Yesterday was the last day of E3 2015. I got a chance to attend and check out some of the really cool upcoming games — Street Fighter V! Disney Infinity 3.0! Mario Maker! — and even got to take selfies with some of my favorite industry personalities. But 10 years ago, I was taking a whole different kind of photo.
2005: E3 has been bubbling up in the early 2000’s and at the show, it’s getting harder and harder to find the games as you drown in a sea of promotional toys and “booth babes.” I’m slowly shuffling forward in a neverending line of nerds, but instead of inching toward a playable demo, I’m — oh, wait, it’s my turn.
I walk up a couple of faux stone steps, and there are three “booth babes” standing at the top. All day, they’ve been posing with men up there. I say “hey, so I’m doing something a little different,” and the second one of them starts to nod, I drop to the ground and slump down the steps. My friend says “it’s okay, this is his thing,” and snaps the picture. The women laugh as we walk away. The next 400 men squeeze between the women and wrap their arms around them, proudly posing for their photo as if they’ve done something other than stand in line for it.
There are certain things you can always expect from a Jurassic Park movie.
Dinosaurs (duh), that iconic John Williams score, a Cliff Notes introduction to chaos theory, someone accusing someone else of “playing God” – Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park really laid out a template that the subsequent films have followed religiously. One could even argue that the huge opening weekend success of Jurassic World is, in some way, due to the fact that it followed the original “Jurassic formula” much more closely than the other two lackluster sequels. (Isla Nublar is WAY cooler than Isla Sorna.)
However, there is ONE strange component to that formula that inexplicably has shown up in EVERY SINGLE Jurassic Park film so far. And it’s not dinosaurs, DNA, or Dennis Nedry.
ALL of the Jurassic Park movies have subplots about divorce. All of those cute kids who spend the movie running away from prehistoric carnivores – every last one of them is a child of divorce. That seems odd, right?
A policy allowing 50 weeks shared parental leave hit the United Kingdom back in April, but Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, a dude that owns subsidiaries in both the music and aerospace industries, didn’t think that was enough – for dads at least.
Branson just unveiled a policy at Virgin that gives new parents — both mothers and fathers — up to one year of fully-paid parental leave. But but but…
Back when it was a totally dope diss to say “don’t have a cow, man”, kids had a vocabulary full of pop culture. There was something magical about old video games’ vocal snippets. Because games had limited memory, and because we were dealing with cartridges and CDs instead of giant hard drive installs, sound bytes were short, succinct and hilarious.
My friends and I would dole out disses and exclamations based on video game sound bites. I wonder how many of these were common among your group of friends too! The best thing is that I’ve found that some old school video game phrases are totally still usable now that I’m a father…
Game: NBA Jam (1993)
System: Arcade, Genesis, Game Gear, SEGA CD, SNES, Game Boy
Usage: After jamming home some trash next to your unaware child.
Of course. NBA Jam was a game full of sound bites and quotables. And while “he’s on fire” was commonly thrown around by my friends, the more forceful exclamation was a gentle “BOOMSHAKALAKA” yelled into the ear of a friend who merely had the bad luck of standing next to a trash can while you had something to throw out. You’d throw down the trash so authoritatively that let’s face it, you should have looked into a career as a garbage man. Well, now you’re a parent, so part of your job is being a garbage man, so the next time you need to throw something out, do it with style and scream “BOOMSHAKALAKA!” Your kid will repeat it in no time.