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My Favorite Video Game Essay

The Toy Fair is in full swing in New York City, a big event in which manufacturers unveil new and soon-to-be-released toys and games. Do you play games now? Did you play when you were younger? What are some of your favorites?

In “No Dice, No Money, No Cheating. Are You Sure This Is Monopoly?” Stephanie Clifford writes about a new version of Monopoly, which is on display at the Toy Fair:

It is the classic Monopoly board on the outside, with the familiar railroads like the B.& O. and the development of property. But in the center, instead of dice and Chance and Community Chest cards, an infrared tower with a speaker issues instructions, keeps track of money and makes sure that players adhere to the rules. The all-knowing tower even watches over advancing the proper number of spaces.

Hasbro hopes that the computerized Monopoly will appeal to a generation raised on video games amid a tough market for traditional board games, a category where sales declined 9 percent in 2010, according to the market research firm NPD Group. “How do we give them the video game and the board game with the social experience? That’s where Monopoly Live came in,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, global brand leader for Monopoly.

With free digital games everywhere, Hasbro is hoping to revive interest among young children and preteenagers in several of its games that cost money. (The new Monopoly, available in the fall, will be about $50.) Battleship will undergo a similar digital upgrade this year, and other Hasbro games will be redesigned for 2012 and 2013, Ms. Ritson-Parsons said.

Students: Tell us about your memories of playing games — whether board, computer, video or schoolyard classics like tag and hide-and-seek. Who do or did you typically play with? Why are those games so much fun and so memorable? What games do you play now? Do you have game apps on your phone? How much time do you spend “gaming”? Has your game playing ever gotten in the way of schoolwork, family time or spending time with friends?


Students 13 and older are invited to comment below. Please use only your first name. For privacy policy reasons, we will not publish student comments that include a last name.

Teachers: Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of our question-and-answer feature with James Paul Gee, an expert on how video games fit within an overall theory of learning and literacy.

Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.

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 playing the game its 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.

M., 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.  Pretty scary stuff for the video game naysayers at the time I would believe!

-8bitsteve

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