As another weekly entry to the blog I thought I would discuss something that was considered evil and satanic by all or some of the people that we attended church with over the years. For my first entry I will discuss something that affected me greatly, at the time. In fact I’m still a bit upset about this.
Being a child of the 1980’s, nothing was better than the new video games that were coming out. The Nintendo Entertainment System was a beast for its time. Sporting amazing 8 bit graphics and a huge library of games, the NES was the key status symbol of children in that time. Today the graphics seem awful but some of the games are still playable and fun even today.
One of the best games on the console was “The Legend of Zelda.” Playing the heroic link, fighting hordes of enemies on your epic journey to defeat the evil Ganon and save the princess Zelda. Fighting dragons, skeletons, piggish guards, the ability to save your game, and the non-linear gameplay made the game something special and very different for that time.
I begged my parents to get me the game but having been told that the game contained magic, my mother was completely against the title. Any form of magic was considered witchcraft in the pentecostal world and any amount of witchcraft, for the young mind, would lead the child to satanic worship and hellfire. There was very little chance that I would ever get my hands on this game.
Luckily though, I had an older cousin who owned the game and for some reason he had grown bored with video games. One day at his house he asked me if I wanted his NES collection and I nearly passed out from the feeling of delight. Within his collection sat the holy grail of video game titles. The golden cartridge edition of “The Legend of Zelda,” mint and still including its box and instruction manual. I think I nearly cried holding that title in my hands.
Knowing that the title was forbidden in my home, I would wait until I knew everyone was asleep or out of the house to play the title. My brother was in on the plot and would take turns with me playing the title. The game was just as good as I had always hoped it would be and I was completely enthralled with the experience of roaming the land of Hyrule on my quest to save the princess Zelda. The experience was short-lived…
Coming home from school one day, my brother and I ran up the stairs to our room to find that my mother had cleaned our rooms that day. Panic struck and I searched through my game titles. It was gone, along with every other title that might contain even the slightest bit of magic. With a broken heart, I begged my mother to return the games only to find that while we had been at school, she had found the titles, broken them and then burned them in the backyard. I was then told that I would thank her one day for saving me from the evils of witchcraft…I still haven’t done so.
My video game collection today includes a gold copy of “The Legend of Zelda.” It’s one of my most prized possessions. Strangely enough though, I have no compulsion to worship Satan or practice witchcraft. It is simply a fun game, with an easy to follow story, that was one of the best parts of the 1980’s for a child my age. An experience robbed from me, due to fundamentalist faith and fear.