gift that infuriated me. I loved it, but it hurt my brain like no other game ever has. “Lemmings Revolution”was a PC puzzle computer game from the early 2000s. You had to guide lemmings through a labyrinth using eight actions: climb, float, bomb, block, build, bash, mine and dig. The objective was to reach the “exit,”a hot-air balloon that floated off either when you won or all your cute lemmings died in bloody and noisy ways. There were 102 levels that got progressively harder, and if memory serves me right, my siblings and I managed to get through around 70. I have a lot of fond nostalgia for this game, and I still sometimes mimic the high-pitched “Yippee!”the lemmings would shout when they jumped into the balloon. Unfortunately, the game has never been updated to be compatible with newer technology, so I will never experience the joy of finally finishing it.
Samantha: Blossom the Doll
My most memorable gift as a child would have to be a doll I got when I was seven. I named her “Blossom”and she became a major part of my playtime routine. My best friend also had a baby doll and we would spend hours playing with them. I even brought Blossom to school with me a few times; recess was a blast. That became the focal point of what I wanted for other Christmases, mostly clothes and cradle-type things. I even remember throwing her a birthday party with my Easy-Bake oven! I had quite the imagination when I was little (still do, for the record).