NES: The Best Investment My Parents Ever Made
When most people think of investments, they think of stocks, bonds, and maybe those gold coins your grandpa gave you when you turned 18. I like a broader definition of an investment that includes not only financial vehicles, but timesavings and relationships as well.
In those terms, the best investment decision my parents ever made was the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I can still vividly remember finding the box hidden behind a ratty old couch in our basement (Santa always hid the best presents there) at Christmas in ‘88. I don’t know if you’re able to remember memories at age 4, but gosh darn it I remember finding that Nintendo. I don’t think I stopped screaming for joy for at least an hour.
Playing The Classics: Bull Charge!
Over the next 3-4 years my brothers and I spent countless hours playing classics like Duck Hunt/Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda (still my favorite game of all time), and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (I was a master at defeating the Bull Charge of Bald Bull!).
The thing was, when one of my brothers was playing Nintendo, it was very likely that the other two of us were watching or playing together. This gave my parents all kinds of free time that they would have never enjoyed otherwise. Over the years, my parents would occasionally get us new games. I’d guess their final “investment” was around $600. $600 for at least 4 years of distraction for three young boys? Priceless.
And no, my brothers and I didn’t waste away playing video games our whole lives. I do think, however, that they played a healthy role in our childhood. In fact, all three of us ended up as three-sport varsity athletes in high school. I like to think some of that has to do with the hand-eye coordination we learned from Metroid and Excitebike.
How Much Time Did The NES Save My Parents?
Assuming a conservative estimate of 3 hours of gameplay each week for 3 years by each of my brothers and I, that’s 9 hours a week, 36 hours a month, 432 hours a year. Now assuming at least one brother was watching the other play, lets double that. So, 864 hours of diversion a year for my parents.
2,592 diversion hours over a three-year period. Wow.
So just in terms of diversion hours, the payoff from that initial NES investment is huge. Not to mention the fact that my father would often play with us as well, resulting in all kinds of great memories. Maybe my parents never realized it, but that Nintendo was the best “investment” they ever made.
Need a game console? Get a P2P loan on Lending Club and start making new memories with your own family. ☺
Thursday, November 29th, 2007 at 9:59 am