The Box and the Store

Syp has a lovely post about missing the old computer stores.   I can’t help but commiserate, though I fully acknowledge that things are categorically better (and mostly cheaper) now.


My first experiences buying computer games were from Chips-n-Bits mail order adverts in the old gaming magazines and, eventually, their catalogue directly when Dad starting getting that.   In fact, the first game I ever bought with my own money was Might and Magic II:  Gates to Another World, which, if I remember correctly, was $39 and I used the Christmas money from my grandmother to acquire.   As a side note, even CRPG game designers back then knew better than to try to restrict your race and class, unlike some developers today.


And then one time, when we passed through Atlanta for some trip or another, we went to a giant computer store.   I can not remember what the name of the store was.   I could drive you there even to this day, as I remember its exact location, but I can’t for the life of me remember its name.    And oh lord did we splurge.    We spent hours in there, drooling over the boxes.   I remember we bought Deathtrack, and probably 3-4 other games.  And I remember regretting not getting one particular medieval game whose name I can’t remember, just that my parents talked me out of it because the cover had one knight getting brained by another with a morning star in a pretty graphic display.   Deathtrack may have sounded bad, but at least there was no blood and guts I guess!


These days, when I wander into a computer section, about the only thing I’m in danger of picking up (from my wife’s point of view anyway) is an Ultimate Game Card or something like that.


So, like one of the commenters in Syp’s post, I have resorted to the purest form of nostalgia.    I hoard boxes.


Behold my finger, which controls the fate of (this silver box) universe...
Behold my finger, which controls the fate of (this silver box) universe…


Now if I just had a computer that could play them.   Or if GOG would somehow acquire the licensing needed…


3 thoughts on “The Box and the Store

  1. I miss the time. Mostly because I never got to participate in it. I grew up in a family who was not very pro-tech at all, and spending money of such frivolous items as computer games was frowned upon. So, I admit, I spent my childhood copying stuff from friends who had less strict parents. I remember admiring the Ultima VIII box that a friend of mine had. The maps, the manuals, all that stuff. And my friend didn’t even like the game and his dog ate the box at some point.

    Life is not fair.

    So yeah, I hoard boxes now, but I have barely any hoard to speak of, so it’s a hobby that’s under control.

    1. That’s a good point Flosch, one I’ve been reminded of lately. One of my STO playing buddies is still in high school, played on a laptop held together by ducktape and willpower, and has no money to replace it (it finally died last week), and parents who probably grouse at him about it. I never had to deal with that growing up – we always had a good computer and good graphics and a dad who played along with us.

      Though on the flip side, I have a wife who grouses about it now, and keeps a watchful eye on my spending, so I guess I can commiserate just a little. (-:

      1. These days, only my natural stinginess keeps me afloat financially. 😉 So many shiny things to buy! It’s great if you start earning your own money (even if it’s been a couple of years since I started, it’s still a bit of a “fresh” feeling for me).

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