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volume 1, issue 23

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

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The Rise and Fall...: look back at the strange history of hobbyist game programming.

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Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez's regular look at the convergence of film and videogames.

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Old Crusty Gamers

By Brian "Scoobybri" Svehla


e join our drama, already in progressÖ

Young Gamer: "But Grandpa, I donít wanna play Dodge ĎEm anymore! The graphics suck, the sound sucks, and thereís no point to the game. Canít we play some Metal Gear Solid or Zelda, or somethiní with 3D graphics? Pleeeeease!"

Old Crusty Gamer: "Now, son, you have to learn where weíve come from to appreciate where we are now. Hand your Grandpa his cane and Iíll put in a different game. It is an epic adventure with all the action and challenge of MGS or Zelda. Itís called Pitfall!"

Young Gamer: "Cool, Pitfall 3D is alright with me, Grandpa. Bruce Campbell is awesome."

Old Crusty Gamer: "Hold your polygons there, young man. This is Pitfall, just Pitfall, with no fancy "3Ds" at the end. Itís the original, and the best. See the crocodiles and the scorpions, and hey, thereís even music when you swing across a vine."

Young Gamer: "This sucks too! It all sucks! Iím going to play with my Gameboy. It might not be 3D, but at least the games are fun."

Young Gamer storms from the room, slamming the door as he leaves.

Old Crusty Gamer struggles to his feet and lashes at the lad with a clenched fist around his 2600 joystick.

"Back in the old days, this is all we had and we liked it! I would walk twenty miles through the snow uphill, both ways, just to get a chance to play one round of Demon Attack. Youíve got to learn some respect for your elders, boy!"

When the Old Gamer is certain that the young lad is thoroughly engrossed with his Gameboy, he youthfully bounds across the room and pulls a Playstation from underneath his recliner. As the ever- so-familiar white boot screen shines across his TV, he smiles and is at peace with the world.

And the credits rollÖ.

That old crusty gamer is me. I am a grandpa in the world of console gamers at the ripe old age of 28. I have seen it all. From the age of battery-powered Pong clones, though the wonder years of Atari and Colecovision, through heydays of the 8-bit and 16-bit system wars, to the present crop of next-gen machines (actually, present-gen, but thatís splitting hairs.) I am sure that the latest crop of gamers will be able to look back in twenty years and reminisce about the "dark ages" of Playstation and the N64. But no one is able to appreciate the birth, death, and resurrection of the home video game console market like us, the old crusty gamers.

I remember it as if it were yesterdayÖ.

My first memory of a home video game machine was some sort of Pong clone. It was 1977 or 78 and I was at a friendís birthday party. While the other kids were playing "pin the tail on the donkey", I was trying to control both paddles at the same time because no one else would play with me. I did not care! I was playing games on a TV! Wow, it even had a switch to select between Tennis, Hockey, and Racquetball (which amounted to nothing more but a change in the amount and position of the blocks on the screen.) Yes, I admit, two movable sticks and a bouncing block do not amount to much gaming excitement, but before this, the most you could do with a knob and a TV was change the channel.


(continued on next page)



Credits: Illustration © 1999 Mike Sanzone. Old Crusty Gamers is © 1999 Brian Svehla. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it...we'll beat you with our canes, you rascally youngin, you.