My name is Kris, and I am a Nintendo fanatic. When I was younger, I missed the opportunity to compete in the 1990 Nintendo World Championships. I was always sad that I couldn’t make it out to California to test my mettle against the best of the best, but as fate would have it, I’m being given a second chance.
After a 25 years, Nintendo is bringing back the Nintendo World Championships, and I’m going to be there! It starts with the qualifying round, which will be taking place at several Best Buys across the country. I’ve found my “local” store (2.5 hour drive hardly qualifies as local, but whatever…) and have made plans to go to the event and put my quarters on the board, so to speak.
Back in 1990, Nintendo really was a cultural phenomenon. If you were a kid, chances are you thought Nintendo games were cool. Things really hit a fever pitch with the release of Super Mario Bros. 3. For most of us, myself included, our first glimpse of the game came in the climactic final scenes of The Wizard, an especially cheesy, yet nostalgically brilliant movie about a kid traveling across the country to compete in the Nintendo Championships. Objectively speaking, this isn’t what most would call a “good” movie. However, it was exactly what a kid like me wanted to see at the time. It seemed to take place in a parallel universe where Nintendo games had permeated American culture the same way arcade games had in the 70’s and 80’s. There were arcade cabinets playing NES games at truck stops, diners, and everywhere else you could think of, and there were always people playing them. People took their NES consoles with them on road trips and hooked them up to whatever TVs were around. There was even a full arcade on a casino floor, complete with kids walking around selling candy and snacks the way vendors sell cigars and drinks at a normal casino (or at least a fictional movie casino). I wanted to be in that world. And I wanted to compete in the Championships.
Alas, I never did get my chance. I didn’t even know they were a real thing until after they had happened, but once I did, I was so very jealous of everyone who went. Then, a few days ago Nintendo announced via a very amusing YouTube video that they are hosting the event again before E3 this year, and I was a kid again. Except this time, I’m an adult, and I have a car. I’ve been doing all sorts of training in preparation for the event, and I’m chronicling my journey on our social media outlets. You can follow me @GeekadeKris with the hashtag #RoadToNWC, or you can check check out our Facebook and Instagram pages. Will I succeed and make it to the finals? Probably not (there are some REEEEALLY good Dr. Mario players out there). Am I going to try my best anyway? You better believe it.
Wish me luck!