Well, here I am. The 200th post.

I’d like to welcome my new reader, 8-Bit City. It’s always good to keep building up the readership and connections.

A lot has happened since my debut back in 2006. I did this as a hobby blog, and by and large, it still is. The only difference now is that I actually have some feedback.

For those who have read my blog, or are new to my page, this has been more of a personal journey of gaming. From current industry trends, to my actual time working in the industry, to sharing some lesser known classics, to just my current gaming habits of the time, it’s been an interesting journey.

I’ve been gaming for more than 30 years, which in context, is absolutely eerie and sobering, when I think about it. Obviously, I’ve seen my fair share of changes in the hobby, and I thought I’d share with all of you some of my favorite moments.

Working in the industry – It was definitely a high point in my gaming (and professional) life when I worked at Midway and a few smaller companies off and on for a decade. I was at a good point when I started as the industry was still fresh, and fun, and it wasn’t quite as corporate business vibed as it is now. Of course it was work, but it was also fun. I got to put my name on a product, and helped provide some guidance on the creativity of certain titles. I got to attend quite a few E3’s via work, and even a few when I wasn’t in the industry thanks to friends. I worked at Midway during a fruitful and vibrant time, and I walked away when it was collapsing upon itself. Still, the memories and friends made were a fantastic ride.

Pac-Man – If you want to know what cemented my interest in gaming, blame the little yellow ball. When Pac-Man debuted, it sparked a phenomenon. It was more than an arcade game. It was a record and pajamas and lunchboxes, and bubble gum cards, and books, and a terrible Atari 2600 game. And then it became the Championship Edition on the 360, where I still check in to play a quick game. I even have an ornament on my Christmas tree. Everyone has their “gateway” game that got them started. Pac-Man was mine.

Arcades – I refer to the heyday of the arcades back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I miss being able to walk into an arcade with the blacklights and day-glo carpets. The days of Pac-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Fighter II, The Simpsons, Mortal Kombat, Paperboy, and S.T.U.N. Runner. while arcades are all but a thing of the past, I fortunately live in Vegas where they have at least three respectable arcades still in service.

Atari 2600 – I still get dewy-eyed nostalgic over the 2600. While the games look like Legos by today’s standards, there are still a few titles that are quite playable. How funny that one of the biggest highlights of the last console generation for me was the release of multiple classic gaming compilations from this era of gaming.

NES – Truly the “Golden Age” of Nintendo, and birth to so many franchises that are still relevant and active today. It was a great time to be a young gamer, especially with that new issue of Nintendo Power hit the mail for the major source of gaming news (remember: No internet back then), and all night gaming sessions with friends to work through some of the toughest games ever created. Despite one’s stance on the Wii, it’s been getting a lot of NES-like games and franchises of late, that are too appealing to be ignored.

Apple IIc – A friend and I owned one of these computers, and in comparison, the system doesn’t do a fourth of what modern computers do today. But we taught ourselves BASIC to make new games, and there was of course the means to share our gaming library with each other (let’s just say it was easy to increase your gaming library back then). I’m glad that I still have a functional IIc in my console archive.

The Console Wars – Back in the ’90’s, kids fought in “The Console Wars”. The SNES Vs. Genesis debate was more intense than any of the 360/PS3/Wii rocks/sucks arguments today. Back then for a gamer, it was serious business. I took more of a Switzerland approach, owning both systems, and not having to choose a side. As a veteran of “The Console Wars”, I still find it mildly amusing that Nintendo and Sega are able to play so nicely today.

Dreamcast – Talk to a Dreamcast owner, and they’ll bemoan “What could have been”. If you’ve never played Dreamcast, you owe it to yourself to see what the big deal was about. It barely lasted a year and a half, crushed by Playstation 2, but what it accomplished during the year of 2000…. Sega’s never reached that level of creativity since, and the industry could use another shot in the arm of the original ideas that spewed forth from that little white box.

Gaming Today – I like logging on to play games and chat with my friends or watch movies together as a team. I like making little virtual representations of myself. I like downloading classic games or new ideas, many of which are better than what’s being put out in retail now. I like the current retro revival, where “old has become new”, and in many respects, we’ve come full circle.

I still enjoy gaming today. It’s a nice release from a long day, or a way to get together with my friends and catch up while blowing away zombies. And while Nintendo isn’t the old familiar face that I once knew it to be, New Super Mario Bros. Wii looks to be another chance to revisit the types of games I grew up with. But with all new adventures.

I’d also like to thank all of you that read my blog, and keep me pressing that “New Post” button. I enjoy sharing insight with you, swapping stories, and building the friendships that I have. I’ve got a few new ideas for some subject fodder on here, which I hope to cover soon. I’m in the process of trying to close on a house right now (wish me luck), but once that settles, I’ll be posting more regularly.

Here’s to the next 200….

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