Thursday, 12 April 2012

Lack of knowledge on Old Consoles & Games Rant

Aiming at the late 80's and early 90's kids:
Every time some guy gamer asks me about the old consoles they expect me to know every one of them before I was bloody born. There is a pinch of annoyance with this coming subject and I'll tell you why.

Here's a girlfriend test that was given to me to match up console to controler, it was easy for the most part, but I did get two consoles wrong the first time, and that was the SNES (last console) and N64 (somehow I didn't even see the N64, fourth up). Before you gape at me and tell me I'm not a gamer or that I'm an absolute noob let me tell you something.

The notion is, that you may have actually owned or set eyes on them, or had uncles and other family members who had bought them years before you even thought about playing one. It makes it ever more patronising when you tell somebody like me that they should have known.

There's a good reason for it. I never owned any of the consoles that were released before 1994, because I was fricking 4 years old and in the 90's it was normal not to own anything to do with technology at that age. I didn't have uncles or cousins or even friends that owned anything to do with games besides PCs (with the exception of one uncle who had not shown us), and even if we had the interest as toddlers we weren't allowed to own games.
 The gameboy and playstation were quite literally a god send to my brother and I when I was 6 or 7 (1996/7), we didn't have the luxury of owning all the damn consoles, even the ones that released after the Playstation. We were never spoiled on video games and never will be. And that, more than anything should tell you (assuming you're one of those know-it-all/experienced-it-all types) that you are lucky/spoiled as hell, or just older than me.

Gameboy Pocket was our first ever gameboy, and we would take turns to play Kirby on it.

As a kid, even when owning playstation and gameboys my brother and I weren't allowed all the games we wanted. I must have missed out on so many great games simply because my parents said "No, you are not allowed". I don't blame them at all, I would be concerned too, and reluctant to spend my money on something that potentially ruins the study time of my hypothetical child. This is because we're asian (joke)!
As a kid I distinctly remember working on maths books, being tutored on English at home, and spending a lot of time instead watching cartoons on television. It was a rather sheltered type lifestyle, and probably very different from others. We rode bikes at least, and hung out with our neighbour's one kid, I had one very close friend, but never really had other friends or family to saturate our time.

Gaming was one of those really special moments, and we would spend so much time on one game or demo (the psx demo discs were very amusing), replaying, getting amused and playing it again.

As there was always the both of us, you can sort of imagine how much fun we got from just a 2-player game. So games like Zelda and the first Final Fantasy's never really caught our attention until we were older and played Kingdom Hearts.

So before you guys go off and pressure some gamer about their knowledge in games/consoles, do not expect them to know everything. Take a moment to consider how much gaming was allowed in their childhood to begin with, because this is really a first world concern and it's because spoiled/rich kids keep moaning at me.
People may not be the most knowledgable with their gaming history but it does not mean they are less enthusiastic. Sure we could read up on our history of gaming technology, but what would be the point? I played SNES/N64 games using emulators on the PC, I have never touched/seen the actual consoles but I still play the old games because I knew I missed out. For somebody to tell me I'm not a real fan or hints that I am inferior in some way- is almost rubbing salt into the wounds and makes them look like a complete jackass.

This attitude is elitism at its least obvious, and for once- not in PVP or raid in World or Warcraft.


  1. Gemma i use emulators myself i never had a N64 or even an NES i was stuck with the crappy Sega master system Meh . So me and my buddy about 15 years or so ago built a machine just for Emulated games and it was great! Getting to play all the old games i never had a chance to play as a kid and even systems i never heard of before Eg~ MSX, Turbo Graphix 16 ETC . So whats the problem with that rite ? Same means to the same end we enjoy playing games and that's what it is all about the games where made for people to enjoy plain and simple. I'm sure the teams that made the games would enjoy more that you still appreciate them more then you remembering all the in's and outs of the console. Games are an art just like a great painting it matters less where it is hung and more that everyone can see it enjoy it . The future of gaming is cross platform compatibility Eg~ cloud gaming consoles will soon be a thing of the past . Ok i am ranting hehe good post Gemma

    1. Thanks for your comment Sp04 :) It is nice to see games, even the old ones available cross platform. It's really impressive that you even built a machine for emulation! Unfortunately I could never be as crafty. The rant is aimed at the younger generation that gloat about knowing/owning xxx consoles/games. Perhaps I am a bit jealous, haha. But I do believe whether one is old or new to video games, they shouldn't be discriminated. :) I agree games are like a very complex medium of art- because people have preferences, appreciate many elements in one, and in some cases even play a part in creating it (via feedback to the developers).