Forget all the modern gaming crap for a moment and let me offer a slice of my life leading up to the Casual Gamer I am today.
Let’s go back, umm 13 years, when times were simpler, and gaming was getting interesting and taking a turn for the worst at the same time (bloating budgets, wannabe movies, dumb-downed gameplay, with a corrupt and/or unskilled gaming press shoving it all down your throat; you saw what happened). OK, off-topic, I mean… just trying to say this is an informal snapshot of life surrounding that hobby; a new feature about old stuff.
This series will start off small since I didn’t have a great camera then nor do I have the typical human obsession to report things (seek attention) on-the-spot. I actually DON’T have many pictures of my stuff because I see it every day and therefore there’s nothing special in a day-to-day sense (but I could be mistaken). So below, these pics are literally the oldest and only photos I have from that time, taken with a “low end” $100 1MP digital camera.
We’ll kick things off with my bedroom, representative of my latter years of high school thru a couple years of junior college. I’ll point out a few things and leave others a mystery:
- Ranma 1/2 is my favorite “classic” anime from the early 90s. The wall scrolls are the good-quality bootlegged-art kind I’ve seen in local comic/anime shops up and down Northern California. I managed to hold onto them throughout college. They’re safely stored in a closet today.
- I wasn’t fond of that mattress. Too cushy on the top layer. I need firm support.
- Hanging off the curtain is my Media Badge from E3 2001. Amazing shit happened over there.
Now the desk:
- This is the spot where I began the GeoCities (good grief, that place) version of my homepage. More importantly, I used that underpowered computer to make several video game music videos, including one for Super Smash Bros. Melee., a mere 2 months after the game released. Note that YouTube and its shitty video quality didn’t exist for another 3 years; in time, I got irritated by its awful tech and poor standards forever after.
- The 27″ Sony Trinitron TV was rad because it provided HIGH-FIDELITY EXTREME RESOLUTION S-Video gaming from 1996 all the way to 2008. A Love Hina DVD is currently playing on it.
- It’s where I enjoyed my GameCube launch, working on these titles until I moved out: Luigi’s Mansion, Rogue Leader, Super Monkey Ball, Pikmin, SSB Melee, the REmake, Eternal Darkness, plus a rental of 007: Agent Under Fire (FUCK EA and this game; almost threw my controller at the screen because of its broken hit detection).
- It was also a great way to enjoy the dying Dreamcast (got it after the historic discount), especially Virtua Cop 2 (Sega Smash Pack Volume 1) using the excellent DC Mini Gun light gun by Hais.
- That mini purple foam GameCube sitting on my monitor is a freebie I got from Nintendo booth reps while playing the Super Smash Bros. Melee demo at E3 2001. Not only did I witness the game’s debut during the big press conference, I got to enjoy innocent hands-on time with the game 7 months before COUNTLESS KIDS began arguing about “tiers” and “balance” for the remainder of the series. Take your tournament rules and C-Sticks and shove-it. I’ve been a fan longer than you, but now I hate the game, thanks.
- And yes, that’s a glorious box of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Collection up there. It’s a relief to have just the original Red Storm-developed games before Ubisoft fucked it all up.
- I’ve kept this bed-window-desk arrangement at every new place, for my next 4 moves (ending 2012).
Lastly, my boxed game and VHS shelf:
- That is my entire N64 libary and what’s left of my SNES games. I really should’ve taken better care of my SNES junk when I was younger: misplaced cartridges, beat-up boxes, and missing inserts. Products that were incomplete were simply given away or forgotten in storage. I didn’t start improving my habits (OCD) until I got Mega Man X.
- I actually received that copy of 007: The World Is Not Enough (N64) for free. An older buddy from high school was working for EA and was assigned Lead Game Tester (for the first time) on this project, but didn’t have his own N64. So he borrowed my system and Perfect Dark for a few months, and returned with an early copy of TWINE to say thanks. Very cool gesture. Guess what? TWINE is a better product than that next-gen piece of shit Agent Under Fire.
- My launch edition GameCube: it died a year later. It’s dead. I was in the middle of Mega Man Network Transmission one summer and couldn’t resume until I replaced the Cube a month later. Sadly, I never went back to Mega Man Network Transmission, or any Mega Man. Just like Capcom.
That’s all I have for today. I’m out of gimmicks.
Looking back… stuffing Photobucket accounts and posting in “crib” threads were a nice diversion from the usual forum “whine” festivals. Now I find it slightly annoying: today’s on-demand hastag insta-glam Social Media encourages fire-and-forget habits, quickly burying content or leaving it all over the place. I think a little organization can go a long way in telling part of your story. Most don’t seem to care, tho (as long as you follow/friend their account so you “never miss a thing”).
I’m hoping the other Pietriots will share bits of their albums and expand this series. Pretty sure they have lots of random treasure and history piled in their webbernet dumps over the years, and I wonder how many more GARMIN generations we’ll add down the road. There’s additional years/locations for me to cover, so I’ll have a better variety of pics next time.
Maybe some visitors would like to participate?