By Kevin Jakubowski
It’s 1980-something and all nine-year-old Jake Doyle desires for Christmas is a Nintendo leisure process. No Jose Canseco rookie card, no GI Joe hovercraft, no Teddy friggin’ Ruxpin—just Nintendo. but if a hyperactive Shih Tzu is by accident overwhelmed to demise by way of a forty-two- inch tv set and each dad or mum on the town blames Nintendo, it’s as much as Jake to take issues into his personal palms. the result's a Christmas quest of large Mario Bros. proportions, full of flaming wreaths, rushing minivans, misplaced retainers, faux Santas, sizzling academics, snotty sisters, “Super Bowl Shuffles” and one very bare Cabbage Patch child. advised from a nostalgic grownup point of view, 8-Bit Christmas is a hilarious and heartfelt glance again on the child popular culture of the Eighties.
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Additional resources for 8-Bit Christmas
It’s a time to pause, to reflect, perhaps even to meditate on the relationship between God, human, and alien. Manchester Cathedral was ransacked during the English Civil War in 1649, half-destroyed by a German blitz in 1940, and bombed by the Irish Republican Army in 1996. It survived all these attacks. Its patrons rebuilt it. And it still stands today. Resistance adds a fictional homage to the church’s resolve, this time in an alternate history fought by an enemy that neither understands nor cares for human practices like religion.
2 Praise or blame for Guitar Hero should surely come from something other than its mere ability to help or hinder a kid’s likelihood to play the guitar. Here Atari Video Music’s lesson is instructive. Like the hi-fi gadget that allowed its viewer to “play” a familiar song visually, making it possible literally to see music in a different way, so Guitar Hero and Rock Band do the same. But instead of recasting songs as psychedelic light shows, these music performance games abstract away the dance or lyrical quality of songs, forcing the player to focus on their rhythmic and musical construction.
But they also act as profound social interventions. By mocking the rules we don’t otherwise question, they possess carnivalesque qualities; they allow us to suspend our ordinary lives and to look at them from a different perspective. It’s possible to pass Syobon Action off on a friend as a legitimate Mario clone, only to laugh uproariously when things start to go wrong. This is the garlic-flavored gum usage of the game. But it’s also possible to let Syobon Action prank you willingly, as a player, to stop and reflect on the conventions of platform play that have become so familiar that they seem second nature.