Posts Tagged ‘video games’


Over a joyful, crushing, blood-sugar-destroying 14 hours on Monday and into Tuesday morning, I was able, with remarkable precision, to approximate the 2013 Vikings season during a marathon season of Tecmo Super Bowl. I’ve written about Tecmo before. It’s my favorite video game ever and one I could write 5,000 words about at anytime. This week I went up to Wisconsin with my old friend Brandon to visit my cousin Matt. I was only there one day and night. But during that time — from 1 p.m. to past 3 a.m. — we played a season of Tecmo, conjuring up old memories of seasons past and creating new memories I’ll be cursing 15 years from now.

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Sad news for children of the 1980 and early ’90s, or at least for those who enjoyed reading about video games from that era. Nintendo Power magazine is apparently shutting down. Now where will players learn how to defeat the impossible game P.O.W.?

I don’t play video games today, even as the industry has exploded in popularity. It’s not that I necessarily lost interest in them — I lost my playing ability. My skills degenerated with each new, more advanced game system, until eventually I became the equivalent of a 98-year-old rural shut-in handling an iPad for the first time.

But as a teen Nintendo ruled, and while other guys chased girls or went to parties on Saturday night, I played Nintendo in the basement, usually with my friends Matt, Mike and Brandon, apparently oblivious to the fact you could actually balance all of those things in your life. Faxanadu, Captain Skyhawk, Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf, Baseball Simulator 1.000 — all classics and personal favorites.

The grandest game of them all? Tecmo Super Bowl.

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During my trip back to Janesville a few weeks ago, I visited my cousin Matt on Saturday night. Like every other time we see each other, the conversation eventually turned to Tecmo Super Bowl, Baseball Simulator 1.000 and Strat-O-Matic baseball. Those three games – two on the old Nintendo system, another a classic simulation – are responsible for many of our teenage memories, laughs, physical fights and verbal brawls. Our friends Mike and Brandon often joined us in these contests, most of which took place in my parents’ basement, where we sat for hours and hours, watching dirty movies on Showtime while expressing awe at the San Francisco 49ers’ Tecmo offense and debating the merits of Julio Franco’s fielding skills. Even today, on the rare occasions when we’re able to meet up for more than a few hours, we break out the dusty Nintendo or the worn Strato cards. (more…)