Saturday, August 13, 2011

You Didn't Grow Up With the NES or Ninja Turtles

This isn't a new phenomena, however, it's getting rather old for me. I feel like the unique things to my generation's past are being appropriated by younger and younger people each year. I'm sorry current teenager, but I'm taking my history back.

Playing Nintendo in the 80s vs. 90s:

I can fully concede that you may have had a NES laying around the house and played it. The difference: It wasn't the apex of home gaming when you did. The Sega Genesis came out in 1989, and video games weren't common in the average household. If you had a system, you were instantly more popular. In the early 90s, Genesis and Super Nintendo were the sports cars of gaming. And it was nearly impossible to convince your parents to buy you one if you already owned a Nintendo.

Before the 90s, I was fascinated and mystified by those 8 bit pixels. I'm not saying this is preferable or better. I'm saying: It was ours, and that nostalgia is on another level. By the time you gained enough sentience and intelligence to actually play the thing, Playstation was out. More importantly, the video game culture had moved on.

It wasn't just playing the game. It was an entire movement. Being a gamer used to mean playing Dungeons and Dragons or any table top games; it had nothing to do with video games. Getting a copy of Super Mario Brothers 3, for my birthday, was one of the most epic experiences of my life. It was brand new, it had all the hype from The Wizard, and it was graphically amazing. There wasn't a better game in the entire world that year. And you can't experience that in retrospect or in the shadow of better technology.

On Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

They were the biggest things since Yokozuna. And yes, I do know about the newer Fox animated series. If you want to claim that, be my fucking guest. One was a cultural phenomena. The other, a mediocre cartoon. I'm, obviously, talking about the former which originally aired in 1988. I also want to add: It was terrible in its mid 90s years and a complete marketing gimmick.

There was a time and place when the Turtles were everywhere. We'd even bring our toys to school and play with them. They were on our backpacks, lunch boxes, clothing, cereal boxes, and school supplies. We also had books, comics, TV episodes, Movies, commercials, and anti drug PSAs! There was no escaping them. If you were a boy growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, you had to pick a Ninja Turtle to identify with. This paradigm shifted when you were, like, two.


I don't blame anyone for liking this stuff. It was really fuck'n cool. But get your history straight. I'm sorry your stuff is too "new" to warrant retro T-shirts. I'm sure in another decade you'll find faded Pokemon ones at Walmart. And some kid, 12 years younger than you, will talk about how he grew up with Nintendo 64 and reminisce about Digimon.


  1. I'm finding it funny that Atari stuff is making a comeback I saw a Dig Dug shirt at Target, do teens these days know what Dig Dug was? Remember Arcades and when Mortal Kombat came out, not the 3D remakes mind you, but the old school 16 bit blood bath that revolutionized gaming,hell, myself as well as many of my friends are why kids these days have Street Fighter 4, we played the crap out of that game back in our day. And movies, they are re-making Footloose and Dirty Dancing, Footloose is a classic, why ruin it? This brought me back to a time before we had the internet and cell phones, our portable games were cardboard or on paper, our facebook was the arcades and school, our internet was going to the library, Mario was our king and we didn't have save points, you had a notebook with passwords or you left the console on and hoped, no prayed to your diety that nobody tripped over the cord to unplug it.

  2. It is up to our generation to educate the young'ns. One day my cartoons will be on tv and ill fix everything.