15 Years of X-Box
It’s been 15 years since the original X-Box was released and I still remember the day I got mine. Recollecting the story only makes me feel old but it’s not about me today, today is about nostalgia.
It was Christmas Day and I had just gotten dropped off at my dad’s house. My parents were divorced so every Christmas would alternate with who I would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with. I was still playing with my G.I. Joe action figures in the car but quickly stuffed them in my book bag as the car approached my dad’s house. I raced in the house and, like every kid, I completely ignored the breakfast that was on the table and sprinted to the Christmas tree in the living room. I was in my baseball phase at the time so I think I slid in front of the tree, not even realizing there were family members I had never met sitting on the sofa on the other side of the room. IT’S CHRISTMAS, PEOPLE! GET EXCITED!
I never asked for much, but I remembered what I wrote down on my ‘Christmas list’ and I only saw a few of the items I gave “Santa.” But there was a big box hidden behind the tree and it had my name smack in the center of it. “Yeah buddy!” What could it possibly be, though? “Baseball mitt, check. Basketball shorts (*shake the box*), check. Socks, didn’t ask for them, but, check. But what’s in that damn box?! It had my attention all through breakfast and all through the conversations with the family members I was meeting for the very first time. It was starting to mock me.
Fast-forward 45 minutes later and it’s time for presents. Baseball mitt, basketball shorts, and tee shirts. Check, check, and close enough. All the presents have been opened and I’m already punching the inside of my baseball glove as I’m catching imaginary ground balls all across the room. “You’re out, grandpa!” I had already completely forgotten about the big box behind the tree that had my attention all morning. Until, of course, my dad said I was forgetting something and my eyes lit up. The moment of truth was here.
I ripped off the wrapping paper and my jaw literally dropped.
See, this was a time where there was hardly any amount of advertising like there is today, there was no Twitter, there was no YouTube, nothing. The only time you really saw these kinds of things was when you went to an actual store and saw the big cardboard box in front of the sliding doors as you walked in. I always thought it was one of those things that we could never afford so anytime my dad would go in Best Buy, I would race to the video games as he walked through the TV aisles and that was the extent of the relationship with me and “the X-Box.”
I only had a Super Nintendo and a Game Boy that I bought with my own money at the time, so the technology that was in the X-Box was amazing to me, although it seems laughable now. I can’t tell you the amount of times my dad would walk in my room while I was playing NCAA Football 2002 and ask, “Who’s playing?” Or the amount of times I was playing Halo and he would ask, “What movie are you watching?” That’s how real it seemed at the time. 15 years later and it still seems incredible.
Matter of fact, let’s blow the dust off this old thing and see if I still got it…