Latest posts with tag: "nostalgia"

  • The top five best video games I ever got for Christmas!

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    When I was younger I almost never got new games. I had to luck out at the video store with weekend rentals, and I had the Hot Knowledge of Nintendo Tape Magazine to assist me in picks—though with the slim rental choices it more often than not came down to looking at box art. You and I both know that before you put a game on that Christmas list you had to have made damned sure it was an A+++ winner cause you were gonna have to play the hell out of it for the next year.

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    It also just so happens that the years during which I was at the really great Christmas present age were also some of the greatest times in gaming history, as the industry was really starting to find itself and make big strides in technology and innovation. I suppose people have vivid memories of that age, and maybe it's for that combination of reasons that I can remember virtually every game I got from Santy Claus. What follows is a little tour through the five that stuck with me the most, a week away from Christmas, a little bit of lookin' back to the good ol' days before we say sayonara to another year. The greatest video game Christmas presents of my life (and maybe some of yours, too)!!
  • Let's all go to the video store.

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    Technology and the ways it flows through our culture are constantly changing and, for the most part, we who live embedded in that change don't notice it much. But there are always particular things that impact us on a personal level. Things that make us "miss the good old days" or wonder if we might actually be aging. One of those things for me has been the decline of the rental store. As I wait here for Amazon to ship my brand new copy of The Last Story, it's hard to stop my mind from wandering back to the time when all I'd have to do was stroll in and rent one out. Sure, rental places haven't been completely wiped out by the likes of Netflix, Gamefly, and YouTube, but they've certainly become rarefied. My local Blockbuster video store finally closed a few years ago, an event about which I have mixed feelings.

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    I lived through the VHS and Betamax VCR format wars, the transition to disc-based media, and the birth of cell phones (my dad owned one of the old "bricks"), but I'd say the end of the age of the rental store causes me to pause and reminisce because it used to be something of a family business. My parents ran a mom-and-pop shop when I was a kid, so I grew up watching tons of movies and playing loads of video games. When the NES came out, I got all I could play—all for free—for as long as I wanted to keep them. Those were the days.