My sister-in-law really surprises me sometimes.
She’s 15 years old, born around three months after the Nintendo 64 launched in North America. She doesn’t remember the “good old days” of gaming because she was too busy spitting up and pooping in diapers.
She grew up with my wife to look up to, though, so she definitely enjoys video games. While most kids her age only care about what’s new and bemoan anything that’s not in HD, she’s different. While she can’t remember the good old days, she definitely has an appreciation for them.
A couple of years ago Christina sat her down in front of EarthBound for her first experience with an RPG. She needed help to get through it, but she still really enjoyed it. I remember seeing her in the kitchen with a giant piece of paper scrawled out in front of her while she drew a picture of the Chosen Four and feeling a big grin make its way to my face.
I have a younger sister myself, two years younger than me, but she was never really into video games. I love her very much, of course, and I still have a lot of “older brother” instincts. As a result I still feel a lot of big brother pride in my sister-in-law, especially since she shares so many interests with us.
Anyway, Theatrhythm got Christina and me pretty nostalgic for Final Fantasy VII, so we hooked the original PlayStation up to our retro station and decided to play through it together. We decided to invite her sister to play it with us, since she had never played a Final Fantasy game before and had expressed interest in seeing what it was all about.
She asked a lot of questions about what was going on and how to play the first time we sat down, a good indicator of interest from a teenager. I knew she liked it, but it wasn’t until the series of text messages asking when we were going to play again and when she could come hang out that I knew she REALLY liked it.
It’s just really cool to see someone of the younger generation still able to appreciate older games that were before their time. I remember sitting down to watch the Advent Children movie with someone who had never played the game before, so I started up the “Reminisce of Final Fantasy VII” feature to fill him in and he kept complaining about how ugly it was and to just skip to the actual movie. And this was someone my age, who had grown up with a PlayStation!
She doesn’t care about the graphics. It doesn’t matter that Cloud’s hands look like giant hooves. She’s digging the music and wants to know more about the characters and the world. She’s having fun learning the Materia system and trudging through random battles.
I couldn’t be prouder!