Gaming memories and the condition of youth.

exangel

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My gaming memories...
I was born in 1983 but I am a girl and an only child. My first opportunity to own a console was around 1988, when my next door neighbors would've sold their Atari 2600 to my family for $5 but my father absolutely refused it even if it were free or if I had used my allowance (which happened to be $5 a week). I wasn't allowed to have anything resembling video games until I was fifteen, after my parents' divorce. By then I already had my own PC and personal dial-up account but all my gaming had been limited to DOS games like Quake 1 or Descent or simple windows games like Space Cadet Pinball and Dope Wars. I did have an NES emulator but my PC's were not adequate for emulating SNES and up until some time after the PS2 was out.
When I was fifteen I briefly owned a physical NES but it broke approximately 15 minutes after it was set up, and then I got a brand new second generation small form factor SNES with Zelda, Mario All Stars, Mario Kart, Road Runner Death Valley Rally or something like that, and I freaking loved the first three but about 2 months later I had to give it to my "cousin" as custody of me had changed.

When I moved in with my mom the summer before I turned 16 (1999, not long after the theatrical release of The Matrix if you want a major pop-culture peg to remember the time with) -- her boyfriend at the time bought me an original Playstation console (although they'd been out quite a while, I managed to get one of the last models distributed with a serial port and I was easily able to use "backups/imports" with a "gameshark" type device). I had Rayman and the very girly Game of Life. I had some crash bandicoot game as well but didn't enjoy it at all and gave it away. I didn't play my playstation very much, at first, I spent a lot more time on the internet and usually only played the console w/company. Anyhow, I guess I'm describing a lot more than I need to. I loved my SNES even though I pretty much got the very last "new" boxed SNES that target ever sold in that area and only had it for 2 months, I adored my Playstation and when I got older and had a job I bought myself a PSOne+LCD bundle and my father modded it for me for my 19th birthday (since he has about 30 years more experience than me w/a soldering iron). The first "Current" console I ever got was a Dreamcast, and if I thought FF8/FF9/Chrono Cross were mind blowing, Shenmue was a decapitation. Although I continued to collect games after that, my interest in the home-consoles dwindled to almost nothing. Several months ago a man stole my slim PS2, and that is the last console I owned. I only have one friend who insists I'm missing out and he was even going to get me an XBOX 360 for my birthday in September, but it doesn't matter. I don't think I'll do anything but handheld and PC gaming for the rest of my life.

Wasted youth..
As far as the younger generations go, the richer media becomes, the stupider people-in-general become because they rely less on their own brains. When I was a freshman in High School I was the only kid that I knew that didn't have a video game console in the entire home or a tv in my own room. I was not allowed to keep my computer in my bedroom because I was allowed to use the internet. Our household had only one cell phone and it was used only for business by my mother.

Now, when I talk, even to my (25-30 year old) peer group, nobody seems to enjoy reading. For students, unless it's covered in a documentary or a Sparknotes, it's almost irrelevant now. That attitude is why I have always hated teenagers, before, during, and after my own teenage years. But it's to the point where it's pretty much not even their fault anymore for being the undisciplined, inattentive, multitasking, entitled, emotionally-charged consumer group they are nowadays. Children (including teenagers before voting/taxpaying age) are not only bombarded with mixed media that generally involves visual imagery they are given a lot more credibility for the individual nature of their "self" to accept or reject anything they see. Living in a society where material desire is promoted as a motivating virtue rather than a self-defeating sin and growing up with technology that oftentimes their parents are only beginning to truly adapt to-- as far as I can tell it's already a disaster. Schools have been having a hard time catching up (to multimedia) and in parts of the US the "test preparation curriculum" result of basing funding on performance is causing a lot of problems for students and teachers alike.
I guess my point of all that which has little to do with video games directly, is that, kids aren't stupid because they are idiots as individuals, it's because first world countries breed them to be that way, intentionally or not. Unfortunately most kids don't get the opportunity to be blessed with the wisdom to know how stupid they and their peers usually are because they're so combative about the value of their own intellect and self.
That all said I don't think highly of my own intellect either but I do prize the opportunity to try to improve it every day with or without the internet.
 

mjax

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Nice blog, I liked reading it...

My first memories of playing a video game will be on Atari 2600 in 1990. I remember one morning my father got one for my brother and we played a lot on it. I was 6 years old and was really amazed with it, it was the first time I saw a video game.

I then got one NES on 26th May 1996 lol but, I had been playing on NES for a while at friends, video game parlours etc. I then saved for a while and bought me the big grey Playstation. It was pre-modded but it didn't last long, it worked for 1 year and then it died. It is still resting in my wardrobe. I dunno what to do with it.

I think, I too am not a console person anymore. I like the handhelds because we don't need to set them or anything and for the fact, we can carry them everywhere! Playstation was my last ever console and it would probably remain that way.
 

Berthenk

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Yep, lots of people, if not all, in my class hate reading. They found it strange that I easily read through a book of 70 pages in 1 hour and 30 minutes, though I could've done it faster if I wanted to, the book was really lame. One guy was done faster than I, and people asked him "do you read books for fun!?", with a voice full of unbelief. I mean, what the fuck. When I grew up I really loved books, and even now, I still love some series. If anyone from my class would see my collection of books he/she/it would probably be like "what the fuck dude, what's with the huge amount of books in your room!?", while in fact, there are only maybe 30 books in there.
 

exangel

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mjax said:
I then saved for a while and bought me the big grey Playstation. It was pre-modded but it didn't last long, it worked for 1 year and then it died. It is still resting in my wardrobe. I dunno what to do with it.

I think, I too am not a console person anymore. I like the handhelds because we don't need to set them or anything and for the fact, we can carry them everywhere! Playstation was my last ever console and it would probably remain that way.

I still have my modded PSOne+LCD unit, though the plastic has turned color some despite taking very good care of it, all its innards work as needed. I was thinking back on my favorite games and the majority of them were released for the Playstation. I even had a Pocketstation imported from Japan because I loved FF8 and Saga Frontier II and thought the minigames were the hot stuff, and I don't think I had a Dreamcast until late 2000 or early 2001. Before I got my Dreamcast I remember being part of a Gamefly-esque online video game rental setup that had a fairly impressive catalogue of imports. And I was the first kid in my class with a CD-Burner. I made extra pocket money selling mix CD's to my friends in class because of Napster, but what really made me steal my moms credit card to buy the CD-burner was copying playstation games, especially imports I had rented. I wish I hadn't ebayed a lot of the original release copies of the games I had paid for back then but I didn't work much at all in my teens and I profited oftentimes by reselling.

Nowadays though I hate Sony, and that has contributed to my stout refusal to ever get a PSP device. I've had my own new retail boxed Nintendo handheld since the original Gameboy Advance for every generation. I had 2 GBA SP's because my (ex-)boyfriend bought me the Retro NES-style Special Edition one which I also wound up eBaying for travel money. I had the DS Phat when it came out, with that weird Sega game Feel the Magic (some dude swallowing goldfish wtf?), I also had the Mario 64 port but those memories are awful vague because I didn't keep my DS Phat for very long. I don't remember any significant, worthwhile RPGs or ports of RPGs being released at the time I jumped the bandwagon so I ebayed the Phat and went back to mostly PC games and a few console games that my ex and I shared. When the DS Lite came out I was hot for it. When I heard that it would still play GBA carts (I still have my trusty dusty FF Tactics Advance with 120+ hrs on it, mostly logged in one winter) and at the time I still didnt even have an SP, I made it a priority purchase. I got it with Trace Memory and Contact, and later got FF3 and FFTA2 but it got very little use until Chrono Trigger came out (I also snagged Children of Mana DS for $10 used).
It wasn't until Phantasy Star Zero came out for the DS that I truly fell head over heels for the DS system like I did for the GBA with Golden Sun and FFTA. Not long after PSZ came out the DSi XL was announced and I absolutely had to have it. I gave my DS Lite and the second used-copy of PSZ we got, to my boyfriend, and I sat on my thumbs for a week waiting for the DSi XL release day so I could play my own copy of PSZ again. He and I had good times, he got to the mid 80's on his HUcast and I got to my mid 60's on my RAmarl (what a shitty class that was for grouping). We played online in groups with people from the PSO-World forums and their MSN group quite a bit but eventually got bored and frustrated with PSZ and by then I had gotten myself an AK2i and I got him and another friend R4's and we started playing any online multiplayer DS game we could get our hands on.
I was so amazed by the amount of progress made in the flashcart "scene" since the first time I looked into it and then forgot about it back in the Pre-GBASP days when a 256mb GBA flashcart was well over a hundred fifty bucks and therefore out of my price range. I occasionally saw them during other trips to the Lik-Sang online store before it was shut down by Sony's idiotic policy goons, but never got one and forgot there was a homebrew dev scene at all.
Now, my love for the Nintendo handhelds is paralleled only by my love for my nook/eBooks and my 15+ year love affair with home computers and laptops (and of course the internet with that).


QUOTE(Berthenk @ Oct 28 2010, 09:47 AM) Yep, lots of people, if not all, in my class hate reading. They found it strange that I easily read through a book of 70 pages in 1 hour and 30 minutes, though I could've done it faster if I wanted to, the book was really lame. One guy was done faster than I, and people asked him "do you read books for fun!?", with a voice full of unbelief. I mean, what the fuck. When I grew up I really loved books, and even now, I still love some series. If anyone from my class would see my collection of books he/she/it would probably be like "what the fuck dude, what's with the huge amount of books in your room!?", while in fact, there are only maybe 30 books in there.
Reading for pleasure is just not normal in the first world as a daily source of entertainment or enrichment. Hopefully with improvements to distribution of eBooks and eBook reading software and devices that will come back as more than a trend. Last time I was in a bus terminal I was reading even though there was a big high def LCD TV playing that Riddick movie. There were about 20 other people there, some of them were not primarily English speaking, but everyone watched. I was reading Stephen King's The Stand Unabridged, and thinking to myself -- Books are freaking awesome. There are no commercials, I paid for the product and that's all it is. If you watch cable television you pay for the privilege of all those commercials too, if you don't strictly use DVR for watching. I had a little over an hour of waiting to do (I didn't know my bus would be half an hour late) and what I read out of The Stand in an hour would've taken several hours to illustrate in film. But I got the privilege of seeing all of those events in the book in my mind's eye. I've read The Stand before but it has been about 13 or 14 years since I checked it out of the Library. I also got to see some of the made-for-TV film adaptation on the Sci Fi channel before 2000 rolled around. I had put it away when I expected my bus to arrive and prepared to stand in line, watching Riddick start playing from the beginning again, since watching a story unfold is way better than gluing my eyes to the end of a movie just because it's on.
I don't have a TV, and I haven't had my own TV connected to cable or an antenna since 2004. It's the same with my father, and when people have the common reaction of, "How do you do it? How can you get by without knowing what's going on in the world?" it's almost pathetically obvious even before people went about daily with the expectation that everyone they run into has internet access. My dad occasionally listens to NPR in his car, which usually has more informative and impartial news/world news segments in less chronological time than any daily news television program. He buys the paper weekly. He seems to know more about what's gone viral on Youtube in the past few months than I do which was bizarre and astonishing to me. The notion that other people would expect us to be culturally isolated without a television even nowadays is tiring and I pity the mindset it comes from.

There have been a few documentaries done in the past few years that really seem to explore all the reasons I couldn't put my finger on what it was I hate so much about modern culture. One, I believe is called the history of Stupid, and a few are recent PBS Frontline documentaries (which have some shared footage) revolving around the Digital Nation theme. They're all on Netflix streaming though I don't know how available Netflix is to the Netherlands.
 

sk8mystery23

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Just gonna leave this here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/27/books/es...ing-person.html

Your last sentence about bettering yourself with or without the internet is kinda odd. I don't understand how it is wrong for a person to use the internet to better themselves. The internet is a huge source of completely valid information, and can be an excellent way for someone to learn anything from how to repair a car to learn a language.
 

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My earliest gaming memories are compusively playing pokemon red on my yellow gameboy color sitting by the window trying too get attention from my parents or my brothers.. but they neglected me still.. oh well..
 

Mesiskope

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My Favorite gaming memory was playing super monkey ball multiplayer we played till dawn the same goes with halo lan parties. Pizza, pop, awesome multiplayer games = best gaming memories.
 

exangel

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sk8mystery23 said:
Just gonna leave this here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/27/books/es...ing-person.html

Your last sentence about bettering yourself with or without the internet is kinda odd. I don't understand how it is wrong for a person to use the internet to better themselves. The internet is a huge source of completely valid information, and can be an excellent way for someone to learn anything from how to repair a car to learn a language.

You're projecting a conclusion I didn't come to, here. I never said it's wrong or impossible for a person to use the internet to better themselves.

That essay is a horrible piece of journalism though, and it is over six years old. You may not have noticed changes to mass media, marketing, news delivery, or modern "higher" education in those six years, but I have. That article allows the writer of the essay to create a stereotype about people that is far more applicable to consumers of media other than books. Also, not all "readers" read any one genre exclusively, that article doesn't suggest that some people who read, say, Science Fiction novels primarily might also read avidly about theoretical Physics and be able to speak in detail about such subjects among those who share those interests. All that article really proves or explains is that there is certainly a divide between people who can sit down and read literature with appreciation, and those who avoid literature because it's not interesting to them.

Bettering myself, or increasing my intellect or knowledge with or without the internet, it's still just a misunderstanding of language or at least what I meant by it. There are still billions of people in this world who learn things without using the internet daily (or at all!) and may very well be smart or smarter than people who multitask all day on the internet, smartphones, or whatever.

And though the internet /is/ a huge source of (often) valid information, it is also a huge source of literature and historical information in addition to technical help or social networking. My comment was more to suggest that it's not necessary to be connected to continue the pursuit of learning about things. It's not even necessary to use electronics to become very knowledgeable about a great deal of things.

And with that I will leave a Kerouac quote.

The point is we're waiting, not how comfortable
we are while waiting. Paleolithic man waited by
caves for the realization of why he was there,
and hunted; modern men wait in beautified
homes and try to forget death and birth.

-- Jack Kerouac, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity (1960)
 

sk8mystery23

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Meh, I was just kidding with the article, and that quote is over 50 years old. Lol jk.

The only other way to learn stuff without the internet is to either sit in a classroom, read, or learn by actually doing something. Can't really just sit there and gain knowledge without doing anything.
 

Midna

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You're generalizing, mate. I don't mean to put myself above the rest, I really don't. But I'm 16, and not like that at all. I enjoy literature. I own over 2 dozen video game systems, most not new at all. My interests are virtually incompatible with nearly everyone I know. Eh... Maybe 'cos I have Asperger's Syndrome...

But i do see much of what you describe in my peers all the time.
 

exangel

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Midna said:
You're generalizing, mate. I don't mean to put myself above the rest, I really don't. But I'm 16, and not like that at all. I enjoy literature. I own over 2 dozen video game systems, most not new at all. My interests are virtually incompatible with nearly everyone I know. Eh... Maybe 'cos I have Asperger's Syndrome...

But i do see much of what you describe in my peers all the time.

If I assume you were responding to my initial blog post here, the point is exactly that your peers are like that. But I did also say that kids aren't idiots as individuals and you prove my point well. You don't represent everyone and, ideally, they don't represent you. But the way your peers are, is a progression of how they were when I was your age. My point was pretty much made the first time around, though, I don't quite have much to add about that.

Also, one of the best friends I've had in my life has Asperger's. I'm not closely in contact with him anymore because he's married and stuff now, but the times I spent with him and the influence he's had in my life are priceless. He was never so socially adept, but he was able to put his exceptional sense of focus and intellect to great use in art, music, and study and became an accident/injury lawyer advocating for the injured. He is/was also one of the most genuine, honest, reliable, and generous people I've ever known.
 

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