Video games teach us many valuable life-lessons. For example,
If you beat people until they vomit, you can steal their money.
Sometimes you must physically assault the infirm to get what you want.
But I think one of the most important lesson I learned from video games was about how the consumer suffers when big business uses its deep pockets to create a monopoly.
So pull up a chair, you whippersnappers and ragamuffins, because it's time for...
Video Arcade Story Time with Uncle CarlMarksGuy!
Younger readers of this site (those who never saved their paper route monies to buy a Walk-Man, or heard a radio blaring the popular refrain, "bnnnz-ZZZT, zt-zt-zt, brn-nuh-brn-ZZZT, zt-zt! I've Got The Powa!") may be unfamiliar with the term "Video Arcade". But there was indeed a time when video games only existed out in the wild, never to be domesticated and brought inside private homes.
In those days, we could only avail ourselves of video games by going to a mall, pizza place or drug store, often trading our dollar bills or quarters for OTHER quarter-like metal disks called "Tokens". These tokens could then be inserted into Video Game Cabinets (a.k.a. Arcade Games), and it was only then that we could play the Video Game. And when we lost, we had to stop playing -- unless we INSERTED MORE TOKENS!
It's a game-playing paradigm almost impossible to imagine these days, where consumers are free to play their video games as much and as frequently as they want (after buying the system, the individual games, and sometimes separate things called "micro-transactions", which I assume are a kind of bacteria).
Here is an anthropologist's recreation of what Video Arcades might have looked like.
Anyway, in little CarlMarksGuy's town, there was a mall, and in that mall, there were two video arcades. One of the arcades (part of a national chain) gave you 5 tokens for a dollar, while the local arcade gave you the standard 4 tokens per dollar. After several years, the local arcade went out of business. And you know what the national chain arcade did next?
Well, not quite that.
Shortly thereafter, the remaining national chain arcade reduced their tokens-per-dollar from 5 down to 4. And the moral of the story?
"Snow Goons are bad news"
And on a completely unrelated topic, Amazon itself is now selling old video games.
Yes, no longer does Amazon limit itself to being the middle-man, taking a huge cut of the profits by placing themselves between you and people who have used NES and SNES games to sell. Now they can shut the seller out entirely by buying the games, storing them in giant Raiders of the Lost Arc-style warehouses of gaming wonder, and doling them out to the wealthy or desperate who just want to Rush n/or Attack.
If you're like me (and if so, allow me to take this opportunity to say, "hi, would it kill you to leave a comment once in a while?"), you see Amazon as a barometer of old video game prices rather than a place to actually PURCHASE old video games. I've spent many a happy hour watching the Great SNES Beat-em-Up Price Inflation
run out of control (where the universally-reviled Super Double Dragon
now easily out-prices Final Fantasy IV
), or seeing which terrible-but-limited-release NES cartridges will command upwards of $45 dollars today.
But now that Amazon itself is selling video games directly, this Nintendo Search-em-Up hobby has a new and exciting side-effect: computer-created video game listings, where the Product Picture is something comically wrong from Amazon's infinite warehouse.
So this week's article, at long last, is:
Incorrect Amazon Nintendo Product listings, (as found during the week of May 11th 2015)
Because these screw-ups are undoubtedly point-in-time specific, (and because I encourage people to support their local used-games stores instead) I'm not going to link directly to the products in question. However, here's screen-prints of funny mismatches I found this week while I searched for the words: NES data east
Pin this vicious werewolf for your lapel and you'll be the last warrior standing in the boardroom!
The NES's Joe and Mac presents a friendlier, floppier broach-pooch.
A Dragon that even Gary Gygax didn't provide the stats for!
This adorable breed of dog might fit in your suit pocket as well as the side pocket!
Of course, the Super Nintendo version of Side Pocket would need a much larger dog -- it's 16 BITS, after all!
Breakthru to the other side by matching your navy-blue suit with this snowy white hound!
Bo Jackson, master of baseball, football and...uh, maybe other sports, is ironically represented by a Boxer.
As before, the SNES games require a full-sized dog figurine, not just a pin-on bust!
Well, that was interesting...but what does it all mean?
(I mean, aside from the fact they're all decorative representations of dogs)
I was especially confused by how the same game had broken images across several system's ports, so I decided to do a few more searches:
When I searched on: Joe & Mac, I found...
...perhaps a biting commentary on the forgotten status of the original black-and-white Gameboy?
But what about PC Gamers?
Would they be left out of this mad Amazonian video game/dog whirlwind? Indeed not! I found out that they're included just by searching for: Bo Jackson
But of course, because it's a PC rather than a game console, it's a full-sized dog mask(?) rather than a small figurine/pin-on accessory.
Well, that's as far as I dared venture this week...but I'll see you next time. And until then,
KEEP WATCHING THE SKYS!
(and supporting the little guys)
— carlmarksguy, 2015-05-17