Not What You Remember

The grocery stores have had their Easter candy on display for a few weeks now. Every year I check the candy section for the Sweetarts shaped like little chickens, ducks, and bunnies. Most places won’t carry them, but when found I grab a bag. At some point in the last 6-7 years or so they changed the shape of the candies. They used to be larger, thinner and the animals had more detail. Now they are smaller, thicker, and come in extra colors. It’s all just colored sugar, the shape and stuff isn’t important, but every year I get a bag just to see if they went back to the “real” size.

Rarely do things attempt to go back to the way they were. Trix cereal at some point moved to fruit shaped cereal, then back to the ball shape, and have recently gone to the fruit shaped again claiming they’ve gone “back” to an original shape. It still tastes like gas station bathroom air freshener so I haven’t bought any in years.

McDonald’s at some point in the early 2000’s while I was in college, made a push for all their chicken nuggets to be made of 100% white meat. This got rid of the best nuggets, the flavorful dark meat nuggets that were randomly mixed in each little cardboard box. It was a fun thing to find more than three or so and you couldn’t really tell until you bit into one if you were lucky that day. Don’t worry, they’ll never give us the dark meat nuggets back and disappoint the dry meat fans because in some office on an old dusty Dell computer is an excel sheet claiming that Americans don’t like dark meat chicken.

I’ve not seen a “throwback” version of anything really take off. Pepsi and Dr Pepper both offer cane sugar variants but we didn’t rush to buy them exclusively again. You won’t see M&M’s go swapping the blue for tan again. This also seems to be true for other stuff as well. We all claim to want Toyota and Honda to bring back the manual transmission rwd hatchbacks from the olden days. But if they did, we wouldn’t buy them. You can’t cram three kids and a dog into one, and I doubt that modern teens can afford a new car these days, even a small one. Nostalgic adults will just buy the old cars they really want and pay to have them repaired properly anyway.

Videogames have dealt with this issue pretty well though. You can play your old 8 and 16 but games on an emulator easily. The old hardware has all but started to break down over the years and if you really want to open one up and try to swap chips and resistors by all means go for it, it’s fun. Nintendo will remaster the games and put them on their subscription service for the switch or remake them for the 3DS if they were extra popular. How many times will we pay full retail or Skyrim and Diablo III? Depends on what new format we don’t have it on lol.

If you want vintage looking games Steam has a mountain of indie side scrollers and point & clicks that look 8-16 bit with real chiptune soundtracks. The best part of those games is they are not only affordable and made by small companies but the controls and graphics are modern. You won’t end up with eye strain after an hour, and when you hit the left arrow key your character has a 99% chance of actually following through with the action in a time you expect. The sprites don’t glitch and fade as you move making you second guess your jumps. It’s the elements of the old stuff you played as a kid but without the disappointment of them not being as great as you remember.

It’s included on amazon prime video if yall have it.

The other day I watched a documentary about an arcade in New York’s Chinatown. They spent a huge chunk of the film showing us how great the place was for this one group of guys who would spend their after school hours there. As you’d expect, the place closed down after the recession and the guys were rightfully upset about it. Their childhood shut down. Cut to a few years later and someone reopens it as a modern style ticket arcade for kids. When the old gaming crew went back to see how they redid the place they were disappointed that it wasn’t the arcade it once was. If you get a chance you should watch it.

I know this post has a bunch of silly gifs and stuff in it, mostly little things I couldn’t really fit into one of the Friday posts or have enough of an idea for an entire post on its own. Wrapping up some logo work and I’ll be jumping back into writing better things tonight.

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  1. Great article! Good trip down memory lane.