Welcome to Growing Up Geek, a feature where we take a look back at our youth, and tell stories of growing up to be the nerds that we are. This week, we have our very own Amol Koldhekar!
My childhood may have kicked off the 1990s, but I grew up surrounded by remnants of the 80s, like the Apple II that temporarily lived in my dad’s home office or the Nintendo Entertainment System that was originally my older sister’s console. I think all younger siblings of that era can identify with having to play as Luigi on Super Mario Bros. My sister eventually lost interest in her NES, so I took claim to it. While I had loads of fun playingExcitebike and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, I always spent an inordinate amount of time escaped in Duck Hunt while I was busy peering through the glass end of the NES gun, trying to see how it worked. Ironically, this curiosity may have impeded obtaining better devices early on — when my NES stopped working, I tinkered with its innards and somehow got it to work, negating the need for my parents to get me a Super Nintendo. As I grew older, I grew wiser, deeming the NES a lost cause in order to convince my parents to let me get a Nintendo 64 with birthday money. How amazing that the NES was soon repaired and still works!