Fathers pull their inspiration from weird places. Some of them pull it out of their own father’s teachings. Some of them pull it out of necessity and learn on the fly. But what indisputably prepares you for fatherhood the most is video games.

Old NES games, specifically. Look, that console had two buttons. TWO. There was no dual-stick move-and-look. There was no rocket-jumping. You didn’t get a gun and a melee attack. You got JUMP and SHOOT. If you were incredibly lucky, and you usually weren’t, you could use a second weapon or skill by holding B while pressing A.

The games were brutally tough, unfair, and unrewarding. And all of that hardship prepared a generation of boys for fatherhood.

NES Games That Prepared Me for Fatherhood

Some fathers say that it’s heartbreaking to have to tell their kids “no.” Some say that it’s difficult to see them cry when they drop them off a school or daycare. Did these dads ever play NES games?

I’m sorry, but these old Nintendo games put your life into perspective more than any daddy-guide baby shower gift ever could.

1. Ghosts N Goblins (Capcom – 1986)

Ghosts N Goblins
When my son and I are playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl and he’s telling me he can’t beat a guy, I’m like “dude, you never had to beat Ghosts N Goblins, did you?” Of course he hasn’t. Kids are soft these days. They don’t play games where you’re up against a legion of bad guys and all you’ve got is two hits. The first one knocks your clothes off, so now you’re also emotionally vulnerable, and the second one kills you. And if you manage to beat the game (which you won’t) you just start over and the game’s harder.

Whenever I’m faced with a tough decision in parenting, I just think: “dude, you played Ghosts N Goblins, you can do this.” Did I ever beat Ghosts N Goblins? Hell no. I didn’t have that kind of time, even as a kid, even with the issue of Nintendo Power with the map in it.