So at the beginning of the week, I was surprised to discover a new website from various, unimportant places on the internet that I occasionally
usually hang out in. And apparently, others have found just as weird as I did.
This mysterious collection of zeros and ones is called Man Crates. After I made sure they weren’t a male stripper or gay porn site, not helped by my coworker’s first comment being “cut a hole in the box . . .”, I found that they were a legitimate business that offers a rather unique product idea that I actually really like. They specialize in “gifts for men” that come in crazy awesome looking wooden crates with a little crowbar to open it with. They specialize in a weirdly huge number of bizarrely appealing crates that come packed with goodies of all kinds. Here are just a few examples:
The Golfer’s Crate
and the High Roller!
Screw buying these things for men! Buy them for ME!
So if you have a special someone who would like any of these things and you have enough disposable income that you can drop on a fancy ass box, check them out. I would buy one if I could. Of course, narrowing it down to one would be hard . . . .
Being an entirely selfish creature, I am going to complain that I’m not getting anything out of this deal. Ok, granted, I’ve plugged other products without any reward, but I’ve never been contacted directly by the source, either. I was kind of hoping for some kind of coupon or a mini crate all my own, but alas, I suppose I’ll just have to do what I do best: Ramble disjointedly until something that makes sense oozes onto my screen. And then go buy a crate because they’re cool.
So, I was kind of flattered when they contacted me, to be honest. They’re website says they monitor popular blogs. I had no idea I was considered a “popular blog.”
And that’s all thanks to you, readers. I can sit here and type until my fingers fall off, but it’s nothing without you! It’s nice to know you guys are really enjoying my blog!
My ego was also stroked a little because I am a girl. This is important because this is the crate they actually asked me to plug:
The Retro Gamer Crate!
Man Crates asked me to reveal my most memorable nostalgic gaming moment and I am happy to oblige.
If you’re a regular reader, you’ve undoubtedly come across my occasional gaming posts in which I have done everything from actually reviewing games to just rambling on like I do about my adventures into horrible and weird games with my roommates. I’ve been playing more games lately. Maybe I should review those too . . . .
But I’ve never talked about gaming nostalgia before. Partly because I don’t seem to have as much as other gamers out there and certainly not really for the same things.
Now, there are two stereotypes when it comes to “gamer girls:” the gross, dirty, and Gothic girls who obsess over games and anime and make you cross the street when you see them coming, or the gamer girls who make it a point to be super sexy and are generally ostracized from other gamers who are afraid of actual females.
I am neither.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t consider myself a gamer in any of the traditional senses of the word. I also have the advantage of not having ever owned an NES or more than three games on my N-64. Nor did my video game experience actually start with Pokemon, like many of my peers.
No, my gaming experience started with the Amiga slash MS-DOS.
This makes me feel cool and hipster, cause I’m a derp like that and I happen to know that if you were a gamer in my generation, you likely grew up playing an NES or N-64. My first gaming memories come from watching my dad play Doom, Battle Chess, and It Came From The Desert on the Amiga/DOS system we had set up in our basement. And if you’ve never played It Came from the Desert, find a way! It is one of the best old-school games I know of.
It’s based off the movie Them, an old black and white feature about giant killer ants. And this is the most terrifying part of my childhood:
Ahhhhhhhh! Get it away!!! Shoot it!! SHOOT IT!!!
And then we usually died.
To be honest, my fondest gaming memories take place with my entire family crowded around a screen and playing “together” on single player games. From the Amiga/DOS we moved to the old PC adventure games, our favorites being Grim Fandango and The Curse of Monkey Island (that’s the third game, btw). What I liked most about Monkey Island was its 2-D style animation and character designs that I just don’t see in any of the other games. To me, the animation style really contributed to the goofy over all feel of the game and brought the atmosphere to me the best. Grim Fandango was just hard. We never did manage to finish that one.
So perhaps that is part of what I feel sets me apart from other gamers. The hardcore gamers in particular seem to live in a state of solitude and that has never been what gaming is about to me.
But that’s not funny, so let’s get back to that.
It’s a thing!
A thing I like!
Nix that, I love Pokemon. Cliche, perhaps, considering my age, but I’m pretty sure I don’t actually care. Hold on, let me check. Yeah, don’t care.
Like most kids in my generation, I’ve been with Pokemon from the beginning, though to be honest, I think Johto was my favorite region in the show and not Kanto and I actually like Pokemon Black&White, which might mean I have to turn in my geek card, but you’ll have to take it form me by force.
And I’ve never bothered with 100% completion. I’ve only been to the Elite Four in, like, three games? Maybe. Oh well.
They’re still fun games, no matter how seriously you take them. Same with the other handheld game that dominated my childhood: Harvest Moon.
I think Harvest Moon is one of those games you either love or you hate. There is no in between. I still buy them occasionally, my all time favorite actually being a tie between Friends of Mineral Town and A New Beginning.
So between the PC (or DOS) and the handheld, I didn’t have a console for a really long time. Oh, sure, I played them plenty at my friends’ houses. My fondest memories are of playing Donkey Kong and Smash Bros. Melee with my best friend on the N-64 and Mario Kart Double Dash on the GameCube. But would that really factor into my personal gaming nostalgia? I suppose so, if I really have to put a label on it.
I admit it, I swam around in the casual gaming pool for a long, long time. And I’m okay with that. Casual gaming is fun. But suddenly, in 2011, the tidal wave that was Skyrim crashed into my little pool and tossed me out into the hardcore (ish) pool and suddenly, here I am, proud owner of a Playstation 3, God of War, Saints Row II, Dishonored, Infamous, Devil May Cry, Red Dead Redemption, and a couple others, which I’m pretty sure is practically more games than I had on the Playstation 2, but that might be because I sold back most of the games I finished . . . .
So what is nostalgia? It’s something that can be used for good and for bad. It can blind people to genuinely flawed games, like one too many Halo sequels, or Call of Duty: Ghosts, or any Nintendo game out in the last few years. But it can also bring people together to relive those memories of times gone past, when we all crowded around tiny screens and screamed when the Doom monsters burst out from their pixilated hiding places, or failed once again to shoot the antennae off those friggin’ ants, or tried in vain to find the thread of logic that involved putting ipecac flowers in syrup to make the snake barf you out into the quicksand so you can get to the ship (adventure games were weird).
And I suppose that’s what sets me apart from other gamers. And I’m okay with that. Take with that what you will.
Well, I tried to make this funny, but I’m not sure I totally succeeded. I am a victim of nostalgia melancholy, which is probably why I’ve never touched on it before. But you know what, screw that!
Childhood rocks and it’s not bad to look back on the memories with fondness! But there’s nothing wrong with looking to the future with some great anticipation either! And go buy some stupid ass Man Crates! And send one to me! Not the retro gaming one, though. Cool as the idea is, I don’t actually give a crap about the NES. No, if you’re going to send me a Man Crate, I demand either the Whisky Connoisseur or the Personalized Oktoberfest Stein! Slaves! Cater to me!