Retro Uprising
Scoop This section contains interesting stories found on the web, mostly to do with retro gaming.
Donation Goal
Goal amount: 5000 USD, Received: 569 USD (11%)
Donate Now
When we reach the current donation goal all software on Retro Uprising will be replaced with a new superior method for playing games online that will support all browsers, play many more games and consoles and fix errors in existing games. This will be a massive site upgrade. The largest in our history. Please help us reach our goal as soon as possible.

Retro Uprising relies on donations from users like you! List of Donors

Register to enable more features such as high score recording.


Go Back   Retro Uprising > Other > Scoop

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-06-2010, 06:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Robot's Avatar
Regular Poster
601 posts
Robot is kissing everybody's bum just rightRobot is kissing everybody's bum just rightRobot is kissing everybody's bum just right
View Stats
Level: 17
Points: 3,658, Level: 17 Points: 3,658, Level: 17 Points: 3,658, Level: 17
Level up: 52%
Level up: 52%, 192 Points needed Level up: 52% Level up: 52%
Activity: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
 

   
In Memory of Blockbuster, Indie Video Stores, and Weekend Game Rentals

About a decade ago, it would have been proper to call Blockbuster a "video rental giant." The chain still commands a presence in cities and suburbia alike, but Netflix, extended cable options and digital distribution have humbled it. And the recent news about Blockbuster possibly filing for bankruptcy later this month indicates that the ailing titan might not be long for this world--at least not as a brick-and-mortar presence.

Blockbuster's troubles have provided some potent fodder for retro gaming nostalgia. For us, Blockbuster's video selection was only half the story. The other half was all about video game rentals.

Many of us still rent games today. It's an easy, cost-effective process. But anybody who's ever been young and in love with Nintendo knows that renting NES, Genesis and SNES games was just special. It was an end-of-the-week treat; it was our only chance to get our grubby mittens on new video games in between the ocean-wide stretch of months between the holidays and our birthdays.

We'd bolt from our parents and bullet through the doors of Blockbuster before the car even rolled to a stop in the parking lot. "Wait!" our parents cried as we lost ourselves in the Game Rentals section with the single-minded ecstasy of Scrooge McDuck rolling around in his money vault. "If you don't help choose a video, we're just going to let your sister get whatever she wants."

So the family video that night would end up being some abomination about the My Little Ponies learning how to use their new EZ Bake Ovens. And we'd sit on the couch and twitch, because we knew that as soon as the first writer's name scrolled on-screen, we were going to arrow from our seat, stuff Mega Man 4 into the NES and squeeze every second we could out of our three-day affair with the blue robot boy.

But the unique flavor of the 8- and- 16-bit game rental market wasn't cooked up by Blockbuster alone. There was a fertile time when independent video and game rental stores lay thick across the North American landscape. Finding a new video store within walking distance was as exciting as stumbling on an archeological ruin, because you never really knew what you were in for. Sure, Blockbuster provided, but it was a sterile fixture. There was no thrill in actually finding a Blockbuster location, because it was like discovering the local grocery store or hospital.

It was in the smoke-choked holes where the real treasures lay. If the clerk at Blockbuster gave you a blank stare when you asked about the availability of Dragon Warrior IV, you could be assured that the Russian-speaking proprietor behind the gnawed plastic counter of some independent hole in the wall had a copy up for rent--and it would come with a torn photocopy of the encyclopedia-sized instruction booklet. Pony up five bucks, and the game was yours for a week. Bonus points if your dad busied himself for a while in that mysterious little room separated by a curtain of beads and left you to pore over your findings.

Alas, for every goldmine that independent video stores offered up, there were at least two heart-breakers. The neighborhood I grew up in had one accessible video rental store within walking distance, and its games rental section was a wire rack with a tired selection of titles you'd only touch if they were foisted upon you by a well-meaning but gaming-illiterate aunt. Two games I especially remember being at the store consistently were The Three Stooges for the NES, and Aladdin for the Genesis. Aladdin was a nifty little side-scroller. But after a few continuous rentals, its appeal wore thin. My friend who usually accompanied me to rent games from this particular establishment grew thoroughly tired of Aladdin, and wanted to give The Three Stooges a try.

I had never played The Three Stooges, but some deep-rooted instinct warned me away from it, maybe the same instinct that once told my ancestors not to pet poisonous snakes. My friend wouldn't back down. We nearly broke out in a fistfight that day, right in the middle of that dismal cave.

Despite my love for retro titles, I'm not the kind of person who looks back on the games of her childhood and says, "Yep, those were the days. Not like the garbage we're fed today." I like buying games with my own money. I like the ease of downloadable content, which gives us original, high-quality games like Limbo, Braid, and Shadow Complex for a fraction of the price you'd pony up for a disc at GameStop. But even I have to admit that something inside me has died along with those Sunday trips to rent whatever was new and exciting in the world of the NES and SNES.

So long Blockbuster, with your overbearing but charmingly eager clerks running on Red Bull and testosterone. So long independent video caverns, with your creaky, sticky floors, moldy-smelling walls, and hopelessly unbalanced game selection. I've already poured a Cherry Coke on the curb for you all.

(Images from News Record and Polivision)



http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9046954
My SignatureDisplay Signature Reply With Quote
Automated post.
Old 09-06-2010, 09:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
RU Joe's Avatar
Regular Poster
4,906 posts
RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!RU Joe has earned the ear of the admin. Watch yourself!
View Stats
Level: 41
Points: 28,434, Level: 41 Points: 28,434, Level: 41 Points: 28,434, Level: 41
Level up: 14%
Level up: 14%, 1,216 Points needed Level up: 14% Level up: 14%
Activity: 95%
Activity: 95% Activity: 95% Activity: 95%
 

   
Re: In Memory of Blockbuster, Indie Video Stores, and Weekend Game Rentals

Aww, thanks for the memory refresher, Robot, it really takes me back to the 'good ole days'.
The air was fresher, the food tastier, the games, movies, and even the music were better.

Then the 2000's came.

Ok I'm kidding, but those were my best years I had {so far} during the '90's so it's only natural for me to think of them in this way.
The possible closure of Blockbuster is another window to the past being shut forever.
That's all.

Personally I preferred the Cheap - O - Video places better anyhow - the article is right regarding them, and I also found some really neat obscure things in places like that too.

My SignatureDisplay Signature Reply With Quote
Scanty and Kneesocks with Otto Nightmare Team presents:
Your new nightmare XXVII:
( Click to show/hide )

The sudden realization you'd been doing something wrong without knowing it, then hoping it's not too late to fix it.

Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Opinion: The Future Of Retail And The Blockbuster Myth Kugyince Scoop 12 08-17-2010 08:50 AM
The Angry Video Game Nerd's Angry Video Game ECInc2XXX Reviews 7 03-01-2010 11:58 AM
Your first video game. GamingWolf Chat 57 01-16-2010 11:58 AM
Adding memory to my computer. count100 Help 9 10-29-2009 03:24 PM
Feast of Games for Thanksgiving Weekend. Kong Closed Contests 45 11-28-2007 04:32 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:18 PM.

vBulletin® ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. » vBadvanced CMPS