Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the Nintendo Famicom, aka Nintendo Entertainment System.

Back in the day, everyone was playing Nintendo. Remember Super Mario Bros.? Friends and strangers alike would brag about high scores, share the tricks they used to access secret levels or what bricks to hit for the mushroom or stars (commonly referred to as a power-up).

Then came even better games like Blades of Steel, Ninja Gaiden, Contra, and The Legend of Zelda.

What I remember most about NES was the very rectangular and uncomfortable controllers. There wasn’t anything ergonomic about the simple two button and one direction pad device. Many times your thumb would blow out long before you could kill the last Boss.

Despite the pain, both physical and emotional (ever try jumping to the top of the castle 34 times in a row?), the Nintendo provided hundreds of hours of entertainment.

I have to admit that I spent way more time in front of my Super Nintendo (SNES) but it was that little $99 wonder, with the 8-bit blocky graphics and quirky MIDI sound files that helped drive a love for gaming and lust for conquering the next level, killing terrorists, or initiating a bloody fight during a power play.

Happy Anniversary.