Memories on Memory Cards

I guess it’s about time I came clean.

I’ve been writing about games from my past here for nearly three years now. This is officially my three hundredth post and probably a good two thirds of these three hundred posts have been specifically drawn from my gray matter. Or…that’s what I’ve been conveying anyway. But the truth is that maybe only half of the games (most of those being either very current games or those from the Atari to the N64 eras) that I’ve talked about have come strictly from my memory. The rest have come from…

…okay look, you can do this…just like we practiced… … ::inhale::

memory cards.

::and exhale::

That’s right. While I’d love to be able to say that I have the magical capacity to spew forth any and all gaming knowledge at the drop of a hat, it simply isn’t true. For some games, sure, the memories are solid; but for most, the memories are fleeting, fading. For games that didn’t become hardwired into my subconscious, I turned first and foremost to my collection of memory cards. Sure, watching videos and seeing pictures on the Internet is great, but what has helped me the most is seeing save data because it places games very concretely in a discrete moment in my past. Having that exact date of when I last played a game has been an invaluable tool, as it was the only way I could have written a number of posts. And as I’m getting to the end of long-past games from my game list, using save data to jolt my recall ability has been happening more and more.

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Standing at the Crossroads with JRPGs

cary:

Recently on Geek Force Network, I made a terrible admittance. I don’t like JRPGs as much as I think I should. I’ve tried and nominally succeeded and tried and mostly failed to work them into my gaming routine over the years, but I’ve tended to keep them at arms length due to what I perceive as overwhelming complexity. Many JRPGs require a certain level of devotion up front in order for the player to properly latch onto the story, the controls, and the gameplay in general. Anything less and the game becomes a hard-to-remember slog through intricate but forgotten plots filled with interesting but forgotten characters. Why do I think I NEED JRPGs in order to be a well-rounded gamer? I really don’t know, and I can’t say I answered that question in this post. But writing it made me feel more certain about one thing: I should quit over analyzing and just play! :)

Originally posted on Geek Force Network:

The other day I did an incredibly rare thing – I purchased a video game on a whim, without any forethought or questioning, without any rhyme or reason. In all my years of gaming, the act of purchasing a game has never been something I’ve taken lightly. I tend to play it close to the chest when buying games, preferring to stick with franchises I know and trust or games that I’ve thoroughly read up on and believe are worth my hard earned sixty dollars. But in the case of this very capricious choice, I went against my own rules and sensibilities.

No need to hold on to your butts here; the game I purchased wasn’t anything all that far-flung, just Final Fantasy XIII-2. Yep, that’s all, simply a Final Fantasy game. I turned on the Xbox, noticed its little sale ad on the homepage, and made the purchase…

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Totally 80s: L. A. Gear Sneakers

Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at the decade that was ruled by big hair and bigger egos. Every other week I’ll be covering pop culture tidbits from the 1980s, sharing memories, choking on the ridiculousness, and maybe offering an insight or two into what made the 1980s so great/bad/silly. Serving as my inspiration are two lists from Buzzfeed, and I’ll include links to the original list items in each post. So throw on your neon windbreaker, lace up your hi-tops, and adjust your Wayfarers, because this DeLorean is taking off! (Ugh. Did I really just type that? Gag me with spoon, seriously.)

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List item #39 from 53 Things Only 80s Girls Can Understand

L.A. Gear was the only sneaker brand that mattered.

I mean, just look. How could it not?!

I mean, just look at that marvel in design and color. How could it not?!

Once upon a time, sneakers were just that, sneakers. They were no more a fashion statement to children than underwear: necessary but invisible. They didn’t come with icons or endorsements or devices that lit up or blew up. They were meant to be comfortable and practical things that were wore during gym class and playtime. They were also pretty ugly, not pretty pretty. And that’s what I lived for as a kid, the pretty pretty.

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From the Console’s Perspective: The Halcyon Days of Youth

cary:

Recently, most of my thoughts concerning games have revolved around my changing relationship with them. As I sped past one of my game consoles in a hurry to get to work one morning, I started to ponder what that evolution might look like from another perspective. From the console’s perspective. With that notion in mind and a brief team-up with the creative writing bug, I formulated this three-part series for United We Game in which I speculated upon a life lived from the point of view of a video game console. Whether or not I managed well with the creative part remains to be judged, but it was nicely cathartic putting these bottled up thoughts and emotions in writing. Here’s the first entry in the series looking back upon the carefree and careless days of gaming during childhood, when time was plentiful and so were the games.

For the other entries in the series, click here:
From the Console’s Perspective: The College Years, and Then Some
From the Console’s Perspective: The Onset of Middle Age

Originally posted on United We Game:

Ever wondered what life might look like from the perspective of a video game console? No? Uh…oh. Is it weird that I have? Don’t answer that. Instead, blissfully follow me in this three-part series where I imagine how the trappings for humanity might appear to a game console. Could be any game console, maybe that game console you’re staring at right now. Yep, that very one.

First up, childhood and adolescence.


Image by Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

Image by Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

Man, am I glad that kid has school! Let me tell you, if it wasn’t for those eight to twelve hours between getting up and dinner time, I’d be an overheated wreck!

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I didn’t think I was going to write a post today until I started writing one

A couple days ago, I convinced myself that I wasn’t going to write anything today.  I had in mind that I’d pop in with a quick “I’m too tired; back next week!” note, because quite frankly, I’m fuckin’ exhausted. In addition to the regular madness of late summer comings and goings around the house (most of which have involved the garden and some serious squirrel abatement), I spent that last couple weeks planning a Labor Day weekend bash. For some, entertaining is a breeze. For me, it’s difficult. Engaging large crowds under our roof doesn’t happen very often, so having to put on my “hostess” hat isn’t something I’m altogether comfortable with. Granted, we’re just talking friends and family here, not high royalty, but still, planning is planning. And planning around schedules and dietary restrictions and the weather is exhausting. The weekend went off without a hitch, though I’m still in recovery.

The other reasons I thought I might not get to a “real” post this week are because video games have not been at the forefront of my recent thoughts and gaming hasn’t been at the forefront of my recent activities. In other words, I haven’t been playing any games, at least not to any significant extent. Since my last Project 151 post, I haven’t had a second alone with LeafGreen. Would you believe me when I say that, on a whim, I picked up Final Fantasy XIII-2? I did, for reals! A couple weeks later and I’ve completed a whopping 20 minutes of the game. A few days ago I tried to log into my Steam account to purchase The Walking Dead Season 1, but it had been so long since the last time I logged in that the program asked for my password! (Which, of course, I couldn’t remember.) And just when I thought I should give up on life because I’m not a “real gamer,” I started playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Again. And then I realized I could probably hold onto my gamer card for a little while longer.

Maybe.

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(Another) Fifteen Songs

Last summer I worked up a post highlighting some 15 songs from my iPod. You’ve probably seen the game before on Facebook or other social media – put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 15 songs that play (no cheating!). I did that post out of stress, and because I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had a ton of games in tow that I wasn’t playing. This second time round, things are no different. I’ve had a stressful but fun holiday weekend and all I really want to do right now is to pop in my earbuds and drift away to the sounds of my music. Plus, it’s Labor Day. Everybody’s still out vacationing, barbecuing, or dead to the world because they’ve done too much of either, or both. I mean, are you really here? Hell, I don’t even know if I’m here. Where am I anyway? And does anybody really know what time it is?

Enough gabbling — let’s get on with the music!

(As with last time, I’ll present short spiels about the first five songs that play, and the rest I’ll list consecutively with links at the end. Click away!)

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iTunes Diaries, entry #20: “Hell-Bent” by Kenna

I was once a little…um, okay, terribly obsessed with iTunes.  I got my first iPod in 2004 and became immediately entranced by Apple’s seeming infinite lists of music for sale.  Over the years, I spent way too much time on iTunes and spent way too much money on music, some of which was great, and some of which was not.  In 2011, for the sake of my sanity and my bank account, I went cold turkey.  I suspended my iTunes activities and completely stopped visiting site.  With the iTunes Diaries, I take a look back, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly in music that I just had to have in the moment. 

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Sometimes my interest in a piece of music has more to do with its delivery than with the song itself. A perfect example of this is “Hell-Bent” by Kenna from his album New Sacred Cow (2003). A couple years prior to its release, I read a story about this little stop-motion video that was taking the world by storm! Only, not so much. In fact, it was barely making waves, and I’m pretty sure I only heard about it because of my tenuous theatre connections. The short was called “More” by Mark Osborne.

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Totally 80s: The Challenger space shuttle

Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at the decade that was ruled by big hair and bigger egos. Every other week I’ll be covering pop culture tidbits from the 1980s, sharing memories, choking on the ridiculousness, and maybe offering an insight or two into what made the 1980s so great/bad/silly. Serving as my inspiration are two lists from Buzzfeed, and I’ll include links to the original list items in each post. So throw on your neon windbreaker, lace up your hi-tops, and adjust your Wayfarers, because this DeLorean is taking off! (Ugh. Did I really just type that? Gag me with spoon, seriously.)

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List item #5 from 50 Things only ’80s Kids Can Understand

Remembering where you were when the Challenger disaster happened.

© ABC News (1986)

© ABC News (1986)

I was at home.

I don’t remember why I was at home, but that’s where I was. Maybe I was sick. Maybe we were snowed in. Maybe the school allowed it because the Challenger launch on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, was kind of big deal.

I was then nearing the end of elementary school, and up to that launch, my life had been, in one way or another, consumed by the Challenger. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, (like when the Iran-Contra hearings took over the airwaves just a few years later) because the whole affair was perfectly electric!

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