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I'm going to do something novel: I'm going to add something to my profile.

It's an old school gaming challenge.

See, as my friends know from my last F.O. entry, I got back into Activision Anthology. One of the cool things about Activision Anthology is the unlockables; you can unlock the original game commercials, and alternate play modes (which suck). But the best thing you can unlock are the patches; you have a little press-board on your menu screen where your patches are displayed for all to see, and they were the same patches that Activision used to send out in the early 80s. For those that don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, Activision, for their 2600 games, had patches that they would send players that took a picture to prove their game scores; not only that, but they actively courted opinions and fan mail for their developers, who got individual credit for the games they created; this is why, if you look on old Activision boxes, you'll see the signatures of guys like David Crane and Alan Miller. Hell, it's why we all know the name of David Crane in the first place, mostly for Pitfall, but he also had a lot of other classics, such as Freeway and A Boy And His Blob. We'll forgive him for Night Trap). In short, no one treated gamers better in those days than Activision; they created a lot of games, almost all of them were good, and they took chances that would get people fired for even thinking about today. You'd never hear of Activision having an intentional chip shortage of their top game...

But the idea of high scores and scoring goals has more or less died with the idea that a game should have a definite scoreline, and not much else. Today, most games don't even keep a score, save sports games for obvious reasons. It's all about a definitive story, with linear goals and definitive endings. That in itself isn't bad; you have a set goal, get to the goal, everything else is secondary. But what I have noticed is that said games hold the players' hands too often; in-game tutorials almost as long as the game itself, and generally easier gameplay are the order of today, as games rely more on visuals and attitude than sheer gameplay, where back when I was growing up, gameplay was all we really had, along with our imaginations.

Therefore, with games being easier, and the rules changing, I don't think younger gamers are being weaned well enough. This sounds like old fart logic, but I have proof backing me up; their names are Billy (age 16) and Stephen (age 10), and they are my half brothers. Billy grew up on the N64 and Win98 era PC games, whereas Stephen has grown up on the Gamecube so far. Billy is what you would consider a "hardcore" gamer of today, playing games like Command and Conquer, World of Warcraft and other PC based games, as well as Gears of War on his 360, whereas Stephen likes a more casual, younger tilt, and is a little more into "alternative" sports titles (read: Tony Hawk). A couple years ago, I figured Stephen would enjoy Mega Man Anniversary Collection for Gamecube; after all, there were ten games, and I grew up on the cartridges, why not, right? I popped it in for him and gave him Mega Man 2, the easiest in the series. Five minutes later, he threw his controller across the room, screaming that it was "too hard!". Notably, he went back to Mario Kart (after my imposed time-out for throwing the controller), where his propensity for blue shells got the best of us. But the point had been made: what I took a week or two to beat in 1988 had my brother in 2006 pitching a tantrum. If anything, gamers are devolving.

I think it's time they earned their stripes. Or more specifically, their patches.

I want old school gamers to show their skills, and their dedication, and there's no better place to start than the system that was in place in the early 80s. Soon, in my profile, one will see images of the old Activision patches. These are patches that I officially "earned"; that is, I got the score that would have gotten me the patch in the 80s. Some are easy (beating the computer AI in Ice Hockey), and some are fucking HARD (the Order of the Dolphin - 300,000 pts. - in Dolphin). As I talk to more people with HTML and other site-prettying skills, I'll make the profile bits look better, but for now, we'll start with standard HTML images.

And I want all gamers - old and new school - to join me and do the same thing.

Few rules:

- This is honour-system based. No pictures are required, but don't display a patch you haven't earned.
- Keeping with the honour system, no cheating; no emulator cheats, no pausing (for the Decathalon patches), no Gamesharks, etc. This isn't meant to be competition, just a personal challenge.
- Even my own Atari works about 10% of the time nowadays. Therefore, due to the limits of old technology, and the wonders of new technology, you can emulate the chosen games at will. Methods include console emulation (Activision Anthology for PS2, Activision Classics for PS1), handheld emulation (Activision Hits Remixed for PSP, Activision Anthology for GBA), or PC emulator (I recommend Stella). Whatever you're comfortable with; personally, I like Activision Anthology for everything except paddle based games like Kaboom!; for that one, you might want to stick to emulator, or the real thing if you can.
- All scores and images come from AtariAge: http://www.atariage.com/2600/archives/activision_patches.html (They also have the full 2600 ROM sets)
- Use the real Activision scores, not the ones in Activision Anthology, which were so easy I could have done some of them with my cock. The 1.000.000pt. patch for Laser Blast only took 100,000pts. in that game!
- If a game has multiple achievements, display only the best one. For example, if your best Decathalon score is 9,500, you'd display the Silver patch only, not the Silver and Bronze together.

Most of all, just have some fun, and see where you stack up. Especially you young ones! :P

Mine so far (that I KNOW of; it's been awhile) (Mouse over for achievements):

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
burning_phoneix
Dec. 23rd, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
I don't think gamers are getting crappier rather that gamers just don't have patience anymore.

For example, as a kid I could never beat the first contra (I never knew about the Konami code, nor do I think I could beat it now) but I really didn't care, I was as happy as can be repeating the first two levels over and over.


One of the happiest times of my life is when I got to the fourth level of contra. I bragged to everybody about that. XDXD

Also, can participate in this challenge Bus, I earned my spurs on the Famicom. ;_;
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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