Teens (and Arya Stark!) React To The NES
YouTubers The Fine Bros. have created a bona fide hit on their hands with the Teens React series. The latest video in the series introduces 'Game of Thrones' star Maisie Williams and a group of teenagers to the godfather of the video game industry, the Nintendo Entertainment System.
For a generation that has grown up on HD graphics, 12-button controllers and digital distribution, being exposed to the NES is akin to a person who grew up with the NES being asked to play on an oscilloscope. Several of the young participants were entirely unfamiliar with the console, and some thought it might be a VCR of some sort. Once they were briefed on the console, they were asked about the games, and which they recognized. Super Mario Bros. was recognized by all the kids, but other famous games that have produced currently active franchises, like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, were unfamiliar to several of the teens.
After a valuable lesson on the importance of blowing on NES games to get them to work, the kids played a quick round of Super Mario Bros. If there’s one thing to be learned from this video, it’s that modern games have spoiled kids, and as a result, they all suck at 2d platformers. At least half of the participants, including Maisie Williams, were killed by the first Goomba on World 1-1, and several didn’t finish the first level in three lives. Even the kids who did finish were okay with landing on the lower part of the flagpole, though one gamer who says she plays SMB often ran the course well, ducking into a secret zone and hitting the top of the pole at the end.
Overall, the kids’ impression of the NES was mixed; one girl liked the simplicity of the controller, while another teen calls it “outdated,” and suggests we “move on.” Universally, though, the teens seem to understand and appreciate the important place the NES holds in the history of gaming. When asked at the end if the NES was a superior machine to modern game consoles, the vote was unanimously “no.” though one participant noted that owning it would grant a teenager the “highest hipster status ever known.” Great; my childhood is now a kitschy accessory.