List on the 3s! A vrtual cornicopia of … well, nothing in particular. It’s a list. That appears any time there’s a date with a 3 in it. I could say more, but I think it’s pretty clear by now.
Be prepared for a shocking surprise: Shiny does not own a Wii, an XBox 260, any of the previous XBoxes 1-359, An iteration of Playstation or any other Nintendo-based gaming system. In fact, the only gaming systems which grace his house (aside from Windows-based PCs) are:
* one Sega Genesis gaming system which has not been used in over eight years
* two Atari 2600s (both in mediocre shape) which socKs bought off of eBay for a good price. It took a lot of fanagaling to get it to work with our television which was a few decades ahead of the Atari. And we also needed a new power source. But we eventually got it working! And then put it away for a few years.
The point is — video games have not been as huge a part of my life as for many others my age. While others have shared in such experiences, I have not ever played Call of Duty, Half Life, Splinter Cell, World of Warcraft, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Sonic the Hedgehog, the Legend of Zelda, Madden 2K7 or a myriad of other games. I have played Grand Theft Auto III for a while (on the PC), and I was on Second Life for a few minutes before getting bored. Oh — and I’ve played many of the iterations of the Disney/Pixar “Cars” videogame.
This list will demonstrate my video game prowess — from my pre-teen years to the present.
Shiny’s Top 7 Video Games
7. Paperboy (1984)
I’ll be honest: I liked this game because it was the only one at the time that had handlebars. And I didn’t have to go incredibly fast. And it was a different sort of game than the rest of them out there — it had real-world applicability built in! And the theme music was catchy in a “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” type of way.
6. Crazy Taxi (1999)
Once again, real-world application is king. Besides, I liked the notion of being able to memorize street maps and know where I was going — whether in forward or reverse. And bumping into things? Not bad. I’ve played the original Crazy Taxi in the arcade and a few variations on the PC.
5. Marble Madness (1984)
First of all, this game used a trackball – like a big marble to, you know, control a smaller marble. Second, the graphics and music were ahead of their time. (Although, after listening to it now, I’m thinking of donating my speakers to charity.)
4. Bejeweled 2 (2004)
Some of you might play this for the simplicity of it all.
Some of you might play this for the intense strategies.
Some of you might play this for the beautiful backgrounds.
Screw you all — I’m in it for the music. This is some of the eeriest instrumental music I’ve ever heard in a game.
3. Spy Hunter (1983)
This was one of the toughest games to master at its time. Your car — it had oil slicks! And smoke screens! And it played the Peter Gunn theme! (Although I always only knew it as the “Theme to Spy Hunter.”) I wasted far too much time on this in the 80s…
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Game (1984)
It’s amazing how much a text-based computer game can hold up! This was the best of all Infocom games, somewhat following the story of the first book in the series with its own hillarious twists and turns. I still remember the insanity which was overcoming all of the obstacles to get that damn babel fish into my ear! Douglas Adams showed us that content was king; his mastery of story-telling made this a truly wonderful experience.
If you’ve never experienced the game, the BBC has an illustrated version of it online here. And if you’re a purist and prefer a text-based, non-illustrated version, the one on the Douglas Adams site is still available.
1. E.T. – the Video Game (Atari 2600) (1982)
Was I, perhaps, the only person out there who could (kind of) master this game? Perhaps it was because I gave up on it slightly later than everyone else…
Anyway — watch the music video above. Relevant and cute.