Look, we all love our kids. But sometimes, something deep inside of you becomes a petty monster and you give your kid such a side eye that it actually hurts your own reproductive organs.
That was me last week — three times — over video games.
(Disclosure: I’m a Nintendo Ambassador and they sent me an NES Classic Edition to play with. Boom!)
Sup, nerds. It’s been great walking among the people, but the truth is that for years, I’ve been hiding my true identity, and I think it’s finally time you know it.
The truth is, I’m Z-Ro, the last Nintendo Game Counselor. Born in the 80s, honed by playing with power until I bled pixels. By the time the Nintendo Power Line faded away, I had gone into hiding with nothing but an NES and a dream that one day I may use my power again. That day, friends, is today.
There can only be one, baby, and I’m it! Cowabunga!
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.
If there’s a God, Andy Baio is doing his or her work.
Andy, a 37 year old dude from Portland, Oregon, has his priorities right. While the rest of us are content to plop our kids down in front of whatever the most recent video game is, Baio wanted to know what would happen if he ran his son through the history of video games from past to present.
I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to leap through the computer and hug the crap out of Andy when I first read this story.
This week marked 20 years since the release of the Sony PlayStation. Gaming’s come a long way, but I have too – I’m now married and I have a five year old son. I’ve lived during the lifespans of four Sony PlayStation consoles and a handheld. But somehow, this isn’t the only gaming birthday that shows my age.
When I heard that the PlayStation turned 20, I thought about what I was doing back then. I was sitting in my friend’s living room, playing the “PlayStation Picks” demo disc – featuring games like Jumping Flash, ESPN Xtreme Games and Wipeout. I was playing a CD-based system for only the second time – the first, of course, was the SEGA CD, which next October will be 23 years old.
If you sit and think about all of the video game birthdays that pass by every year, it’ll break your brain.