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13 Things Every '90s Gamer Will Instantly Relate To

Updated September 28, 2017 1.8k votes 261 voters 5.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the best '90s gaming tropes that are no longer around.

Being a '90s gamer is something special; a real badge of gaming honor. If you played any of the best classic video games in the '90s, you were essentially a pioneer alongside companies like Nintendo and Sega, journeying across new frontiers of entertainment. You saw the insane growth of an industry so big that it surpassed film as the most lucrative entertainment form. So if you were unboxing a brand new Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo Entertainment System back in the day, congrats: you're part of the cool kids club.

It's not all about gaming street cred, though. The reality is, many aspects of gaming were just objectively superior back in the good old days. Gaming in the '90s was a time before the over-simplification of video games, a time when you could game on the couch with your best friend, and a time before companies decided gouge you with seedy DLC tactics. Take a look at the list below and vote up the things you miss about the '90s gaming scene.

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  • 1

    Blowing On Cartridges

    There's a whole bunch of ancient technology that went into making the ye olde gaming cartridges of yesterday produce their 16-bit magic. From time to time, the games would bug out and every kid knew what to do: pop the cartridge out, blow on the insertion slot, then shove 'er back in to watch the game magically spring to life.

    Did you know why this was supposed to fix the problem? Nope. Was there any science to even back it up? Probably not. Was it a fun little bit of easy troubleshooting that's now a long-lost gaming tradition? Yep.

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  • 2

    Couch Co-op Only, No Online Play

    Photo: Konami

    Without the Internet, there was only one way to get your digital kicks with a friend: couch co-op. After school, you and a buddy would sit down and fight over the better controller, who had to be Player 2, and who got to sit in the cooler bean bag chair. It was classic buddy-bonding at its finest, an experience born from the limitations of '90s hardware and the lack of online gaming. It was a blissful, innocent time when gaming was an actual social experience, not just kids sh*ttalking each other from behind anonymous screens and immature Xbox Live gamertags.

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  • 3

    Flipping Through Paper Instruction Booklets That Are Included With The Cartridges

    In the pre-Internet era, video games would include a paper instruction booklet in the case. The booklet would feature background information on characters, concept art for the game, and a straightforward description of how the controls worked. It was always fun to flip through the booklet and see pictures of what those 8-bit heroes on your screen were supposed to look like. 

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  • 4

    That Feeling When You Hold A New Game Your Parents Just Bought You From The Store

    Photo: SEGA

    For a lot of '90s gamers, adults were a necessity in reaching game stores to purchase new titles. This was before the era of digital downloads, so you had to physically go to a store and buy a hardcopy of a game. Then you got to feel the shiny case gripped tightly in your hands as you eagerly waited to put it in your console as you rode a car back home, building minutes, sometimes hours of anticipation, all leading up to that blissful moment when the new game finally appeared on your TV screen. 

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