As a child, I loved going to the grocery store — and I think this game show was the cause of that. Even today, I don’t hate shopping – it just isn’t as fast paced and fun as I’d anticipated. On the 90s Lifetime version of SuperMarket Sweep, there were a variety of question games that entertained us momentarily – but they knew what we really wanted. The “Big Sweep” was so exhilarating to watch, I can’t even imagine partaking in such festivities. Basically, the teams would run through the store, filling their carts with whatever they could get their hands on. The goal was to compile the highest grand total, which decided the winners. Continue reading
Recently I spotted a young whippersnapper, no older than 11, using his fancy laptop in Starbucks. My attention turned his way after he kept audibly muttering complaints about the speed and consistence of the public Wi-Fi. Apparently the high definition, 1080p Youtube videos weren’t loading up to par with his whiny wishes and he was enraged by it. Sadly, the generation of young folks currently on the rise has no idea what a 90s kid’s internet experience was like. Some of the struggles we dealt with included:
1. Being forced to hear a loathsome (borderline unbearable), Dubstep sounding combination of screeches, beeps and unidentified noises for about 30 seconds EVERY single time we connected to the internet. (SEE BELOW).
2. About 50% of the time, after waiting for the detestable dial-up sounds to pass, the connection STILL failed.
3. If we were fortunate enough to successfully connect to the internet, ANYTIME thereafter that somebody needed to use the phone, you were forced to disconnect to free up the phone line. (I can’t remember how many times I heard the phrases “Get off of the internet, I need to make a call!” or “I’m waiting on an important call so nobody get online for the next few hours…”
4. The internet used to be handicap turtles at the DMV slow. In the year 2012, buffering is often considered intolerable. For 90s kids, it was a regular occurrence. Patience wasn’t a virtue, it was a necessity.
5. Wi-fi didn’t exist, which meant if you were on the internet, you were likely sitting at a desk on a home PC.
Honestly, as time consuming and troublesome as our internet experience was, it was still magnificent. At the time, we knew nothing about high speed, wireless connections or anything of that nature – so we adored our raw, brand new technology. The point here is that those born in a faster, more efficient internet era will never appreciate the remarkable improvements that have been made. Our patience as 90s kids was tested, therefore, it’s a lot easier for us to relax when a computer has a little loading time, than someone who has never experienced that… OK, who am I kidding? I slam the mouse or scream obscenities at the computer during the slightest of malfunctions too, but at least I know from experience that things could be worse.
Sega’s Sonic games were the only real competition to Nintendo’s Super Mario franchise. Many tried to emulate what they were seeing elsewhere but the makers of Sonic constructed a game faster paced and more aesthetically pleasing than any other platform had produced. The spiky, blue hedgehog not only became a beloved game franchise but was the mascot for Sega. There was even a short time in which Sonic dethroned Mario, who at the time seemed untouchable. Why was he able to? Because Sonic games were the first to be a ridiculously speedy game that moved quickly and had high drops, slopes, loop-de-loops, running and jumping in each level. The levels had enemies scattered all over the place so you had to adopt the “be quick, but don’t be in a hurry” motto to prevail. We know the Sonic series was good because even when they brought in Tails’ obnoxious ass in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, the game was still brilliant. Tails was one of the worst sidekicks in existence. Or perhaps it was the fact that the game’s rival, Mario had one of the all time great sidekicks in Luigi, which set the bar higher than Tails could reach… Which is really unacceptable since Tails had flying abilities. Either way, the blue hedgehog in red sneakers changed the pace of video games as we knew them.
SIDENOTE: Anyone remember the music that played when Sonic was drowning? HOW THE HELL is a kid supposed to do anything with this panicky, alarming tune playing. Take a listen to the link below and ask yourself if there is any task you can accomplish with that type of jingle going on simultaneously.
Posted in Realizations
Tagged 90s, Luigi, Mario, Nintendo, Sega, Sega Genisis, Sonic, Sonic The Hedgehog, Super Mario, Tails, video games