I have a two year old daughter. She loves dolls, Peppa Pig, making cakes with Mummy and worst of all... Frozen. Oh come on, you know you hate it. But there's something else she loves.
By Matthew Romano - Twitter: @baldandboring
Something which resonates with each and every one of us gaming folk. Sonic the Hedgehog. Sitting as bold as brass in our living room, under our inappropriately large television, is my Sega Megadrive. An ode to a time long since passed.
A reminder of days when summer was always sunny and being granted ten extra minutes playing with your friends seemed like an eternity. Graphically inferior. Audibly archaic. A veritable cave dweller in relation to the modern day behemoths of the PS4 and Xbox One.
There is one reason and one reason alone why I own a Sega Megadrive. It makes me smile. A few days ago, I was having a sneaky stint on Sonic, trying to beat my Green Hill Zone Level One record time of 28 seconds. My daughter walked passed me and asked what I was doing. I told her I was playing Sonic. She looked briefly at the television before instructing me it was time to watch Peppa Pig. I dutifully complied. You have to pick your battles after all.
But yesterday, something happened. I have a drawer under the Megadrive. A man drawer full of wires and old games. She opened it, tossed aside World Cup Italia 90, picked up Sonic the Hedgehog, opened the box and ordered me to play it. For the next half hour, an unfathomable duration for a two year old to remain still, she sat and watched me play Sonic. She laughed when I lost a life and at one point she clapped when I defeated Dr Robotnik. She also cheered when I ran out of air whilst in Labyrinth Zone. Nasty child.
But the moment I'll remember most is the moment she looked at me with her big, chocolate button eyes and then shoved the cartridge in my face. Demanding I play it. We all collect games. We all love them. We all share an interest that to some, might seem childish. But what's wrong with being childish?
They are after all, the best years of our lives. Like I say, I do it for one reason. It makes me smile. But now I have another reason. It makes my daughter smile too.
Blog from Matthew Romano - follow Matthew on Twitter here: @baldandboring