ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

Video gaming has gone through one hell of a transformation in the last 30 years, perhaps more so than any other entertainment industry. Gone are the days of brick-sized memory cards, squint-inducing 8-bit graphics and couch-constrained multiplayer modes, replaced instead by instantaneous cloud storage, photo-realistic pixels and sophisticated online playgrounds.

The kids of today simply don't know how good they've got it. Even so, I wouldn't trade my technologically constrained childhood for the world. No doubt they'll be saying the exact same thing about hilariously antiquated Blu-ray discs come 2025, but it's kind of sad that young gamers will never experience these 10 nostalgic quirks of the medium's infancy...

1. Blowing into cartridges

Every player's pro tip for breathing new life back into dusty old games.

2. Calling tip hotlines when an adventure game completely stumps you

How the hell else are you supposed to figure out that the rubber chicken combines with the pulley?!

3. Rumble packs

For when vibration was a commodity.

4. The original selfie device

The GameBoy Camera could handle a whopping 256×224 resolution, ensuring your face was just barely recognizable.

5. Endlessly untangling cables

I lost days sorting through the jungle of wire growing under my TV.

6. When it gets dark on a long drive, and the batteries in your worm light runs out

What in the world am I supposed to do for the next 5 hours?!

7. Asking your mom to stay off the phone when you're slaying online players in Quake

Oh dial-up, I'm not so sure I miss you and your incessant connection tones after all.

8. That utterly crushing feeling when you arrive at the rental store to find your game has already been taken

That's why you hide the game you want reserved behind an old VHS in the corner.

9. Passwords, passwords and more passwords

The Metroid missile code is still burned into my memory.

10. Oversized PC boxes

Because novel-sized manuals are awesome.


Latest from our Creators