Weekly Wringer #96: One AAA Experience to Go Please

Game publishers, and vicariously, developers are constantly after our dollars with the (perhaps cliched) AAA title on home consoles and PC. One need only look at videogame sales over the last 10 years to see that they certainly know how to use these releases quite profitably. But increasingly we’ve seen developers, publishers, and (mostly) game hardware manufacturers tout the future of gaming as the delivery of the AAA game experience on all platforms regardless of delivery. But is that what we’re looking for as gamers? Today the Commodore talks about your responses to this question and provides a few thoughts of his own on the subject. And then it’s off to a fan-submitted question for next week about nostalgia, hipster chic, and enjoying stuff that was around long before you were born. It’s the Weekly Wringer!

MP3 Version: Weekly Wringer 96


  • Mr. K Mr. K
    Posted May 20, 2013 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Commodore, I remember just before you started doing the Weekly Wringer, you had a kernel of an idea for it and made a blog post regarding it. It was about this question, actually. It was when you talked about the scene in Austin Powers where he put the CD on the turntable and it scratched. You wanted to know how the mp3 generation would interpret that scene.

    Anyway, onto what I have to say.

    I think some stuff remains, but some does not. For instance, my grandmother– God rest her soul– made me watch Turner Classic Movies CONSTANTLY growing up. At the time, I hated it, but in retrospect, some of the things they showed really are the best movies ever made.

    Among the ones I love the most are Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Picnic, The Best Years of Our Lives and 1776.

    I want to talk about The Best Years of Our Lives, in particular. Katherine Hepburn called this movie the greatest ever made. She even preferred it to Citizen Kane (which I do, as well, even as a journalist myself). I absolutely agree with her.

    If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It isn’t on Netflix. If you want it, message me and I’ll mail you a copy. It’s about the lives of three men who are coming home from WWII. One is an Air Force officer, one an Army NCO and a Navy seaman who lost both of his arms in the Pacific.

    The three of them are all from the same town and end up on the same flight. Then they take the same taxi to their respective homes. As you progress through the movie, you can see how dug into life they get– in that rut. But on the odd occasion they see each other, they visibly perk up and remember what it was like. They’re never going to be the same after their experience in WWII.

    Anyway, this movie was remade a few years back. The new version is called The Lucky Ones. Tim Robbins is the lead. It plays out almost exactly the same, but it’s simply been updated for a newer time.

    Why does it work? Because it’s a universal story. War isn’t going to stop. You can change the specifics: adding cell phones, modern military deployments, vulgarity and sex, but it’s something that is unique experience.

    On the other hand, the other day I watched the three Back to the Future movies. As a kid, I remember the second one being my favorite, because they went to 2015.

    In retrospect, I don’t even like the second one anymore. I still think the first one is the best, but the third one really comes in second for me now. I feel that way because it’s an experience that I, myself, can put myself into. I’ll never live in 1955 or 1885, so through these moves, painted through a modern lens, I can enjoy the stories.

    But it’s 2013. We don’t have flying cars. We don’t have hoverboards– whether they work on water or not. It seems a little ridiculous to me. And I’m an adult. My youngest brother (he’s 16) finds the second one almost unwatchable because of this reason. Mainly because he wasn’t alive in 1988 when this movie I came out. He didn’t have that same sense of wonderment about the future that I had when I went to see this movie in the theater.

    So it really depends on the specifics, I think, and can’t be just a general, blanket statement.

    Anyway, I feel like I rambled too much. I could talk about the kind of music I listen to (which really doesn’t go past 1996), but I won’t. I also admit my mother listens to some REALLY crappy music from the 70s. Stuff that makes me want to vomit to hear just as much as Bieber.

    So that’s my two cents. I think I’m going to spend my afternoon watching both The Best Years of Our Lives and The Lucky Ones.

    • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
      Posted May 20, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

      In case people have not read the blog post that Mr. K is talking about in his first paragraph here is the link to it.


    • DTX180
      Posted May 21, 2013 at 12:21 AM | Permalink

      I’d argue the 2nd one is the worst. The first one is by far the best movie.

      The third one gets hate from our era of kids because we want futuristic sci-fi, not old westerns. Sadly most love for western atmospheres died with the baby boomer generation, because by generation x special effects allowed cooler sci-fi stuff. I prefer westerns a tad more, but i love both. Anyway, I think the BTTF3 is better than BTTF2 mainly because it tries something fairly new (the 2nd one still involves them going back to 1955 for a good chunk of the flick), and the 3rd one has a decent moral for young kids with the “future is in your hands” stuff doc says at the end of the movie.

      I love bttf

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted May 21, 2013 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

        The thing is, as a whole story, BttF is brilliant. There were three main types of films popular in the 50s: the teen romance (aka BttF), the future Earth/sci-fi (BttF2) and the Western (BttF3). Each one of those types of movies appealed to a different demographic during that decade, but nonetheless, Spielberg is a genius for recognizing that and incorporating that aspect into his overall arc for the series.

      • Posted May 22, 2013 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

        Back to the future is my favorite movie series of all time and i enjoy all three but i feel the 2nd is my favorite. I think this is because i love time paradoxes and seeing Marty avoid him self and sneaking around the events of the first film is a really awesome way to do a sequel.

        Although its arguable that you can’t have the second without the first because the second movie’s plot pretty much couldn’t exist with out it. When you look at it like that way, the second movie is like a ‘DLC expansion’ to the first, but my god, what an expansion.

        • Red Mage Red Mage
          Posted May 22, 2013 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

          I agree. While the 2nd BttF is probably my least favorite it still is a decent movie. Sure, the lure and mystery of ‘futuristic’ 2015 is pretty much gone now unless there suddenly are 100’s breakthroughs in science in the next 1 and 1/2 years. (Come on Nike at least give us the self-lacing shoes by 2015). I like how it ties into and plays off the 1955 events of the first movie while in contrast the third movie doesn’t really tie in with the first movie at all. Still I would probably rank the movies 1>>3>2 with the first movie a clear cut above the two sequels.

  • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
    Posted May 20, 2013 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    Is it hipster to like things from Japan, since their culture is detached from ours? Is it hipser to be reading Dante’s Inferno, because he is from many generations past? Is it hispter to listen to a Bruckner symphony, because he lived a century ago? (Is it hipster to listen to a Furtwängler recording from, say, the 1940s, instead of a more modern one, because it was recorded many years ago, despite the fact that the interpretation is better?) Is it hipster to listen to a Lenny Bruce concert, instead of one from a modern comedian? I find it interesting that literature was omitted from the inquiry because one glance at it would tell us how silly the question is. I greatly lament that some people don’t look past the content produced by their own generation, but I except it; however, when somebody tells me I’m being a hipster because my favorite film is Tokyo Story, I really can’t understand anymore. That said the question is entirely valid, since this sort of argument is brought up remarkably often, but I have never heard a single convincing case for it made. Things can get jaded, yes, but that is why interpretation based on hisotrical conditions is important. Frankly, when somebody tells me they don’t want to watch films from 1990 because they are old, I can only laugh. The last film I watched was a silent film, and why not?

    • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
      Posted May 20, 2013 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

      *but I accept

      • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
        Posted May 20, 2013 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

        Now that I have reflected on my post for a while, I realize I looked at the question too narrowly. I will, thus, for myself, rethink the question not in the sense of ‘is it hipster to find value in things from generations past?’, but ‘can one connect better to material from his own generation?’. For example, I had not even turned 5 when 9/11 happened (and was also in Europe)- will I now have a harder time appreciating material dealing with that most delicate subject?

        Still I believe that the truly great works transcend the limitations of their time by eliciting a response not on the basis of this or that event that happened during our lifetime but on the basis of our humanity.

        I have heard of retro-game collectors that have become slightly agitated because of the rise of retro-gaming collectors in newer generations that were not around during the games’ original release, which is somewhat understandable, because they feel relics of their experience are being taken away from them by people who want them only for their practical value, which may be the origin of this question – interesting point indeed. I will leave that to people more experienced with that; evidently I am not.

  • NightWolf
    Posted May 20, 2013 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Absolutely not. My first console was a Playstation 1, yet I own and enjoy several consoles from the years prior to that. This past Christmas my mom surprised me with an in-box Atari 2600 along with all the system’s classics- Frogger, Pacman, Pitfall, Missile Command, etc., and I can say that that was honestly the best Christmas gift I’ve ever received. No, I didn’t grow up with that system like my parents did, but just knowing that I now own such an important piece of gaming history pleases me to no end. I don’t have the same nostalgia for those games as many of you do, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy them. In fact, some of my favorite titles are ones from the SNES era which came out before I was born. I might not have the same understanding of them as someone who played them when they came out, but I try to appreciate each game for what it meant at the time and understand why they’re still being talked about today.

    I think anyone who’s passionate about gaming will naturally take the time to look back on our industry’s history to see how far we’ve come since then, as well as to enjoy some of the best of what our culture has to offer.

  • Young-blood Young-blood
    Posted May 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Is it ‘only’ an ironic/hipster thing?

    I don’t see how it can be.

    As I understand it, the movement is predicated on liking things either because they are ‘Retro’ (Hipsters) or old and bad (Ironic). Feel free to correct me on either of those, the movements haven’t gained much traction over here from what I can tell. Another thing is that these two groups hardly ever go back further than 2 generations prior.

    If those things are true, then people of today would not be able to like these things:
    Opera; Blues; Classical Music; Theatre; Silent Movies; Black and White Movies; Card Games; Board Games

    Also, define irony:
    1) A statement which, when taken in context, may mean the exact opposite of that which is written.
    2) Contradiction between circumstances and excpectations
    3) Being part of a movement named after a derivative of the word ‘irony’ whilst failing to grasp the definition of ‘irony’

    Also something steve Buscemi said about Lynrd Skynrd. Don’t remember the exact quote.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

      This is what you’re looking for.

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

        Oh wow. I didn’t know it would put the video window inline with the conversation.

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted May 20, 2013 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    Well, I think the answer to question depends on WHY someone is connected to something that doesn’t specifically belong to their generation.

    If a person only getting into an old TV series or movie just because it’s old, then yes they are hipsters. For example, I knew people in high school that dressed in 70’s style fashion like the Scooby Doo gang, not because they actually liked the fashion style but because it was a the ‘retro’ or cool thing to do. I don’t really agree with that philosophy. Why force yourself to partake or experience something just because it might be trendy?

    However, if someone happens to get into an old game/TV series/movie based on its solely on it merits and not it’s age, then no they are not a hipster. For example, I love The Twilight Zone TV series and it was made 20+ years before my birth. It definitely doesn’t belong to my generation at all. But I don’t consider myself a hipster at all for enjoying that anthology series. I judge the show (and basically everything (new or old) I watch or play) solely on its merits. Age is irrelevant to me. The show might lack some modern technological amenities like color and CG effects but in my opinion, The Twilight Zone is generally a well written and engaging show and that’s all that matters.

    Quality is quality. Just because something is old doesn’t mean it can’t resonate well with subsequent generations. There’s nothing ironic or hipster about enjoying something of high quality.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted May 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

      The Twilight Zone is still one of the most brilliant pieces of film and television history we have. It will stand as a testament to the pinnacle of mankind’s journey long after we as a species have died off.

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

    Reading some of the other comments, I missed part of the question initially. I read it as along the lines of ‘is it ironic or hip to be connected to something in the past?’ I wasn’t really even thinking of the actual Hipster subculture of the 90’s. Even then I don’t really think it changes my answer all that much.

    Those people I described from high school actually fit the 90’s hipster subculture to a tee. They wore that 70’s fashion simply because it was retro, and at that time ‘retro’ was ironically the ‘new’ cool for some social groups. It was a way to be different yet still cool and trendy. If one is enjoying retro or things that are counterculture for (in my opinion) the wrong reasons (i.e. to be cool or simply different) then it could be considered hipster.

    As I explained, I’ll watch decades old TV shows and movies not because they are old or be cool but because they happen to be great works of art that can be enjoyed regardless of their age. And if someone actually really honestly enjoys dressing like Fred from Scooby Doo and isn’t doing it because its ‘retro’ or be different, but truly enjoys and appreciates the fashion style, I wouldn’t consider them a hipster either.

  • DTX180
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 1:02 AM | Permalink

    I somewhat think there is two different ways to answer this question. Really cool question btw.

    When you first read the weekly wringer topic you ask “is it only a hipster/ironic thing to be connected to….”. Then when you specified it a tad, you mentioned “do you have to be a part of the generation to understand what the games/movies/etc were really about”.

    But “be connected to” can mean many different things. I like (although probably not nearly to the extent of many here) the star wars original trilogy. I was not born till 1987 though, a bit after RotJ. I feel “connected” to the original trilogy, as I watched them as a kid and enjoyed them. I have fond memories and even some nostalgic (relative to my life) feeling towards the ep 4,5, and 6. I remember watching Jedi before any of them because my older brother taped it on a VHS (man, those Pizza Hut and Golden Crisp commercials were wacky back in the early 90s). So yes, I’d say you can be “connected to” something before your time.

    Now this is where it can get tricky imo. Later, you said “to understand what the games/movies/music were really about”. This, I’m actually inclined to say no, you can’t. Star Wars for Millennials/Gen Y (whatever you call it, and I’m assuming most of us here) is viewed differently by our generation than the late baby boomers/gen x, especially in terms of special effects. Our generation knows that the special effects of Star Wars were legendary for its time, but we don’t really understand the atmosphere of being in the theater in 1977 being amazed by the technical aspects of Star Wars episode 4. It just wasn’t our time. By the time Millennials first see star wars, they have already been exposed to many technological advancements that will dull the understanding of what Star Wars meant. We were still impressed by Star Wars, but it wasn’t even close to how impressed people were in 1977.

    Because I’m not the best writer (I have a Math degree for a reason….I like numbers, not words), I’ll try to use another and quicker example. Can a 15 to 20 year old today enjoy/have personal nostalgia towards Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana? Absolutely, I’m sure a ton do. Can they truly understand what that song (and the rest of the grunge movement) meant to a big chunk of generation X? Eh, I don’t really think so. They can study and know what its place in music history is, but it doesn’t seem truly viable to understand what the song meant.

    The same thing applies to internet culture. Remember the day all the websites we went to were angelfire and geocities extensions? *Hums Glory Days by the boss*

    TL:DR version: I think you can enjoy things from a past generation for more than “hipster” reasons. But I don’t think you can really understand what it meant to others in the era of its release.

  • Markies
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    Absolutely, Positively Not!

    If I look at my collection of music and games along with movies that I have liked, they are from all sorts of generations that are not my own. I absolutely love Film Noirs from the 1940’s, Romantic Comedies from the 1950’s, Musicals from the 1950’s and the rebellious Rock N Roll from the 60’s and 70’s.

    I also realize that since I was born in the early 80’s, I won’t have experienced all that happened during those decade. I didn’t experience WWII and the jubilation of winning and the soldiers coming home. I didn’t grow up in the turbulent time of oppression in the 60’s/70’s, so I don’t have that feeling of rebelling against the ‘man’ that others do.

    But, as an outside, I can still appreciate those parts of the culture. I LOOOOOVE playing Pong against people because it is a FUN game to play against somebody. I LOVE playing Pinball Machines that are older than me because those games are simply addicting. If a game/song/movie is good, it doesn’t matter what time it was released in. I’ll still enjoy it.

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    i think this question’s ridiculous. move it outside the context of video games and apply it to something else like music or movies. (growing up primarily in the 90’s) that would mean i could only truly enjoy music like mc hammer and the backstreet boys and my favorite movie should be austin powers. can i only enjoy things like the ramones and blazing saddles in a subconscious effort to be edgy or cool? they’re both timeless classics.

    if i’m wrong, then when i have kids i shouldn’t let them touch my super nintendo. they’ll just be playing it to impress me.

    i think it’s just trendy to refer to any youth and every youth as a hipster. and if everyone’s a hipster then noone’s a hipster.

    i’ll exemplify my point with a funny video i didn’t make. http://www.cracked.com/video_18560_why-its-time-to-stop-calling-everything-hipster.html

    • mrandycretin mrandycretin
      Posted May 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

      just listened to the question a 2nd time. didn’t realize it covered movies, music, and games. i must have had games on the mind.

  • Posted May 21, 2013 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    This is something I’ve recently brought up in conversation with a friend. The idea was that if a child raised in 2013 with only NES games available, they would experience a very similar gaming introduction that we did and care about those game just as much regardless of the age. The only thing that can divide generations from appreciating some form of entertainment that came before them is a source of comparison (which is biased for the “now”). The question, “which one is better?” becomes something that can be asked.
    Something that is “fun” or “cool” or even “amazing” is decided by the individual by experience in the end. If you’re 15 years old today in 2013 and loved playing an NES game or watching the first Star Wars movie… that happened because these things had something great that goes beyond a “fad”. That’s my point I guess… Fad VS Awesome?

    From my own experience with enjoying things made before by mortal self:
    1. The Million Dollar Man board game… awesome fun.
    2. A Clockwork Orange… got me to re-think what movies can be.
    3. Donkey Kong arcade… thanks Bill!
    4. Frank Frazetta’s art… few come close.
    5. Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin!… nuff said.

  • Posted May 22, 2013 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    This question which essentially is: “Is it ironic to connect with retro media created before one’s own birth” can fairly easily be debunked as “No” Here’s why:

    Anyone that has enjoyed any Beatles song born after 71′, or enjoyed star wars but was born after 77′, or enjoyed Super Mario Bros 3 born after 88′, or any D&D player post 74′ would fall into the category of ‘connecting with something before their generation’. I chose these particular items of media because i would consider each of them to be fairly timeless in their respective fields and I think you would be hard pressed to find someone born in 2013 that could hate all 4. So if each of these media items are timeless they cannot be ironic or hipster to listen to because they are enjoyed and connected to by such a wide audience of all ages.

    I’d like to take it a step further and explore at how timeless media has entered into the collective consciousness of mankind, and I would like use music as an example, particularly Canon in D. In the late 1600’s a musical composer by the name of Johann Pachelbel created Canon in D during the Baroque period of music. This classical peace of music that you can hear at many weddings laid out the groundwork for what would become all pop music by creating a chord progression that can be heard in multiple popular songs ranging all genres spanning from classic rock to modern ska. Now that we’re in 2013 many people have become aware of this chord progression being found in a number of billboard topping tracks. Now that this chord progression has been so widely heard it makes me now wonder if we have become stuck in a rut regarding what music is and what good music sounds like because those 8 chords have been driven in our brains. Also, it would be interesting in how two new musicians both born in 2000 setting out to create music in 2020 would be influenced by hearing or not hearing any modern songs that could be based on canon in d.

    Looking at this it makes me further wonder when you relate this topic to gaming. Many gaming genre’s that still exist today were invented in the legacy era of gaming. Could modern meroidvania games like Guacamelee even be conceived without its precursor metroid? Possibly but they might look extremely different, even in the wild west days of game development games were still baised on their precursors for instance, most RPGS have roots in D&D. Arguably game genres have also entered our collective consciousness as well and that’s why we keep seeing many games in the same genres again and again.

    Now, where I’m going with this is that I feel there’s absolutely no way exploring / using / connecting with retro media could ever be considered ironic or a hipster type of activity because in the end, everything we have today is a result of things of the past entering the collective consciousness of everyone in the western world. So there’s not too much of a difference in connecting with media of the past than the media of today, because, often times, its just two generations take on the same thing. Deadmau5 and The Beegee’s aren’t too far apart musically when you really look at it, and that’s pretty awesome.

    • Posted May 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM | Permalink


      Because I’m an ‘old man’ most of the games that where ‘before my generation’ are pre-atari 2600 stuff. My first gaming experiences where when the 2600 was still relevant and honestly playing games before the 2600 is just painful. Growing up in that generation I think post 1986 was when games finally became really playable and fun.

  • I Feel Asleep I Feel Asleep
    Posted May 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    I would say that you can like older things without being ironic/hipsterish when doing so. If you couldn’t than the idea of a classic work wouldn’t be around. Some things transcend the years because of the universal appeal they have. That being said I also think that to really understand the impact something had, for lack of a better term, you kinda had to be there. I can tell my step son that the Atari 2600 was awesome but to him its just squares and beeps. Without a frame of reference to the time it came out in he will probably never understand the full impact. He might grow to like it or respect it for being the great great great grandfather of the modern consoles but will he ever look at it like me? Probably not because you kinda had to be there.

  • Posted May 22, 2013 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    I too feel that it is not ironic/hipster to connect with things from the past, be it music, movies, games etc.And yes, experiences are variable. Many of us are introduced to older medium via family and friends. I grew up on Peter, Paul, and Marry mixed with Beatles and Classical music. I still even prefer classical in many ways, with Video gaming helping cement that in large part. It also then stretched my interests to Japan’s doors.

    The question of connecting to it is a somewhat separate issue. I didn’t grow up in “Beatle mania” and today, I frankly don’t care for much of their stuff. So I have an interesting example that not only stretches through time, but space. Grave of the Fireflies.

    Without spoiling the movie, it is set in WWII Japan and focuses on two children. It was based on an auto-biography and Studio Ghibli breathed life into it. Takahata, the director, did so with a purpose. It came at a time in Japan (specifically the early 80s) where they were experiencing a rise in juvenile crime. The message it was supposed to shame the entitlement generation and make them appreciate all the good things they had – that their folks would have killed for if they could. I did not see that movie until somewhere around the turn of the century. I had no idea of the cultural context of the period and location the movie was made to speak to. I was 20 years late to the party. And many critics here in America have referred to it as an ‘anti-war’ movie, which it is not.

    I think Grave of the Fireflies is an absolute masterpiece and deserves to be seen at least once by everyone. The late Ebert praised it (and he rarely likes cartoons). But is it ironic or hipster the way in which I connect to it?

    I don’t think so. Why I don’t think so is because I was still able to draw what I feel to be a ‘valid meaning’ from it. And I think that’s the qualifier for if it’s ironic or not. It means something different to me than the intention behind the movie, but it feels ‘right’ what I’ve drawn from it.

    Younger people will not likely have Tetris and Mario for their first games, but if they enjoy them as they are, isn’t that enough? It won’t be the same thrill as we had back when those WERE the new games in town, but they stand because they are set apart from the pack.

    I believe it would only be ironic/hipster if one liked something without gleaming some merit or meaning from it… if that makes any sense.

  • Posted May 22, 2013 at 11:47 PM | Permalink

    Finally back and able to comment, but I came too late because people have already shared my sentiments and worded it much better then I am capable of. I am definitely going to agree with most of the sentiments by saying an outstanding no, for the same aforementioned reasons.
    The only advantage to growing up at the time of events, rather than looking in hindsight, is that no summary could ever get all of the details that you would experience first hand. Take comedy for example. I can read all I want about how important Lenny Bruce was to being able to speak freely, regardless of how controversial the opinions were, but I will not truly understand how shocking some of the things he said were at the time. I can develop a respect and comprehend to some extent, but I wouldn’t feel the same connection.
    The Beatles used to be edgy, now I see a Cannibal Corpse CD and don’t even think twice about the vulgarities. I think it is very important to understand and respect what paved the way, understand that everything developed to date is there because the creators are standing on the shoulders of giants.
    I hope I answered the question without being redundant.

  • DJ_ConWren DJ_ConWren
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    Hello this is ConWren & this is my first post.

    I have to bring up something that the Commodore & Roo first spoke of in the megacast.. or maybe another episode.. “what’s old is new” this concept has always bugged me. I love electronica in all of it’s forms. I’ve been told it’s just re-hashing disco, in so many ways i disagree, but then i find myself jamming out to some daft-punk & I’m like maybe, but I don’t care. Then i started thinking about it… are we in an endless cultural cycle? & more to the topic of cotgw, will electronics & video games ever devolve due to this cycle? Maybe that’s what the cell phone games are. If Commodore is playing ‘matchbox cars’ on his phone will we start seeing simplified WIIU’s that are cheaper & only capable of playing 32/16bit titles? (& more importantly, will we have new versions of mother; mother 1.2?)

    I sold my ps3, i only play on my laptop, my kindle (wich i only run emulators on) my cell phone.. (which I only run emulators for handheld consoles on.) I also hate when people see me playing video games in public, so I don’t really do this for a “cool” factor.

    I was NOT alive for “Pac-Mania” but i have spent so much time eating me some power pills & munching on oranges then any one person probably should in there lifetime. (hence my bad spelling, grammar, & punctuation)


    ttyl, i love all things Cotgw.


    p.s. maybe I am a hipster & I don’t know it.

  • DJ_ConWren DJ_ConWren
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    oh hmm… look what just popped up on yahoo news:


    hidden messeges in old video game programming. the Cycle continues!

    …ok back to work.


  • jaysquiggles
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Hi Mr. Commodore,

    This is my first post on the weekly wringler.

    I’ve been able to watch the last two live streams live, and have caught up with your weekly wringlers, and feel both you and Roo are awesome! I wish Roo would do more “How games work” type of videos.

    Hmmmm… for the 100th episode, I’d like to see you be crowned the King of all Media, replacing Howard Stern! Roo can be Prince of Retro? I know, corny….

    Really, what would be great is on the 100th episode we get a declaration that they’ll be another 100 to come!


  • jaysquiggles
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    By the way, Commodore, based on you and Roo’s advice on the last livestream, I bought a 3-in-1 system with NES, SNES, and Sega and have bought 40 games as of now, with 15 more on the way. Thanks, guys, for making me broke! 🙂

  • jaysquiggles
    Posted May 24, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    Hey Commodore,

    I don’t believe you are necessarily a hipster if you end up picking up old gaming games and systems that were a part of a generation before yours. An example would be someone who is growing up now during the Wii, 360, PS3 generation. These console s offer games from previous gens for people to purchase. Imagine a 10 year old now playing the Super Mario Wii or Sonic 4 on the 360. They receive cash for a birthday or whatever and decide to buy an earlier, popular title, such as Mario 3 or Sonic 2. They would come across 2 great games of an older gen and may be swayed into purchasing more games for the NES or Sega systems.

    I believe there are also collectors of all ages. Someone growing up now may be collecting their Wii, PS3, and 360 games and may truly enjoy the history of gaming. This will lead them to work backwards in gaming history. I realize this is the fad now and thus may make someone call a person doing this a “hipster,” but I feel collectors and hipsters are 2 different personalities. Collectors do it for themselves while hipsters do it to look cool or stay in the loop with fashion.

    Keep up the great work, Mr. Commodore.

  • Lot Deathhail Lot Deathhail
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    First off. Thank you. I hope I didn’t come across as showing aggression or being an @ss. You’re real stand up guy Commodore. I realize a pm would have been in better taste, but I couldn’t figure out how to edit my post.

    Now to the question.
    No. It’s not only an ironic/hipster thing. There are works of art that reach beyond generational gaps. Art in it’s truest form speaks to the human condition, our emotions, makes us feel. When we lord our love of past/present things over others, then we are being hipster.

    My understanding of hipsterdom, is that hipsters have a sense of superiority for their tastes of past and/or cutting edge things. I would argue that their are things that are objectively better than others, but personal preference shouldn’t be put down, unless done in a playful/friendly way. I’m not perfect. In the past, and kind of still, I would rub my love of things in people’s faces. In high School I was really into 80’s punk. I talked about how much better it was and how I was a “true punk” for it. Early in college I would brag about how classic rock is better. Later it was Jazz and classical music. I went so far as to constantly talk about obscure composers to make myself look better than other for my tastes. It was stupid, but I did it.

    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    Hello Commodore. This is my first time commenting on one of your Weekly Wringers. Although I have listened to them for a while. I feel as if it is not ironic or trying to be a hipster if you like old video games/music/movies. I would say that I grew up in the N64/PS1 era of video games. Although my older brother had a Super Nintendo and an old sega. I really enjoyed playing those games as a child too. So I always grew up liking these games for the console. Although I think the spark that got me into really liking and appreciating games for the nes/snes/etc. was watching the internet videos of all the old game reviewers like COTGW. I think that you interested me into the older games that I had never heard of. For most of the music and movies that I like, I think it is influenced by my family. So I hope this answer could help you in some way. Thank you for doing the show!


  • Young-blood Young-blood
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    I must admit I’m not surprised, but the answer this week seems even more unanimous than last week…

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted June 1, 2013 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

      I don’t either it’s surprising either. The phrasing of the question alone biases the answers. Who wants to be a hipster? The term has a bit of negative connotation, and no one wants to have their hobby or likes viewed in that light (even if by definition it really is the case). Usually we have at least one dissenter in the bunch to go against the grain (I myself occasionally play the role for prosperity and for the sake of generating argument and discussion). For this week, I don’t think we will see anyone go against popular opinion in this discussion. Seriously, who WANTS to be called or acknowledge themselves as a hipster?

  • wookieelocks
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    Hey Commodore, this is my first comment. 🙂

    So! The answer: no, not at all. I don’t feel that you have to accept a label of hipster just to enjoy something that’s not from your time. As previous posters have said, sure there are certain situations or circumstances that we could never fully relate to having not been born in that time or generation. But, in my opinion, NOTHING is the same for anyone regardless of these generational defining moments. We’re all different people, no one is exactly alike, and we all react differently to the same situations. Even the argument of circumstances based on being IN that specific spot of time doesn’t fully work. Whether you were born in 1902 or 2002, it doesn’t matter.

    Look at CSNY and their song Ohio. It’s obviously clear the meaning of the song, you can Google and get page after page after page of results. Years ago, my mom bought me the CSNY album “So Far”. Did I love the album? YES, I played it nonstop. But – I was 12 or 13 years old! I enjoyed the music. I didn’t reminisce on the memory of the Kent State shootings when I heard the song Ohio, something that had happened 16 years before I was born. How could I? I hadn’t lived it. I was just enjoying the great harmonies and powerful lyrics that involved more use of your brain than was popular at the time. I knew of the shootings but certainly not to the extent of someone 30 years my senior. Did that make me a hipster? At 12 years old in the late 90s? I certainly wasn’t listening to them to appear “cool”. No one my age knew who they were other than a few friends commenting on having to suffer through a car ride where one or both of their parents had control of the music selection. And does any of this mean that I enjoyed the song more or less than someone in the year of its release would have? To a different extent yes, but I don’t think there’s any way to equalize that out for everyone, to say one enjoyed it more or less than the other.

    Ultimately, these things were created for our enjoyment. Music, games, movies – people didn’t sweat and work on these huge productions just to make money. And chances are, if they did, they didn’t last! Really great music, really great movies, and really awesome games are timeless because of the people that created them, the people that loved them, and the people that still love them. Sharing the things we love, in turn, creates new relationships with these “old” items and the cycle begins again. Nothing “hipster” about it. The real beauties that have lasted through the years are relatable to many different people and generations, each in their own way. Nothing cynical or “fad-ish” about timeless, relatable, media-based beauty. 😉

    • wookieelocks
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

      Ack, had this open and was spitting out my response in Word so I could tend to the nerdlings when needed and not have my response canceled out. Copied and pasted, refreshed, and surprise! Oops, you’ve already responded and I was too late! I guess, better luck next time? 🙂

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