Childhood is a mixed bag, but learning that someone blew up your room is not part of the usual agenda. I mean, trauma is normal, but that is usually subject to things like abuse, neglect, loads of pressure, getting bullied, and so much more. Well, I experienced those things, but I also lost my entire gaming collection and then some on a tragic day in 2001.
Happy 4th of July, American fans! This is that time my brother blew up my game consoles (among other things).
I was one of those lucky kids growing up that had a parent who enjoyed video games, so we always had video games in the house. Thankfully, my father was not greedy with his new toys, so we would all play together. The first console in our house was the original NES that came with the cartridge containing Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet, and it was an awesome get, as this package also came with the Zapper Light Gun and the Power Pad. Over the course of the NES’s life, we bought and collected the mass majority of the available games (Although that is not so impressive by today’s standards).
As soon as the Super Nintendo dropped, we were at Toys ‘R Us, and our Nintendo collection was beginning to grow. By the time I was in high school, we had amassed so many Nintendo products that our gaming room looked like a child’s dream room in so many ways, as we had every available console up to the Nintendo 64, including the Power Glove, Virtual Boy, Game Boy, and Game Boy Color. Naturally, we had a couple Game Boys for connectivity reasons, but once I got into high school, my father’s interest in gaming waned.
Up until my 10th grade year, my brother and I slept in the same room, but after lots of fights and inner-turmoil due mostly to hormones and the teenage existence, I decided to move all of my stuff to the gaming room and claim it and the Nintendo collection as my own. From that point on, high school was a pretty fun experience at home, as I constantly had friends over to play games and enjoy our massive collection.
Fast forward to my high school graduation, and although high school had its many, many problems for me, I always found solace in my gaming room. News of the GameCube had surfaced, and I was able to pick up a newly released Game Boy Advance to grow my collection. So I was preparing for my high school graduation, I was working a fun job with my parents, and my friends and I even had a goofy plan for the high school talent show that we spent months preparing for (That last bit is relevant).
One day while I was working, my mother answered the phone, and I was eavesdropping once I noticed that she was distraught. The amount of OH MY GODs that came out of her mouth concerned me, so I began to wonder, “What is going on? Did someone die?” Well, the news wasn’t that tragic, but it was pretty damn tragic for me, as she got off the phone, looked at me with so much worry in her eyes and said, “You have to promise me you won’t get mad.” Look, you cannot say that to a child and expect good results, but I “promised” and what she had to tell me was true words of horror for a kid like me.
“Your brother lit a bag of fireworks in your room… and… it’s all burned.”
My brother and I are roughly 4 years apart, so during my senior year he was a freshman in high school. We spent a lot of time together, including being on the wrestling team and both doing incredibly well. In many ways, my brother and I outgrew a lot of our earlier issues and things seemed okay…
Well, this began a new string of problems for me and my brother. What had happened was he and his best friend got their hands on a large bag of fireworks (Happy 4th of July, America!), and they brought it over to our house. Since the fireworks were in a factory sealed plastic bag, they needed to find a way to open it. Apparently scissors or even a knife were not at the front of their minds, so my brother’s friend pulled out his lighter and suggested they burn a corner and open it from there… in my room. I think you know where this is going now.
What succeeded was that a whole lot more than just the corner burned, because that simple light ended up lighting the entire bag on fire, igniting every single firework inside. My entertainment center, which housed all of our consoles, accessories, and games, was in the line of fire, but fireworks do not simply go straight. No. In a confined space, they bounce and ricochet as they burn anything and everything in their path.
Every single console, controller, and game was scorched. Nothing was repairable. But the torture did not end there, as my bed was burned, the floor was burned, and the walls and ceiling had burn marks. But remember that goofy plan for the high school talent show? Well, that was the next day, and I had my entire costume displayed on my bed. All of that hard work preparing that, and it was gone. We had nearly 20 years of Nintendo history in that room, and in a flash, it was all gone.
Restarting your gaming collection after something like that is painful, and even to this day, I try not to get too attached to my consoles, because this story does not quite end there. You see, 2001 was a rough year, and not only did I lose my wrestling scholarship because of an elbow injury, I lost my entire gaming collection as I graduated with no direction in sight. It didn’t help that 9/11/2001 happened a short couple months later, but once the GameCube released in November and I picked up my first one (First one), tragedy would strike once again.
My brother ended up stealing my GameCube and pawning it for some weed, and he ended up selling the GameCube to an undercover cop a mere month after I got it. This meant that my first GameCube was confiscated as evidence, and I never saw it again. I then had to buy another GameCube and protected it like my life depended on it. Since then, my gaming collection has grown again, and I still have that second GameCube.
But now that I have children of my own, I do worry a bit in the back of my mind that something may happen to my games and consoles when I am not around, so I am forever prepared for the worst when it comes to my gaming collection. It just took losing everything to get to this point… which is definitely not the healthiest route to take and I don’t recommend it.
(P.S. My brother and I are solid now! haha. This was all the product of immaturity and a lack of boundaries growing up. We are in a much better place now, that’s for sure.)
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link and enjoying this “That Time” article. What do you think of how my brother blew up my room? Are you shocked? Not at all? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.