UNITED STATES—This weekend I had a few hours to myself and with that time I decided I wanted to play some old school gaming. It is no secret that I’ve touted my skills as a gamer. When I was a kid, I was the best of the best. As an adult, I’m starting to question my abilities. I mean my memory is still sharp, but I’ve discovered there are some games where my skill set has diminished greatly.

I would like to call myself a patient gamer; I don’t get angry or lose my composure for the most part. However, this weekend I did find myself unnerved to say the least. Let me paint this picture so you have a better understanding. I was playing Super Mario World for the SNES Classic. I tell people time and time again, that Super Mario World is not as easy a game as people suspect. There are some stages in this game that are downright brutal when it comes to gameplay; you have to be skilled and you have to have patience.

As you venture through the seven worlds, each world becomes progressively harder, with a variety of secrets and alternate endings. Of course there are cheats, but I’m not one to rely on cheats to get ahead. Even more frustrating is the fact that I’m someone who hates when things are unfinished. If I’m playing a game, I have to have things complete; if something is uncomplete, it leaves me rattled and anxious. After losing over and over and over, I just had to take a break.

I started to question my ability and ask the age old question: has the gamer been out-gamed? The answer to that question is no. The one thing I’ve discovered is that my memory is sharper for some games more than others. Why/ I guess it would be the fact that I played some games for hours end as a kid. I wish I had that time as an adult, but I don’t. If you factor in school, work and my personal life, I’m lucky if I can finagle 2-3 hours at most.

There are people who have argued that gaming is the death of kids, and I refute that claim. Yes, kids are prone to not be outdoors as much as they have been in the past. However, the one thing I thoroughly appreciate about video games is that it causes you to think. When you think you used your brain, that brainpower translates to improving your memory. There is no greater feeling than being victorious at one of your favorite games where it was no easy feat to accomplish to begin with.

The best rule of thumb I can give to anyone out there who truly considers themselves to be gamers is to not allow the game to outplay you. That may be easier said than done, but it all comes down to preparation, relaxation and confidence.

Written By Kelsey Thomas