Jumping up and down on one foot would be more fun than this.
February 16, 2006 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Children review classic games- some more. Back in November '03, 1up.com rounded up some kids from the 8-12 age range and had them play video and arcade games from the 70's and 80's, including Pong, Donkey Kong, and Tetris. The resulting commentary was mostly along the lines of "Tim: They could've just as easily called this game anything—Baseball, Bowling, Escape From the Monsters. EGM: Did you score? Kirk: I bumped into a dot." In December 2004 they brought them back to review Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and the 1983 Arcade version of Star Wars, among others. "EGM: What do those TIE Fighters look like? ...Are they scary? Anthony: No. It feels like they're trying to give me flowers."
posted by Meredith (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From the article:
Note: Everything written here was actually said by these kids. Really. The only change we made was to remove the more gratuitous usages of the word "gay".
posted by baklavabaklava at 4:33 PM on February 16, 2006

Looks like you omitted the December 2004 link.
posted by brain_drain at 4:36 PM on February 16, 2006

Whoops. That was supposed to be the first link. Thanks, brain-drain.
posted by Meredith at 4:38 PM on February 16, 2006

See also...
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:44 PM on February 16, 2006

"I don't think physics is supposed to be realistic," said the journalist to the 10-year-old kids.
posted by cribcage at 4:45 PM on February 16, 2006

Garret: That's not Mike Tyson. Are you kidding me? Mike Tyson does not have a handlebar moustache, and he's not white.

EGM: [Laughing] So those are the two things that make you think that's not Mike Tyson?

Garret: Yeah, plus this guy's wearing pants.
posted by nikzhowz at 4:48 PM on February 16, 2006

I don't care what they say, I think they are full of it.
posted by empath at 4:51 PM on February 16, 2006

Also: I cannot believe I spent so much time playing Adventure when I was a kid.

But that invisible dot thing WAS cool.
posted by empath at 4:52 PM on February 16, 2006

Kirk: ...—hey, those aliens on the top row, you use them in EGM for stuff.

EGM: Yeah, we use them to end our articles. They do kinda look like they're from Space Invaders, don't they?

Tim: They're going to sue you.

Kirk: I'm sure everyone who made this game is dead by now.
OK, that amused me and made me feel old at the same time.
posted by umberto at 4:56 PM on February 16, 2006

EGM: When you lose all your lives, you have to start over. You don't keep going.

Parker: And you guys back then were OK with this?

No way - it was gut-wrenching.
posted by meech at 4:58 PM on February 16, 2006

Hell yes, meech. I literally cried at least once when I died near the end of a game. But that also made finishing a game much more rewarding and glorious than it is today.
posted by brain_drain at 5:06 PM on February 16, 2006

"Hell yes" of course reflecting my full agreement with what you said, not contradicting your "no way."
posted by brain_drain at 5:08 PM on February 16, 2006

I will not have my halcyon youth pooh-poohed by the snarky pups of today, recently weaned on technology we couldn't even dream about 25 years ago!

*boots up his Apple II and loads Zork.
posted by darkstar at 5:09 PM on February 16, 2006

I remember reading back then some comments doubting the authenticity of the kids' comments. Or at the very least, that this wasn't exactly a random sample of kids.

I think those comments still stand.
posted by JHarris at 5:11 PM on February 16, 2006

nine-year olds definitely can't use sarcasm that well yet. Perhaps the comments were taken somewhat out of contex, there's no way those kids came up with one witty one-liner after another like that.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 5:22 PM on February 16, 2006

No kidding, martinX:

Yeah. My best friend, he looks just like this dot: small, handsome and adventurous.
posted by brundlefly at 5:23 PM on February 16, 2006

Damn punk kids...
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:34 PM on February 16, 2006

I hate kids. This just adds to that, I think.
posted by graventy at 5:39 PM on February 16, 2006

You haters crack me up. As someone regularly surprised by the sharpness of today's preteens, I can assure you there's very little there that rings untrue. And hey, at least they have perspective:

Dillon: And to think 20 years from now, people are going to think, "Oh, you're playing [GameCube Zelda game] Wind Waker? That's boring."

EGM: What are you going to say when your kids say Wind Waker looks boring?

Parker: Get out of my house. You're out of my will.

posted by mediareport at 6:05 PM on February 16, 2006

I don't believe for a single moment that those are actual kids giving actual opinions.
posted by flarbuse at 6:10 PM on February 16, 2006

But it'd be cool if you can become Mario and jump on the guy's head and he dies.

Holy shit, that would be awesome!
posted by dirigibleman at 6:19 PM on February 16, 2006

Mediareport you beat me to it! A kid after my own heart.
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:31 PM on February 16, 2006

Everything the previous generation did was boring.

Everything the next generation does is excessive.

Kids did not come up with all of these witty rejoinders, or, they were at least embellished.

Dick Cheney shot a man in the face.

Someday, kids will say "You didn't have holograms when you were a kid? What did you DO?!"

Or, parents will say, "Johnny, come out of that virtual reality chamber, you've been in there with Angelina Jolie for days."

And then Johnny will say, "No mom, I've been upstairs playing Dad's old PONG game. It's pretty cool. Dad's the one who's been in the VR chamber."

Damn kids.
posted by JWright at 6:36 PM on February 16, 2006

I would imagine that they pruned the best one-liners out, I mean, I'm sure they spoke more then that.

But also, they probably just picked some smarter kids.
posted by delmoi at 6:45 PM on February 16, 2006

Although it is shocking that these kids have never played tetris.
posted by delmoi at 6:46 PM on February 16, 2006

Brian: They also had that Super Mario Brothers movie—

Tim: That had nothing remotely to do with this. They had, like, laser guns that turned people into monkeys. What the hell is that?

posted by delmoi at 6:47 PM on February 16, 2006

What kind of horrible parent allows their children to watch the Super Mario Brothers movie?
posted by graventy at 7:10 PM on February 16, 2006

about Galaga: And you guys back then were OK with this?

We were thrilled! It was like being in the future! Even Pong amazed us, originally!

: >
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on February 16, 2006

"What kind of horrible parent allows their children watch the Super Mario Brothers movie?"

The kind of parent who owned a C64 as a kid and not only thought that Gianna Sisters wasn't a complete rip off of Super Mario Brothers but was, infact, better than it, and is trying to destroy the Mario Bros reputation with their offspring as a form of pro Commodore propoganda.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:12 PM on February 16, 2006

That'd be me.
posted by majick at 8:39 PM on February 16, 2006

What kind of horrible parent allows their children to watch the Super Mario Brothers movie?
posted by graventy at 7:10 PM PST on February 16 [!]

I'll admit to doing this at my old job. But to be fair, it was only because the room with the dvd player and the projector was broken and had to use a busted tv with a vcr. And the Mario Bro. movie was the only vhs we could find.

Fortunately most of the kids recognized it for the suck that it was and made us shut it off and play a game instead. :>
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:12 PM on February 16, 2006

I call bullshit. "GTA III has all the faux cars based on real ones."
Faux? Ten-year-olds aren't saying "faux."
posted by klangklangston at 9:25 PM on February 16, 2006

I loved the ET part about them falling into holes. I used to love that game. And I played Space Invaders for HOURS and HOURS. And the dragons/ducks. Hilarious.
posted by aacheson at 10:02 PM on February 16, 2006

Even Pong amazed us, originally!

My brother and I played it for days and days and days and days and days and days and days...it was totally fantastic to use TV like that.
posted by mediareport at 10:18 PM on February 16, 2006

That whole "tie fighters... feel like they are trying to give me flowers" quote sounds exactly like something SeanBaby would (and I think actually, long ago, did) write. And SeanBaby has a column in EGM nowdays, what a ko-inkydink.

"Garret: GTA III has all the faux cars based on real ones."

Yes, 11 years old... no doubt in my mind.
posted by acetonic at 11:31 PM on February 16, 2006

Not really, because it was Atari and was state of the art back then.

Oh, for the days when Atari was state of the art... I also liked this expression of what the Platonic ideal of gaming should be:

This is nothing compared to Grand Theft Auto III, because you can't steal a taxi cab, pick up somebody, then drive into the ocean with him.

You've got an infinite amount of alient hordes to shoot... what more do you want??!? Kids today obviously demand rather more sophisticated levels of violence in their games. But still, I think at the very least some of the kids' comments have been tweaked.
posted by greycap at 11:49 PM on February 16, 2006

I have to admit I'm fairly sceptical about stuff like this as well. I've dealt with my fair share of kids and while many are sharp, I still have my doubts about some of the comments made.
posted by pancreas at 12:14 AM on February 17, 2006

The oldest of the kids was 13. Maybe I'm Senor Naive himself, but I believed they came out with all that stuff. A lot of kids have much more sophisticated vocabularies than you'd expect. I better they came out with a lot of deeply unfunny attempts at humour, too. What you're seeing is judicious editing, not fraud.
posted by RokkitNite at 6:07 AM on February 17, 2006

fraud says me
posted by poppo at 6:32 AM on February 17, 2006

but still hilarious, thanks poster
posted by poppo at 6:33 AM on February 17, 2006

EGM: Does the character look like a skateboarder?

Anthony: Like one from the '80s.

Parker: Yeah, from the '80s, like from that movie Gleaming the Cube.

I was totally believing in this, right up to that point.
posted by flashboy at 6:50 AM on February 17, 2006

Kids are good at parroting words and expressions, so I'm not shocked them using the word "faux." I would be if he/she we able to spell it right--fo sho!
posted by Neologian at 9:40 AM on February 17, 2006

"Dick Cheney shot a man in the face."

-is the name of my band.

Also, John Wesley Hardin shot a man just for snoring.

With the exception of punch out, I’m with the kids. Punch out has character, so it gets some exeptions. But I really want the state of the art to advance way way more than it is even now.
The stuff I grew up with (video game-wise) was crap.
I want vast city scapes like GTA with full interactivity plus NPC AI. I want a constantly changing game with a variety of storytelling capability limited only by the rules and the imagination. I want to be able to live in a world of my own making and live a life not my own.
I want there to be some kind of stakes.

Really, is it too much to ask?

It’s like anything else, story story story. Graphics, et. al are great, but it’s the mythos that makes it.

...notice the kids liked Zelda?

20 years from now I still won’t be looking back on the good old days. I’ll be shouting “more!”
posted by Smedleyman at 1:02 PM on February 17, 2006

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