Bitter Without Continues

All talk, zero credibility.

There’s something new at, and that something new would be, well, myself.

You guys are obviously looking at a new column on the page, graciously promoted by my humble benefactors, written by someone you don’t know, presumably geared on or roundabouts the subject of gaming.

But questions come to mind – the base inquisitions of any uncertain thing now being presented upon a new audience. The who, what, and whys, even?

Let me try and take this minute to not make a complete ass out of myself upon explaining what this is all about.

My name is Joe Martin, but believe it or not, I prefer to go by my online name of Joerocks1981. (Which happens to be my unilateral online personage on a multiplex of online gaming and social networks. If you feel industrious, look me up.)

And I felt what the internet could use is another angry white guy desperately careening into middle age, and endlessly reminiscing about the golden days – the times when all my responsibilities in the world involved getting home from a center of mandatory public education and spending anywhere from 8 to 12 hours in front of cathode ray tube and controller assisted euphoria, until i collapsed in a retinal frying slumber, all to do it again the next day.

kid in front of crt

Yep. Another one of those. The angriest and deadliest (albeit, more obnoxious) trope of internet fanboy scum. The guy that thinks the industry is falling apart around his ears because of things that are new and different. And he’s gonna write ALL about it.

Ah, but before you tune out, here’s where it gets interesting, and different.

I’d like to preface this statement by stating the following remarks.

My apartment is choked nearly to a bleary-eyed death with game consoles, peripherals, controllers, and video game cartridges, disks, or portable systems. It would be safe to venture that one could not enter my efficiency home without being inundated with an overwhelming Japanese wet dream of consumer electronics. (You will be hard pressed to find basic necessities, such as groceries, at times, but i do have vidja entertainment.)

My game vault app on my iPad reports that i currently have at least 350 games somewhere strewn about my living quarters, and those are the ones I can readily find, and have appropriately documented. It’s getting to the point where I won’t buy any smartdevice without being sure that if not now, then possibly, there will be a way to convert it to play NES games.

Nintendo PowerMy friends know me to be the guy that can name that chiptune in only a few bars, or better yet, as the guy full of all kind of useless bar trivia about all kinds of strange games that they have the faintest recollections of, but can’t place the name. Nintendo Power, Gamepro, EGM, hell, Diehard GAMEFAN issues and articles feed out of my eidetic memory whenever I need to place something or look up some great game worth checking out on “teh eBay.”

There is a good chance that in my waking hours, I will think, say, or repost something pertaining to retro gaming at least five times per hour, in order to get me through the day. My Google calendar anxiously awaits game releases, and yet, strangely is lacking in reminders for birthdays of friends.

And there’s days when I think, “If only I had a Crissaegrim,” and wish that someone else out there knew what the hell I meant by that.

Video Games are beyond a hobby for me ; they are 74% of my brain activity.

There are days I’d consider doing drugs just to fry the centers of my brain to where I could momentarily FORGET all the this crap that I’ve learned instead of practical life skills, like not owning a Toyota Corolla, and how to make money off unfortunate schlubs by wearing a tie and being a scumbag.

I absolutely LOVE the shit out of video games. Which is why the following truth is sad, shameful, and needs to be introduced promptly, so we can all get past this and move on with our lives and this column.

Ready? Here’s the sad moment of truth.

I am pretty much absolutely terrible at video games. I didn’t used to be, but…as time progresses, I flounder at simple tasks and execution. A Magicarp would have pity on me. And for those who don’t play Pokemon? Yeah. That guy sucks.


Case and point. Do you remember the 100 life turtle shell trick in Super Mario Bros.? Yes, the only 100 life turtle shell trick in the game. That one. The one that everybody can do.

Well, I can’t do that. For serious.

…I need to take a second after reflecting on that. It’s almost like admitting alcoholism to a loved one.

Now, I can beat the hell out of Super Mario Bros, yes. I might dare to venture that I could beat Super Mario Bros. pretty fast. (possibly, not talking a speed run or anything) Possibly without dying. (unlikely) But the one sneaky trick that pretty much almost everybody I’ve ever met can do, in the entry level title to what is largely considered a gateway into the forum of electronic games escapes me in a way that’s largely unfair.

It’s synonymous with people being able to do that damn Magic Eye fad. Or being able to roll their tongue. Or anything that excludes certain unfortunates with a crappy genetic disposition.

I can’t begin to describe what it is, whether it’s an issue of timing, or execution, or simply just being a jackass. It’s a game that in the course of almost 25 years of playing, I have never, ever been able to do it once. I know where it is. I know what you’re supposed to do. It just hasn’t happened.

It’s a task that I’ve even gone as far to get “that one neighborhood kid to come over and do it for me.” – as recently as the age of 24. Disgraceful.

But one day I feel that it will happen. You’ll know it when it does. My screams of victory will be heard across the land and electronic sea of the net. It will be a wondrous occasion, a primal accomplishment to rival that of the discovery of the new world.

I will, in fact, call my mother. She will not care, but accept my accomplishment for what it is.

Anyway, the biggest point of where i’m going with this is, you’re listening to the printed word of a character that has made a point of knowing a LOT about retro games – why they’re good, why there’s stuff that you should play that is good, why not all of it holds up, and why the conventional game consoles attempt to package the illusion of change (at least how i see it. again, we’ll talk about it.) with each innovation they come out with, when a lot of it has been said and done, if not better, back here.

Hell, I may even swear sometimes. I’m not exactly sure if that’s allowed yet, so we’ll see if this flies by editorial. If so, let’s celebrate with our courageous and noble friend, the word ‘Fuck.’. We’ll be hearing more from him and his wacky adventures also.

I wanted to take this minute just to introduce who you were dealing with, say hello, and hopefully make some friendly acquaintances and interesting observations along the way.

Until next time, I’m going to go back to Youtube and try and figure out why the damn timing on my jump is off.