Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Age Before Beauty: How To Stick It To The Man With Retro Gaming

If I may, I would like to pontificate on a subject that is very near to me (quite literally, I am currently typing this on the laptop where I store hundreds of ROM files): retro gaming. I like to consider myself a scholar/poet of the subject, as there is yet no assembly of academics who can dispute such a claim. As far as you and I are concerned, I am a celebrated guru of retrosexuality, and it is with these credentials I hereby dub Jason and Anthony as Betchian Reverends, just in case they had any doubts as to my 8-bit divinity. But there will be time enough for convincing you of my accolades when I market this knowledge for profitable gain. Now, while I am still humble with poverty, I wish to impart upon you this knowledge with only the hope you will plug the shit out of this on your facebooks or LJs in exchange.

While there is something to say about the gratification of nostalgic preservation, my interest and advocacy of retro gaming stems from philosophical, artistic, and political inclinations, of which I will detail further in my conveniently annotated list below.

I wish it to be known, before I extrapolate, that above all things I wish to express the importance of individuality in one's gaming. For some, this means downloading everything onto a laptop and playing Final Fantasy during business meetings or lectures. For the more materialistic purist, this entails acquiring implementing the original hardware and tinkering with an old NES and slightly used cartridge of SMB3 in their basement. These are all correct.

What matters is that you're sticking it to The Man. Who is The Man? Anybody you want him to be. The patriarchy. Corporations. The developer who screwed you out of $60 with a shitty game. Sometimes I like to imagine that Miyamoto is the man. Because he doesn't look like he'd last very long in a fight.
How am I sticking it to The Man by playing some old video game, you may ask (over and over, without giving me a chance to fully explain myself). Well, below are some fine examples for you to take home and write on your friend's walls in crayon or shout at random people in the food court. If you can think of any others, please feel free to share them with me so we can negotiate a price and I can pawn it off as my own.
1)By downloading, sharing ROMs and Emulators, you are spreading the wealth of video game heritage without lining the pockets of unscrupulous eBay peddlers and the gaming companies that profit from selling and re-selling the same titles (Virtual Console and XBox Arcade) to their audiences.
2) By purchasing obsolete consoles, peripherals, and games from third party sources like used bookstores, thrift shops, and scrupulous eBay peddlers, you are helping to tip the scale in favor of vendors and independent businesses that are often marginalized and ruthlessly absorbed in corporate expansion.

3) Abstaining from supporting the products of companies like Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo is to prevent your money from being used to
oppose your own social, political, and economic progress. Companies like these enforce the corporate economic standard that many of us queers are fighting desperately to escape the wreckage of. They pollute, they fuel the violence and bullshit that goes on in the countries where the natural resources needed to make their products (which will undoubtedly end up taking shelf space in a GameStop used section years from now), and it's almost guaranteed that someone high up in one of these companies donates some of their income to a religious or political organization that impedes our progress towards the restoration of our human rights. As consumers, we are entitled to the position of power in a capitalist system, if only we were to actually put our feet down when the companies displeased us. Just a thought.

4) Purchasing technology that allows you to optimize your freeware gaming (like a pocket emulator player from ThinkGeek or a specially crafted USB SNES controller from a third party vendor) supports innovation and
creativity while ensuring that more loop hole -exploiting technology remains readily available in the future.

5) Inviting a friend to share your ROMs or play with you allows you to create community without forcing them to spend money on accouterments (such as an online account) that they may not be able to afford. If nothing else I've said here makes sense, remember this: community. It is the greatest human strength, and we should find ways to experience and thrive in it without the requisite of an ad
mission fee. Although sometimes it's necessary. Pizza parties ain't free. Yet. Give the socialists in congress some time mwahahah

Just in case you think I'm losing my touch and coming down with "Cerebus Syndrome", below are some screenshots of some
games I've been playing recently with clever captions!

Thank you for listening. Or just skipping ahead to the pictures.

Vtec just kicked in yo!

The bible as interpreted by Kirk Cameron.

This a giant mechanical gorilla superkicking a giant frog monster. Your argument is invalid.

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