Countess: Here I am, talking to a friend on how there are alternative ways to teach social morality instead of relying on a religious organisation, and I had the most funniest concept in my head.
Baron: You see, the countess and I were kind of jabbering on about religion (okay, it didn’t quite start there, but it’ll do for our case). Then it came down somehow to the Ten Commandments and Greek mythology. Don’t ask.
Countess: Well, silly me decided that it would be absolutely hilarious to try to teach any social order or morality using Greek mythology as the “Bible”, and so we decided to come up with our own set of Ten Commandments on the basis of Ancient Greek mythology.
Baron: To be honest, and we mean no offence, it was fairly tough. If Greek religion was supposed to teach morality, the Greek gods were rather poor role models. Nevertheless, with what we know of the mythos from our old high school days, we decided, “What the heck!”, and ran with it.
The Ancient Greeks’ Ten Commandments
1. Thou shalt not piss the deities off.
2. Thou shalt not get in the way of Zeus and Hera in their many arguments.
3. Thou shalt not mate with Zeus, or thou art screwed in every sense of the world.
4. Thou shalt be expected to go on an odyssey at one point, in which the deities’ interferences must be lovingly accepted.
5. Thou shalt boast of thine brilliance at thine own risk.
6. Thou shalt acknowledge and attribute all successful endeavours to almighty Zeus and his pantheon.
7. Thou shalt refer to #6, in all other cases, be they draws or failures.
8. Thou shalt remember to worship Mt. Olympians by building a temple of worship, the elaborate the better.
9. Thou shalt remember all the advices given by the deities, or thou shalt suffer the consequences.
10. Thou shalt be wary of what advice thou taketh from which god.
Baron: Mario Bros. Tetris. Duke Hunt! I don’t know about you, but those always bring back warm memories of me spending most of my time playing video games. It remains today as one of my main hobbies! (…Duck Hunt, I meant to say. Don’t think Duke Hunt’s a game yet. Up for grabs, though, would-be game-makers!)
Countess: That is one common interest the Baron and I share. We are both fond of video games, even if we have different tastes and different initial exposure to it. But one thing we have in common is that our mothers, Korean mothers, both share the same wrath towards our harmless but expensive hobby.
Baron: My mom NEVER forgave my dad for bringing home that Atari that day. And I never stopped thanking him. But no matter what happens, we could spend seven hours studying, and that’s all well and good. God forbid that we spend FIVE MINUTES playing, and she’ll assume that’s all I’ve been doing the whole time! *shakes fist*
Countess: Luckily, my mother grew to tolerate my list of “bizarre” hobbies!
Enough about our mothers, though. For this entry we are going to talk about our first video game experience. Mine happened to have occurred at the local bowling alley. There, they had a bunch of arcade games, and I recalled my earliest memory of trying to play Pac-Man at the age of five, and even then I didn’t like it as I grew frustrated at my crappy controls and reflexes!
Baron: As for me, like I said, technically my first gaming experiences was from an old Atari my dad brought home one day. Space Invaders I could say was my very first video game experience. I never got far (since I kept losing those bunkers you’re supposed to hide behind >_>), but it was still fun. I quickly moved up to the Nintendo and all the classics, and wasted free time it brought with it.
Countess: Aside from the arcade games (Mortal Kombat, Arkanoid, and, of course, Pinballs), I remember my uncle bringing to my house a video game system (not sure which one it was but am guessing it was a Korean system with some game cartridge full of popular games) and I recalled seeing a huge list of games on the screen, where many were like Tetris (another game I couldn’t and can’t stand until this day), Mario Bros., and whatnot. I must have been in first or second grade, and I know since then I bugged my mother to let me have a gaming console! She didn’t allow it, making me play PC games that my daddy brought home. My daddy had to listen to her, but luckily, he gave in to my demands eventually and let me have a Gameboy and later an SNES in ’95!
Baron: There were a whole lotta games I absolutely loved to death, but back then, those games were absolutely BRUTAL. I’m going to cite Super Mario Bros. I for this, despite anyone who reads this and laughs at me for it. But the later worlds got ridiculously tough, believe me! Plus, it just got tedious whenever Toad was ready to tell me that no matter what I did, the princess would ALWAYS be in another castle.
Then there was Legend of Zelda, which I’m sure anyone reading this knows. This is an example of a game that I had absolutely no clue how to play; I just wandered around the maps poking at things with my sword.
Countess: At least you, sir, played Zelda! I never tried it until a few years ago, and I decided I am not playing hack-n-slash game that required button mashing. I was a horrible console gamer back then. I was only into those stupid Disney film games, but luckily, I did grow to like Tetris Attack, the only “tetris-themed” game I like! Then there were those fighting games, like Street Fighters (Ryu!) I mashed and wasted quarters at the bowling alley. Those were the days. Don’t get me started on Oregon Trail for the Apple and Windows. That’s an entirely new post, right Baron?
Baron: We could spend an entire post talking about those old edutainment games. In fact, I think we WILL spend an entire post on that. But not this one. *grumbles about the stupid buffalo*
Arcade games really did suck my time away, too. The big hotel near our school used to have a really big and posh arcade. Pinball machines, old beat ‘em ups like Captain Commando, and yes, fighting games. Particularly Street Fighter II, and the fifty bajillion spinoffs it produced (seriously, how many copies of Street Fighter II do you NEED?)
Countess: Beats me, but yes, the hotel had an awesome arcade as well as this food-court nearby. Too bad, the bowling alley, the hotel, and the food-court pretty much got rid of the arcade games. That made the Baron and me both really depressed. Then again, console-gaming killed the arcade gaming industry. I guess, though, having to pay only once for a game to play unlimited number of time is more appealing than wasting quarters at the arcades . . .
Baron: But in Asia, the arcade scene is very much alive, and BUSY. The reason? I’ll bet, and it’s something I can relate to, that it’s because meeting a friend at an arcade and wasting an hour or two away is just HARD to reproduce with consoles. Sure, you can do it, and we have done it, but there’s just something missing.
Countess: Yes, the arcade is a fun place to hang out, but . . . I am not going back to that one arcade at the Coex Mall. That was way too freaking expensive for me! But to conclude our entry, what are your first gaming experiences? We want to hear it, and we will close this entry with a Youtube video. Go down the memory lanes with us!
Baron: And if you can, find and buy those old consoles if you don’t have them lying around gathering dust; the impulse will be good for you!
Countess: Let’s see here. Sloppy joes, tacos, spaghetti . . . Oh, don’t mind me! I’m just listing down the food I liked in my school’s cafeteria.
Baron: We always hear about how people HATE cafeteria food. I always get looks implying I’m an alien when I insist that they’re perfectly fine, or heaven forbid, TASTY.
Countess: I agree. There were times when the food tasted quite hideously, but most of the time, they weren’t so bad! Though the funny thing is, I couldn’t wait to get our off-campus lunch privileges, and when I did, I actually missed the ol’ place we ate as seventh and eighth graders.
Baron: I’m betting the workers at the other joints HATED high school lunch periods. It must have seemed like miniature invasions of teenagers. It got annoying for us (or at least for me), too, since no matter WHERE you went, if they sold at least some food, other students would have it flooded by the time you got there, guaranteed.
Countess: Oh yeah. The lines were bloody annoying, when I think about it. I used to think we should have never lost our off-campus lunch privileges in seventh grade (we had it for one quarter!), and then when we became freshmen . . . BAM. I realised how crowded it would have been if we allowed the underclassmen to dine with us!
Baron: You do not know crowded until you’ve seen the Burger King or Popeyes during our lunch times. Not just the people waiting around for food, but people just CHATTING AFTER THEY GOT THEIR FOOD ALREADY. Grr. That aside, we made do (I for one brought my lunches with me when I could).
Countess: Despite the whole food factor, the cafeteria was also a great hang out place for us. This is where we chilled out with our fellow friends who shared our interests. Actually, the Baron already shared their interest in video games, animes, and whatnot. It took them about two years to drag me into their hobbies.
Baron: Much dragging, kicking, and screaming were involved until said involvement, I’ll add. Some specific animes and games clinched the deal for it, though, I’d say.
Countess: This was the starting point, and we both have some fond memories of our little dinky ‘teria. Our mutual memory of that place consisted of a friend who we called “Hot Sauce”.
Baron: The Countess’ memories here are stronger than mine, I’ll admit. But it did cause us to spend more time laughing than actually eating. I’ll let the Countess describe the details here while I look to see when the part of my brain that holds my memories grew legs and walked off.
Countess: Oh, Baron, you really do have terrible memory! Anyway, this particular friend of ours liked to douse his cafeteria food with Tabasco sauce. He would dump half a bottle of it on taco, spaghetti, pizza, and whatever was on the main menu. For me, a few drop is enough to set me into outer space, but for Hot Sauce, he either had an iron-clad tongue, oesophagus, and stomach or no taste buds period.
Baron: Imagine what his family’s shopping list must have looked like every time they went for groceries. “Oh, ten bottles of Tabasco again today?”
That being said, when we got kicked out of the cafeteria entering 9th grade, we relocated to another hangout. Much quieter, rather spacious, and the most kick ass teacher in the world to chat with along with each other.
Countess: But that’s another post all together. We shall talk about our lunch hangout upgrades some other time. The Baron and I know better than to turn a single entry into a Russian novel. We do not want to scare off any potential readers away from here!
Baron: We DON’T want to turn this resoundingly repulsive? Um, right. ‘course we don’t. So to anyone who’s been keeping up with us, why let us do all the snarking about cafeterias and the crazies we met in them? How about your experiences? As inquiring minds, we’re at least somewhat curious.
Countess: Hiyas! I’m Countess Copernicus. (And no I have no relations to the actual Copernicus who theorised that the Earth was NOT the centre of the universe!)
Baron: (Jeez, this isn’t a documentary) Anyhoo, welcome to . . . uh . . . “Polemical Pinballs . . . ” o.O Right. Welcome!
Countess: Hn, Baron, you’re no Alex Trebek or Pat Sajak! Be more assertive, darn you, good sir!
Baron: The indignity, the indignity. Anyway, welcome aboard! We’re going to keep this bit short and just take some time to do a lil’ intro for ourselves. And don’t mind the occasional furniture fights — that’s normal for us.
Countess: Verbal furniture fights, my friend. Absolutely verbal! Well, the purpose of this blog is to pretty much have some snark-filled discussions between two crazy people with vast and similar interests! I, myself, am an English major who also adores anime, mangas, and video games. I also like history, but do not ask me anything political in nature. And no, despite my name, my science skills are horribly lacking!
Baron: I’m a political science/international relations major myself and am a little better versed in history. That aside, despite the achievements of my namesake, I couldn’t conquer my way out of a paper bag. Logistics in there are horrible, you know. I also like anime, though I don’t watch as much as I used to, I ABSOLUTELY love reading about history (and alternate “what-if” scenarios), and, of course, video games. Do not ask me political questions, though, or I will . . . um . . . do . . . something. Yes.
Countess: While the Baron here expresses interest in history, I am a very odd English major myself. I like Ernest Hemingway (surprisingly), but most modern writers like T. S. Eliot drive me nuts. Ever read “The Wasteland” or “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock”? Don’t. I highly discourage that. With that noted, I do like literature. Just not exactly the classics. ~_~;;
Baron: She forgot to mention she HATES The Great Gatsby despite loving that time period. And loves Kurt Vonnegut. As for me, I’ll read it if it’s good. Or if it’s TV Tropes. In which case, I’ll be there until sun up. I like adventure games, but I couldn’t solve them to save my life, action games are only okay with friends there to praise/mock my progress, and I like historical simulations to bend historical continuity over my knee.
Countess: Very interesting, Baron. With that said, we are here to talk about a wide variety of topics. Expect our entries to range from stuff about Carmen Sandiego to Chrono Trigger to World War II and to other mundane stuff like how come the world is round instead of flat. We are that random, and we figure that someone else on the Internet will share our similar sense of humour!
Baron: Even if no one pays attention, this at least gives us something to vent our frustrations on. Like how this generation’s got it REAL good in the spiffy toys they get to START with. Real life is a harsh mistress, as she will not permit a New Game Plus for us. *waves old man stick* Expect us to wax nostalgic thoughts on what we loved as kids, why we think today’s stuff stinks compared to ours, and anything else that jumps out of our skulls.
Countess: Yes, and in case you haven’t noticed, this place is run on alliteration. If you do not know what this is, I suggest you either Wiki it or figure it yourselves! Hint: Look at the name of this place, the entry’s title, and even our own names! We hope you enjoy your stay here, and we want you to look forward to our unique perspective on life and things within it!
Baron: And in case any of what we yammer on about interests you (regarding old games at least), go check them out, and maybe leave a message or two on what you think about them. Just expect us to be biased on the absolute obsolescence of it all. Till next time!
Countess: P.S. – If you have played the old-school pinballs on the actual machines (not the ones that are computerised), then you have our respect! Those things were the absolute fun stuff that sucked up our quarters!
Welcome to Polemical Pinballs, a place for two long-time friends to talk about various topics ranging from video games to history to literature to television shows and to other topics we both find interesting enough to bicker about. This blog will be updated quite spontaneously with unabridged humour that may or may not be funny depending on the individual. We still hope to appeal to some people out there, and we hope to have immense fun by writing these entries together!