Saturday, 14 January 2012

Gaming Memories

Daniel Department Store; The introduction of Nintendo (Part 1)


For my first post, I thought I 'd share a short story of my first experience with the Games Industry....

In 1988, I was so enthralled with Tamiya RC Buggies and Video Games, especially with the Nes, PC Engine and Megadrive.  My young life pretty much involved the aforementioned interests and Hip Hop, but something happened that year that opened my eyes to an exciting aspect of gaming; The 1988 Nintendo Summer Tour.

Friends and I used to socialise after school at my local Department Store (Radio Control section).  One afternoon, I was conversing with one of the sales assistant's there; (Jo) and she mentioned to me that a representative from Nintendo had visited the RC Department.  She also told me that her Manager negotiated a deal for the store to become an official Nintendo retail supplier.  The delight of hearing this news was very exciting, furthermore she informed me that they would be stocking the entire range of Nintendo products.  Well, I went back home that afternoon with a huge smile on my face knowing that very soon I could choose from an array of games and accessories for my Nes. In my experience, Department Stores as opposed to normal retail shops always stocked a vast range of specific products, so I thought it was inevitable they would have 'Game Kiosks' for demo plays, similar to what I had seen at stores in New York.

With eager anticipation and some patients, Nintendo had finally arrived at the store, just after a few weeks of the announcement.  It was a Saturday morning and I was in the store drooling over a fantastic display of the Zelda series and testing out new peripherals (Nes Advantage/Nes Max) etc, when suddenly I noticed something large in 'red' walking in my peripheral vision.  When I turned around I saw MARIO!!  Well a guy in a costume of Mario.  It was a surprise I must admit.  

My friend Paul with Mario
Just after Mario had arrived, a fleet of people came in wearing Nintendo caps and sweaters, they were handing out flyers, brochures and other goodies.  I was given a goodie bag which contained, posters, badges, Nintendo T-Shirt and a product brochure.  Amongst (what seemed) the hundreds of kids that suddenly appeared from nowhere trying to get to Mario, I noticed white units being carted outside.  I then realised from the side of these unites that they were actually Gaming Rigs, I went outside as curiosity got the better of me and saw a Demo area being set-up.

One of the Game Rigs
Rik AKA "Mr Nintendo" with Mario
I then spent most of the day outside with the guys from Nintendo, and managed to hone my skills playing Salamander and Super Mario Brothers 2.  I had such a great time with everybody, and totally enjoyed the experience as well as the social element.  These type of events are really great for interacting with people and making new friends.  
Jo and that Guy!
The day ended on a high for me, as well as having a fantastic day.  I made new friends but most importantly got to know one of the Managers from the store.  He knew I was a regular customer because Jo and Paul had mentioned my name to him in the past, as I previously inquired about doing work experience on the Department during my final year of my GCSEs. 

Rik and Jo with that Guy in the suit 

Well, I got my work experience placement and then got offered a Part-Time job In 1990 when I turned 16, I naturally accepted and spent 6 years working there during my academic studies-happy days!!

Cheers Mario!!

Part 2 coming soon; The arrival of the NES Game Kiosks and M82 Game Unit

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