In the old days, there were no save points or memory storage for video games. If you needed to stop playing for a while, you had to pause the game and then leave the console alone while tending to your business. No one could use the console without losing your game.
20 years ago, Twitter user @Wanikun was playing the puzzle game Umihara Kawase on his Super Nintendo Entertainment System. He stopped for a while and left his console turned on and plugged in. Eventually he'll get back to it.