Nobody seems to remember just how much video games have changed in the past 20 years, let alone the past 10. Even people old enough to remember it don’t seem to think too much about it.

To quote the old cliche, I blame the internet. You see, with YouTube, IGN, Pewdiepie and countless people reviewing and supplying games at all times, we’re so surrounded by them now, that we see them about as permanent as roads, schools, and fire stations. Twenty years ago, you take a collection of the best Super Nintendo games, some of which may include Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, Secret of Mana, Earthbound, Super Metroid and Star Fox just to name a few. Having this collection at your fingertips may have costed you upwards of $200 at the time, not to mention the SNES system was priced at about $200 from the beginning. But today? You easily can have all these games in your smartphone via a simple download and played via an emulator (I recommend ZSNES for that; there’s no other respectable way to play them).

What about if you were living in 1995 and wanted to try out a new game? Well, you could pay the $50 to $60 for a copy, but you’d be taking a gamble as to whether or not it’d be a good game. I played my share of shitty games I had expected to be much better. Nothing worse than trying out a BORING game. I coped with it by snacking excessively, by the way.

If you were determined not to go that route, then you had to find a review, and they were usually located in one of these:

And these reviewers gave a good reason not to always trust their discretion; they often sucked. I have an old magazine from 1995 where they gave Earthbound a bad review. In fact, it was a very unfair review in which they didn’t even play the first quarter of the game. This may have played a role as to why it didn’t sell well in the United States. Today it’s a cult classic and a favourite among people who hadn’t even been born when it came out.

If you decided the game was worth a shot, but didn’t want to shell out too much money, you could bypass buying it and go to one of these:

When was the last time anybody actually went into a video store and physically rented a game anyway? 2000? Anyway, the price wasn’t too bad to try a game out for two days, usually $5 or less. But it was a lot of hassle compared to now. You had to go around and spend time looking for titles, and much of the time, a video store either wouldn’t carry something, did carry it but didn’t have a copy in store, or somebody else had rented the game and you wouldn’t be able to get it at the time. Also people would steal games; they’d just switch labels with other games much in the same way people do this with DVD’s today at Redbox. These days, all you really have to do is watch a YouTube review, and download or order the game you want.

So when gamer guys who are misogynist and frustrated with women blame them for their gaming losses, maybe they should take note: there was once a time they’d have been more likely to actually get to know women, because renting games and buying magazines meant having to leave the house.

And by the way, despite the technology being inferior then, I think the games were a lot better.


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