The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to be a Gaming Snob

This set-up is complicated by the fact that no one can quite agree on who to poo-poo and what exactly deserves to have paeans written to its glory. Video games though just aren’t taken seriously and game journalism is seen of more as a cheer team rather than a bastion of stimulating conversation and critique.

Respect to a media isn’t given until those who profess a love for it, denigrate the majority of it… In an effort to bring more creditability to video gaming I’m offering this list of 10 things you’ll absolutely need to be one of those snobbish elitists you’d see if you ever went to art galleries, indy-music gigs, or read the New Yorker…

It seems in order to be taken seriously by the art industry, and the world at large, you have to poo-poo a lot of things while singing the praises of a small few…  This set-up is complicated by the fact that no one can quite agree on who to poo-poo and what exactly deserves to have paeans written to its glory.  Video games though just aren’t taken seriously and game journalism is seen of more as a cheer team rather than a bastion of stimulating conversation and critique.

Respect to a media isn’t given until those who profess a love for it, denigrate the majority of it…  In an effort to bring more creditability to video gaming I’m offering this list of 10 things you’ll absolutely need to be one of those snobbish elitists you’d see if you ever went to art galleries, indy-music gigs, or read the New Yorker…

braid10.  Braid – Braid is the future of video games, movies, life, everything.  Don’t believe me?  Just asks its creator, Jonathan Blow, who has managed to make his own ego the main selling point of this brainy platformer.  Now, you don’t actually have to beat the game, you don’t even have to play it.  Simply mention Braid, or it’s creator, in any video game discussion as an excellent example of form reflecting content, or comment on the delicate and multi-layered story in a condescending voice and you’re peers will soon be asking you what games they should like and why.


9.  Zork – As a connoisseur, a collector, a critic you know the importance of packaging, how the context of an item contributes or detracts from how that item is perceived and interpreted. Zork is one of the most famous PC games ever made, familiar to even those outside of the hobby.  So you know that Zork was originally sold in small plastic baggies with a 36-page booklet, right? and that is the version that you have.  Why is this important?  Because you own a piece of gaming history before it was commercialized, before the hobby was “sold-out.”  It is important to play Zork so that you see just how far the format has degenerated since its inception…  Here is story-telling!  Games today eschew story in exchange for fancy graphics and complex sound tracks, all wrapped around 12 year-old male power/revenge fantasies.  You also need to play Zork, in order to know what a grue is, in case your expertise and right to belittle everyone and everything to do with the hobby is questioned.

It's Thinking...
It's Thinking...

8.  Sega Dreamcast – Sega tried so hard too, The Dreamcast was the companies swan song before they got out of the hardware business altogether.  Why do you need one?  Well because as a snob you know that the biggest isn’t always the best, in fact, you’ve based you’re entire value system around hating and vilifying anything that the majority like.  The Dreamcast is the perfect system, not only because it had a surprising number of great games on it, as well as truly bizarre ones that help your connoisseur cred, but it also failed to be commercially successful.  Not because the system had actual technical flaws, It’s parent company had used up any good-will consumers might have had towards them long before, or a myriad of other reasons. It failed solely because the proletariat failed to perceive its glory, but snobs recognized its greatness which is why they still own one and endlessly talk about how much better it was than the PS2.


7.  Any board game designed by a German – If you follow the broader world of gaming you know that there has been a recent revolution in the boring old world of board games.  Over the last few years European game designers have muscled in on the boring American market bringing to our shores such games as Carcassone, Puerto Rico, and numerous other board games that aren’t Monopoly or Life with a new skin…  Having at least one of these games shows that your love of gaming transcends boundaries and medias.  It also shows that your snobbery does as well,  “If it isn’t designed by someone with an accent in their name it really isn’t worth playing.”

cash6.  Any game that sells on the secondary market for more than $200 – Obviously it has to be complete…  That cardboard box adds anywhere from $25-$100 dollars to the aftermarket price.  Why do you need one of these?  For a number of reasons: you get to brag to everyone just how much your complete MIB copy of Panzar Dragoon Saga is, not that you care about that sort of thing; it shows that you you take care of your collection, that you are not a gamer, anyone can be that, you are a collector: that you have impeccable taste, others might have to scrape together a small fortune to get their hands on a game everyone, belatedly, recognizes as great, you bought it when it first came out, when everyone else was buying garbage like Killer Instinct you picked up a copy of Earthbound.

sexy, sexy, text
sexy, sexy, text

5.  Softporn Adventure – Software erotica, wasn’t always easy to come by…  In fact digital images of naked women weren’t even possible with early computers, and early attempts at digital pornography are more disturbing than titillating.  Softporn Adventure was one of the first digital attempts at adult oriented gaming.  The game lacks any graphics and is tame even by the standards of its time.  Despite all that the game created a huge controversy and was bootlegged and pirated across America’s high school and college campuses.  This rare piece in your collection tells people your love of the art isn’t bound by bourgeoisie attitudes toward sex, feminism, and class. Bonus snob facts:  This game was originally published by On-Line Systems, which would become Sierra On-line, and is the only game the company made that does not include graphics.  Also Roberta Williams (creator of King’s Quest and other adventure games) is naked in a hot tub on the cover.

Akumajou Densetsu4.  Japanese copies of Games released in English  – That’s impressive that you own Casltevania 1,2, and 3 complete MIB.  Did I tell you I have a copy of Akumajō Dracula, Dorakyura Tsū: Noroi no Fūin, and Akumajō Densetsu?  No, well I do.  What’s that you have Final Fantasy 3?  That’s nice, check out my copy of Fainaru Fantajī Shikkusu.  Things are just better when you can’t understand them, also they have  crosses and boobies in the original versions.

3.  An irrational, undying, love for some game designer – It really doesn’t matter who…  Sid Meier, Hideo Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto, Tomonobu Itagaki, the Gollop Brothers, Brian Reynolds, Hironobu Sakaguch, the list is endless…  As long as you’ve picked one and will defend any and every game, statement, or bowel movement they’ve ever made.  You’re not a fanboy though, so you’re going to have to dress up your slavish commitment up in big words, and technical terms… Talk about moving the media forward, paradigm shifts, innovative controls,  restructuring design elements, advanced responsive AI, groundbreaking story-telling, etc., etc.

2.  A videoed speed-run of your favorite game, tool assisted doesn’t count – As an expert on all things gaming, you must occasionally show others just how amazing you are at games.  Also, you’re better than them at games.  One of the best ways to do this is to go through a game, preferably a hard one, as fast as you can without dying recording the whole time and then upload it to YouTube where the whole world can bask in the glory that is you… The video above, by Toad22484, is a speedrun of Contra, and it clearly shows how much better than you he is at gaming… With your own you’ll also be able to assert your dominance over the unwashed gaming masses…

you wish you owned it
you wish you owned it

1.  An original arcade cabinet or prototype/demo cart – Either one.  Possessing one of these not only shows you’re better than other gamers, disposable income to blow on superfluous collector’s items…  Having one or multiples of these lets people see how you’re doing your part to preserve video game heritage.  It will also make them jealous.

So there you have it, 10 things you’ll need to enter the gamerati elite.  Best of luck I look forward to our hobby becoming as shallow, hollow, and joyless as other forms of mass entertainment are today!

Fairy Tales, part 2: Hansel and Gretel, violent street thugs.

Who doesn’t love this quaint fairy tale that shows children overcoming adversity and sticking it back at the adult world. It’s just so tragic as well. Their evil step-mother bitches about having to feed these kids over and over. I mean they never stop eating! God, it’s like they’re growing or something. Their father, a poor wood-cutter, finally succumbs to her endless demands and abandons them in the middle of the forest. Hansel and Gretel though are smart cookies and had been eavesdropping on their parents conversations. So they knew what was up and left a trail of pebbles to find their way back home. Go Kids! This is repeated again, but for some reason this time they don’t have rocks, they only had bread. They leave a trial of breadcrumbs but every selfish animal in the forest just eats their way back to safety. Well that sucks. They wander around in the woods for awhile until they find another house, this isn’t any house though, it’s gingerbread house!? Sweet! Wait… a witch lives in it and she captures the two of them. She starts fattening up Hansel while making Gretel her slave. Hansel tricks the witch that he isn’t getting any fatter, fed up with waiting she tries to cook his sister, there is a struggle, the witch falls in the pot. Bam! problem solved. Gretel frees her brother, they find a bunch of gold and jewels in the witches house. They then leave the house and find their way back to their own home. Daddy is so happy to have them back, even better while they were off in the woods their stepmother died! Score! Happy Endings all around.

But Wait!

What the Fuck is going on in this thing? If I was a poor wood cutter and I had two “great” kids and one harpie of a wife. Why not ditch the ball and chain? She eats just as much as the kids do, leave her in the woods. Food shortage solved and now he can go out at night with friends. I can guarantee you if this woman couldn’t stand her husbands children, she wasn’t going to tolerate his loser friends.

Next the children. Innocent Hansel and Gretel. No, these a wicked kids. They eavesdrop, trespass, vandalize, murder, and then robbery. My guess is that their stepmother wasn’t upset about them eating all the food, she probably feared for her life.! Violent thugs living down the hall from you and their father justs sits. He let’s them get away with everything! You can’t just come up to someone’s house and start eating i!? It’s not theirs! The witch had every right to capture these kids. They were on her property, not only that they were destroying her house! What would you do if two hooligans jumped your fence crossed your lawn and then started taking chunks out of your home? You’d call the police, or you’d shoot them, But if you were an old lady, who’s lived alone in her gingerbread house for ages and is maybe a little gone, you’d capture and decided to eat them, perfectly reasonable. Another point, why the hell would animals eat a trail of lousy bread crumbs when there is an entire house made out of candy just sitting in the middle of the forest! Fuck crumbs! I want cake, and so do wild animals. Everything wants cake.

I’ve already stated that the old lady was crazy, why else would she live in the middle of no-where in a house made of food which is fool of treasure and then try to it the stringy runts who deface your property? With that kind of loot she could be living the high life in the city, if she still wants children there are plenty of street urchins, how often do kids get lost in the forest? How often do they stumble upon your tiny house? I bet she put up signs. How else would anything find your elaborate, completely inefficient child trapping home? This old lady could learn some pointers from pedophiles, they just use their shitty internet connections and beer. Besides prepping kids sounds too complicated and involved, I’d just have shot them and made a normal dinner.

They get back home after destroying this old lady’s life to find out that their stepmother is dead as well. What great luck. In the real story though it wasn’t a step mom it was their normal mom. So what does that mean? “Scholars” think that the mother and witch are the same person. If that was the case then I can only say this, that is one dumb fucking woodcutter… At least there weren’t any pedophile dwarves, though they could have livened it up a little.

…What I Got

Pictures of me should be appearing on Facebook right about now, pictures of me hiking and hanging out with dogs. Yesterday, Diana and I drove North East of Sacramento to Sugar Pine Reservoir. We spent the day hiking around the it, we think it was 3 or 4 miles, there were other people there but they were mostly stationary, so there were times when we were walking on the trail that it seemed we were the only ones there, times when we could even look over the water and not see any boats and believe we had the place to ourselves… There were also times when old ladies were pissing on the trail as we came around a bend… Yeah, it was kinda a mixed bag when it came to that… Who uses the trial as their latrine? This was a fucking National Forest!? They had bathrooms like in a dozen different spots! Okay, maybe she was old, and maybe she was lazy, and maybe she was retarded, but everyone and I mean everyone knows, you don’t drop trowel on the trail! You go off it, and a behind a bush or tree or something…

Hiking was fun and the reservoir was pretty enough. After we had finished our day hike, on our way back to Davis we passed through Auburn which is where one of Diana’s aunts lives. Her aunt breeds and show Australian shepherds. They mauled me and I loved it. We spent a couple hours there just chatting with her ant and petting/playing with puppies. I want a dog.

We then drove back to Davis took showers and then rented some movies and watched them. It was a great day.

In other news: I’ve decided I need to schedule my time more efficiently. I need to set aside one or two hours everyday just for writing. When these hours come up I need to stop everything else I’m doing, sit down and write. I also need to police myself while I’m writing, the internet is just a click away… Also I’ve realized that I have a lot of books and video games that I have not read/played. So no more purchases until I finish what I have. I’m going to try and figure out how to put some lists into that sidebar over there —> and fill them with what I’m reading and one for what I’m playing. It’s all so exciting. That’s it for now, the next post will either be the continuation of a little bit about me, or a funny story about tabloids.

%d bloggers like this: