2018/09/17

What's in front of You

What's behind You

I found the image above making the rounds and thought it would serve as a fun bit of nostalgia fodder. Judging by the pop culture references scattered throughout, the scene depicted above takes place in a teenager's room in an idealized version of the early 1990s. It's a clear summer night, and our young gamer is sitting back to enjoy a few rounds of Street Fighter II.

There are a couple of almost certainly purposeful inconsistencies. Most of the showcased ephemera suggests an American subject, but he's playing a Super Famicom instead of a SNES, so we have an interesting distortion of space. Doom also wasn't released for Nintendo systems until 1995, whereas everything else in the room hails from no later than 93, so there's a dreamlike compression of time. It makes for a compelling contrast.

Audience participation time. It's mid-summer of your thirteenth year. You're chilling at home on a perfect evening with your diversion of choice. Put yourself in the place of the kid in this picture. What's in front of you? Tell us what you're doing, and list some of the artifacts that would have been in a snap shot taken from the same perspective at the time.

If the header image has one demerit, it's a decided lack of anime content. As long as we're blending Eastern and Western 90s pop culture, that room could use a Gundam model or a Macross poster. Luckily, Combat Frame XSeed is coming to make up for what's lacking. Support the runaway hit Indiegogo campaign now, get amazing perks, and help us fund the XSeed audiobook!

Combat Frame XSeed

29 comments:

  1. Timothy Zahn's original Star Wars trilogy.

    SNES with Chrono Trigger

    Diablo II on the computer.

    Original Game Boy with Tetris, Link's Awakening, Dr. Mario.

    Sega Game Gear with Columns and Sonic.

    Have to practice the viola. Pick blackberries in the backyard for pies and jam or just eating them.

    Going down to the beach and looking for geoducks.

    Going to a 3-week orchestral music camp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Have to practice the viola."

      Didn't know you played :)

      Re: Diablo II - I'm finally playing through it myself.

      Delete
    2. Switched from violin to viola to get ahead in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra system. Worked, too.

      What's the definition of a string quartet?

      A good violinist, a bad violinist, an ex-violinist, and someone who despises violinists who all get together to bitch about composers.

      Delete
  2. All the way back in 2006, I'd have been gaming on a ps2, xbox 360 and MAYBE a wii at that time. Final Fantasy 10 and 12, the MGS series, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, maybe a wrestling game and Zelda Twilight Princess. Best thing that I played around that time would probably be Oblivion, although I'm reasonably sure I didn't play that until a couple years later.

    Most of those titles are not exactly the apex of gaming, but its what I had.

    Anime wouldn't be better since my only exposure to it was DBZ and Naruto and a YuYu Hakusho movie that I watched like 10 times. I watched a lot more American toons and read a crap ton more of Marvel comics at that time than any Japanese entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Most of those titles are not exactly the apex of gaming, but its what I had."

      I'd take all of those over what we have now.

      Delete
  3. A book. We didn't have anything beyond Pong in home video games when I was 13.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody buys just one book. Which titles would've been on your shelf?

      Delete
    2. Point taken.

      Anything I could find by Kuttner, Moore, Bradbury, Brackett, Howard, Williamson, Ellison, Foster, Hamilton, Beaumont, Chandler, Hammett. Best of Year anthologies, Del Rey Best of's, The current issues of Asimov's, Analog, F&SF, Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock.

      Delete
  4. Would've probably been going through Super Mario RPG again, or playing Kirby Superstar co-op with a friend. We played our SNES systems long after everyone else stopped. It was a fantastic system. Still is.

    Other than that? Probably watching a Dragon Ball Z tape.

    My thirteenth year was not a good one, though, so it's kind of a blur to remember. The year before and after that are far clearer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It was a fantastic system. Still is."

      Preach it. I was just playing Super Castlevania IV on my original SNES this past Friday.

      It is indeed legendarily good hardware. Retro devs are still making the odd game for it even today.

      Those games explode sometimes, but it's a small price to pay.

      Delete
    2. I highly recommend Terranigma, if you can find it. I played it way back in the day on an emulator since it never came out here, but it's been pressed to a cartridge recently. I'd say it's up there with Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Final Fantasy VI, as one of the best JRPGs.

      Delete
    3. Yep. A couple of my retro gaming buddies have it. It's high on my list since Soulblazer is one of my favorite SNES games and Terranigma is the spiritual sequel.

      Delete
  5. 1988...? I would have been playing the NES, stuff like Contra, Metroid, Trojan, Double Dragon, etc. I also did a lot of PC gaming, especially Sierra's output, Wasteland, Pool of Radiance, etc.

    I was never big on decorating my room, but I did have a few models of Star Trek ships that I had assembled, with the movie version of the Enterprise hanging over my bed.

    For reading, I was into stuff like the Dragonlance Chronicles, Elfquest comics, and Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker books.

    For music it was all about thrash metal. Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, plus more traditional stuff like Dio and Ozzy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Brian,

    That pic IS my room. I was 13 in South Texas in '93. Still have the Jordan Jersey as a keepsake and Hyper Fighting Street Fighter 2 for the SNES. I also played a lot of Mortal Kombat 2, Super Mario World and Madden 93 (I'm a sucker for Dallas Cowboys on game covers). I also absolutely destroyed Tecmo Super Bowl on the NES,released in 91 and was my last NES games. I didn't really buy movies, but I did have a few tapes that,had Indiana Jones that was taped on ABC Saturday Night Movies. Strangely, I was mostly out of comics aside from Batman Knightfall and the Death of Superman Story-lines. Knightfall is still my favorite Batman story, especially the final arc.

    Anime did not come to me until I was 14-15 with Tenchi Muyo being for rent at the local VHS store. How that happened in South Texas, I don't know.

    Ah....memories....of being a nerd on a farm with nothing but chores to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cbashcraft: +9000 on the Farm Kid experience!

      Brian: My take is on G+

      Delete
    2. Eerily similar to my own formative experience, but in a Midwestern city. Especially Loved Tecmo Bowl.

      Delete
  7. ‘93 is blurry for me. I had the Super Nintendo, and the games I played on that were SM World, Super Metroid, Castlevania IV, Final Fantasy III (VI), Mega Man X series, F Zero, Zelda Link to the Past, Final Fantasy II (IV), Super Contra, and the Donkey Kong series (my sibling’s fav). For Nintendo I had Mario 1-3, Zelda 1 & 2, Metroid, Contra, Final Fantasy, Mega Man 1-6, and other games for both systems but these lists would be too long. For PC I was big into adventure games, like Kings Quest series, Legend of Kyrandia series, Myst series, Torin’s Passage, Loom, Monkey Island series, and others. I also played Warcraft I and II, Duke Nukem, that first MMO by Richard Garriet (name escapes me), X-wing, Tie Fighter, and all the Looking Glass/Ionstorm games (Thief, System Shock, Deus Ex) in the later part of the 90’s.

    Books, I remember reading the fantasy of David Eddings and Raymond E Feist (the latter after playing Betrayal at Krondor), and other works of sci-fi and fantasy but they didn’t make enough of an impression for me to recall right now (I do recall disliking Asimov’s writing and having a debate with my father over why Asimov sucked as an author). Played tennis, soccer and flag football. Rarely watched tv, so no anime memories for me until college and my Japanese roommate. I do remember some of the good action movies though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I do recall disliking Asimov’s writing and having a debate with my father over why Asimov sucked as an author"

      Good man.

      Delete
  8. I'd be reading Autoduel Quarterly, designing another arena car for a club championship attempt (that never came), and having my copies of the TMNT and Robotech RPGs out alongside my AD&D1e rulebooks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TMNT and Robotech: the mark of the connoisseur.

      What happened with the Car Wars championship, if you don't mind?

      Delete
  9. It would be an early 1970's summer for me. I'd be either reading a Heinlein juvenile, or watching ST:TOS reruns the local NBC affiliate was showing on a daily basis back then.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Okay, Summer of '94. I still had my old NES, but I think my brother and I were playing much more Sega Genesis by then. Titles? Sonic, Gunstar Heroes (I think), a few other not hugely popular games. WWII airplane posters on the walls, a PC in the corner with a HIGHLY ILLICIT copy of Doom, Silent Service, F15 Strike Eagle, can't remember if I was into Civ 2 by then or not.

    Books. Lots of books. My Eddings phase was starting about that time, lots of Tolkien and Tolkien derivatives, old SF collections handed down from my mom, and lots of WW2 etc histories and coffee table books. Magic: The Gathering card decks and a too little used basic BattleTech set (my brother was the only one who'd play with me). Oh, and every BattleTech book I could get my hands on.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Let's see. Summer of '00. I would've been playing the first console our parents let us get -- the Playstation... I remember playing Final Fantasy VII and VIII, and a lot of demo discs with syphon filter, tomb raider, Spyro, and Tomba!. I think we also got Metal Gear Solid pretty quickly. That's probably also around the time I got big into emulators on my PC, and started playing all the old JRPGs from Final Fantasy to Phantasy Star to Megami Tensei, to Lufia. Played a lot of Raptor: Call of the Shadows, Starcraft, Warcraft II, and Command & Conquer on PC as well. I don't remember when Half-life, Jedi Knight, and Unreal came out, but we used to have a home network, and my brothers and I would play a lot of FPS games like those against each other over LAN.

    Books-wise, I was probably on my 2nd read through of Lord of the Rings around then. I remember getting into Raymond E. Feist's stuff about that time too. And we had a healthy collection of C.S. Lewis, Michael Crichton, and electronics and science history lying around the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FFVII was my first PlayStation game, as well.

      Delete