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The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

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Hipster Video Gaming

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Screenshot 2016-11-27 23.50.40
Screenshot 2016-11-27 23.53.36 I began playing video games as a child after the crash of 1983. At the time I wasn’t aware of the tumult in the culture and the technology scene that that had caused. Video games were just fun, not the it thing I suppose. Perhaps as an analogy it would be like getting online in the early 2000s, after the dot-com crash of 2000. The internet by then was a normal part of everyday life, but the excitement and cultural omnipresence abated.

In that context the original NES took center stage rather slowly and organically in the mid-1980s, eventually triggering the competition between Sega, TurboGrafx, Nintendo, and later Sony. I got off that particular train when I was about seventeen, seeing the amount of time that the hobby swallowed. But I couldn’t help but be amused by this article in The New York Times, Nintendo’s New Console May Feed Your Nostalgia, if You Can Get One:

When she heard that Nintendo was planning to reproduce its iconic Nintendo Entertainment System video game console for the holiday season, Emily Bradbury put a note on her calendar and set an alarm on her phone.

She was not interested in buying it for her children. She wanted it for her husband.

“He’s 40 years old and grew up with a Nintendo,” Ms. Bradbury said. “It’s a nostalgia thing.”

• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Video Games 

9 Comments to "Hipster Video Gaming"

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  1. This fad has recently hit my group of mid 30s friends. A few weeks ago one of us bought

    on Steam and it’s proven to be a big hit. A good mix of nostaligia but also a reason for all of us to get together in hour long increments (people now live in different cities) and chat in the background while reliving some fun platformer gaming days of yore.

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    TurboGrafx was a product’s name, not the brand of it.

    Arch-smart guys, many of them however, already had computers in the 80s and 90s. The more intelligence-taxing games were made for the computers.

    Smart guys and average nerds had video game consoles. Their games were hard too, compared to today’s mainstream games.

    Parents hated video games. They made their offspring bad students, and asocial, they feared.

    The lucky others enjoyed life as young.

    Today the “lucky ones” spend their day time enslaved by small portable device screens and the Internet, their mind engorged in a vortex of mediocrity and cultural noise.

    As for nerds and arch-nerds, I wonder how many under-20 people are, for example, Unz readers.

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    I think I know of a video game you could enjoy a lot, Khan. It’s interactive fiction, title is Hadean Lands.

    There are complex, subtle, niche games which deserve the attention of old grumpy learned men (pardon the misogyny).

  4. I’ve thought about getting that for my brother as a gift (he’s a big-time gamer and loves Nintendo games), but I just don’t think it’s worth the price.

    I think sooner or later Nintendo is just going to bite the bullet and move heavily into smartphone games.

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  5. Nah, the handheld console market is basically the only profit driver Nintendo still has going for it and it has a near monopoly in that space. Getting people to pay for smartphone games is still an iffy proposition.

    Also, get your brother an Android phone and load it with all the old Nintendo games it can hold. Not only will he be getting something genuinely useful (a phone!) there’ll be one less piece of plastic kitsch cluttering up his living room.

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  6. I’m surrounded by those “lucky ones” in a (Computer) engineering course. I have to say that it feels both oddly comforting and disconcerting to be the only one in the room who isn’t panicking or making hay about knowing nothing about the topics on an exam about sequential logic circuits.
    While I can’t claim to be entirely separate from them, for I do join in occasionally as to not be completely isolate, I do have to wonder how they maintain this.

    I’ve been recommending specific authors in the Unz Review, though, to friends who are at least receptive to what goes here. I know of only one other person who was receptive to Trump’s electoral victory in my college, so it may be imagined that they are few and far between, but they do exist. I just have to help them keep their heads above water.

    I have gotten into the realm of Grand Strategy in the past few months. I particularly recommend a game like Europa Universalis IV to jump into the genre, though even at game can take at least a dozen hours to get used to. Paradox Interactive has done a great job of making any nation – bar Byzantium – a viable contender to become a great empire by the end of the game. Of course, there are always mods to change the experience when it does get stale.
    A runner-up would be Darkest Hour, dated it may be. It’s a great introduction to wargames, and the mods for it are fantastic, too, if rather easy to break. By “break,” I mean forcing scenarios like a Mongolia eating most of Siberia if Russia gets into a civil war. The events system in the game is rather rigid.

  7. I was big into the TurboGrafx-16 as a kid. I got absolutely everything related to it, including the drive for the CD-ROM games (which was way ahead of its time, even if the games were not that good) and the TurboExpress which could take the small, card-sized cartridges of the regular consol. Of course the platform bombed, which meant I (or rather, my parents, at that age) wasted tons of money. I was burned enough by it that I stopped console gaming entirely by 1991 or so and shifted to PC gaming. I ultimately found I didn’t really like action games (I was much more into adventure games, or later on turn-based strategy and western-style CRPGS) so consoles ended up being a poor fit for me.

  8. Didn’t Nintendo have some kind of finger in the Pokemon Go pie?

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  9. Indirectly, yes, but it would ultimately amount to approximately 10% of the revenue. That 10% is through the stake they own in The Pokémon Company.

    That said, the (indirect) impact of the game on the sales of the Nintendo 3DS and the Pokémon games there have had a much larger impact on the bottom line. Pokémon Sun/Moon, for instance, has managed to sell more during its launch week than any other game Nintendo has published, in the United Kingdom. That represents more than double what the last main series entries did.
    In fact, the entire reason the 3DS is actually up year-on-year despite the weakest Q2/Q3 software lineup it had since 2011 is entirely because of Pokémon Go. Given the Black Friday sales the 3DS has received in the US this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3DS sales this year beat that of the past three years.

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