Something I have to say I get wistfully nostalgic about as a gamer today is the brief time in my life that I experienced pre-internet. As a kid born in 92, the internet was already around in some basic form, but my family didn't do much with computers for a while. Certainly not internet browsing at any rate, not until the late 90s at least. I started playing video games shortly before really getting going on the internet, so for some time in my gaming life I played completely unspoiled and unaided by forums and cheat sites.
There are many, many, older gamers than me who are intimately familiar with the era of gaming before the internet was everywhere and gamers who'd gotten stuck somewhere could just google the solution. Their stories are way more involved than any of mine. Still, I have to be among the last group of gamers to be able to make the pre-internet claim, so I'm cashing that chit.
What I really miss most is that sense of raw discovery that you occasionally felt in playing some game. For example - first finding the secret warp tunnels in Super Mario Bros. I remember being in 1st grade and playing Super Mario Bros. Deluxe on my Gameboy at home and when I could sneak it in school. Straight-up classic.
I distinctly remember the feeling of having found that first secret Warp Zone at the end of world 1-2. It was a level I'd beaten a million times already in my childlike estimation, though one time was different, where I found out the way to run across basically the entire top of the level. I remember thinking I'd somehow outwitted the game, beating it at it's own... game.
Of course, I was wrong. I got into that back room and discovered the warp tunnels leading to different stages. That feeling of pure 'wow' in my heart is really hard to describe. It's something hard come by nowadays when there are so many streamers and Youtubers and various forums dictating how to accomplish everything about a game. It was a feeling that combined discovery with the pride of being the discoverer. You'd share with your friends, some of them probably already know, having discovered it themselves or having been told already.
There was also the great camaraderie of sharing discoveries with your peers at school or friends on the playground, or what have you. Before instant messaging or texting or, again, forums, you would excitedly share discoveries with one another. That's how I found of about the Missingno. glitch in Pokemon Blue. A friend of mine had heard from a friend who'd heard from a sibling who'd heard from a shifty street dealer about a glitch in Pokemon that could give you infinite items.
The glitch was Missingno., and I'm just going to assume everyone knows what that is. Part of the glitch-Pokemon was that the 6th (I think?) item in your inventory slot would glitch out to over 999 if you encountered it. This way you could get a bazillion rare candies, or master balls, etc.
After being told I remember doing the glitch that same night at home, and lo and behold it happened for me. I also encountered Pokemon that were well over level 100, which was weird and cool as hell to me as a young'un.
Sharing in that cool secret glitch felt like I was a part of a weird club, a club of Pokemon trainers who managed to actually exploit the game. I remember sharing the secret with some and not with others. "How'd you get all your Pokemon to 100!?"