As a younger sibling, my older sister always seemed so cool when I was growing up. I wanted to do the things she and her friends were doing, like playing with dolls and trying to do make-up when we were way too young to attempt it. We bonded over these experiences, and continue to today. Susie Francy, senior psychology major and music minor, bonded with her older brother through playing video games.
When Francy was six years old and her brother was seven, they would play “Super Mario World” for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. “[‘Super Mario World’] was one of the first video games we played on the Super Nintendo … It was a cool little thing we could do together because we did not have that much in common,” Francy explained.
Francy said the timeless quality of “Super Mario World” was important in its continued value in her and her older brother’s enjoyment of the video game. Previously, she had tried the video game “Killer Instinct,” a fighting video game for the Super Nintendo.
Like most fighting video games on Super Nintendo though, it got boring after playing it a few times, as there was little variation between the fighters. “Super Mario World,” in contrast, is a video game with tons of variation between the levels. With its diverse set of worlds and features and easy to understand controls, Francy and her brother were able to both play without one having an advantage in skill over the other.
The same cannot be said for the video game “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3,” which is a game Francy was better at than her brother. Francy’s older brother got into skating and, as another way to connect with him, Francy would play “Pro Skater 3” with him. This is another timeless video game with lots of intricate level designs. At the time, she also enjoyed the escapism the world allowed by letting you skate in locations around the world. While Francy was not a skater in the real world and her brother was, she was by far the better skater in the world of “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3.”
When Francy turned nine, however, a rift began to form between her and her older brother. As she explained, “He got into the older brother phase where he did not want to hang out with his young sister,” as older siblings tend to do. Mine also did this when she turned ten. What is up with older siblings becoming hooligans when they turn ten?
This rift led to Francy getting into the “Sonic the Hedgehog” franchise. The fast-paced platformers of Mr. Needlemouse — Sonic the Hedgehog’s original character name — would lead to long play sessions for Francy when she would come home from school.
At Lawrence, Francy got into the “Super Smash Brothers” franchise, as it provided the community aspect of video games she enjoyed as a kid. Lawrence’s “Super Smash Brothers” community provides an easy way to join matches and an atmosphere of growth that allows players at any level to join and have fun.
When Francy goes home for the breaks though, she and her brother have nostalgia trips with these old video games they played over a decade ago. “Going back to these old games is always a nice way to spend the break,” Francy said. They dust off their old Super Nintendo and GameCube to play another world from “Super Mario World” or go head-to-head in “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3.” Francy still wins at the latter most of the time.