Welcome to the second edition of 5 Things Thursday, where I dive into five interesting things from one interesting group of my choice.
This week I muse about 5 things that I find nostalgic from my 1990s childhood. It was a wild and fun time, with so many fads and waves of pop culture coming and going as quick as a train.
- Nintendo 64
A great game console that ushered in the era of 3D gaming, especially for Nintendo. It was a sleek and stylish “Family game system”. Some of my favorite titles for the 64 were the Mario Party and Mario Kart series (the early games), Super Smash Bros, and Donkey Kong 64. I never actually had that many games for my console, choosing to play some of the favorites over and over again. That infamous controller caused a lot of pain for users when they got blisters from violently moving the joystick around. I had that same problem while playing the challenging mini-games of Mario Party.
2. Bill Nye the Science Guy
What would science class be without our beloved bow-tie all-around science genius? I loved when the teacher would announce that we were going to watch Bill Nye, as well as the rest of the class. Hearing the iconic theme song (“Science Rules!”) really got me interested in learning about science and everything else such as biology and geography. The show had a great mix of education and humor, appealing to kids and adults. Everything from “Consider the following” to the cheesy science renditions of popular songs back then made this a part of ’90s pop culture. Okay, I hated the cheesy music videos.
3. The Oregon Trail
This is a game I loved and hated. The fact that it was SO slow and the difficulty in finishing the game quite high made me want to give up on it completely. But nearly every kid in my classes at elementary loved this game, that I just had to join in. It was really educational and taught me about the Oregon Trail and what the families faced while riding it – a lot of bad stuff I must say. “You’ve got dysentery” – more evil and unforgiving than the “Game Over” screen.
4. M.A.S.H games, Cootie Catchers, Paper airplanes, etc.
All three of those things and others were staples of the classroom from about second to fifth grade. It was fun to predict your future through a game of Mansion Apartment Shack House (MASH) and the outcomes caused laughter or embarrassment depending on the person. Or how about the cootie catcher. I loved creating those and putting down the most absurd possibilities. Even though it was more of a girls game, it was entertaining and invoked lots of socializing. The paper airplanes usually came out during break periods in class and all pandemonium was let loose. I remember this one sandy-haired kid putting a load of orange goop on the side of his plane and flying it across the room. Sometimes one would land on the teacher’s desk or hit them and break time would be over. To this day though I still can’t create the perfect paper airplane, since my wings always come out wrong and the plane drops limply to the ground.
This is likely the most challenging and strangest point and click game I’ve ever come across. And the most realistically looking one. There is just one man on the island, controlled by you. There are a bunch of puzzles that have to be solved and clues are scattered around, some in not so obvious places or ways. The first time I played this in 1999, I was lost and a bit creeped out by the secluded island and those books in the library that had strange messages playing from them. I finally beat this in 2011 through the use of cheats since there was no way I was going to solve this brainteaser of a game otherwise. It didn’t ruin the game because I still appreciated the vagueness and depth of it (there were some interesting backstories told through the books). When I played this I always thought there was someone else on the island watching me or going to sneak up on me at any moment but that was not the case.