I own lots of old vintage computer and gaming stuff. It's something I'm into. I like simple systems that are easier to wrap my head around. There's a charming simplicity to it all.
ROB - the Robotic Operating Buddy - is a piece of shit I have no interest in every getting my head around.
ROB is an additional controller that hooked up with the original NES. He even came with system if you paid a little more. He basically only plays two games - Gyromite and Stack-Up. Which suck as well. The professional below bitches much better about the awfulness and absolute unplayable nature of these games. Specifically, because of ROB's failture to work correctly or time his motions right with the the game.
So why buy it? Because I've always wanted it. Seriously, back in the day, I really imagined that ROB actually had some of sort of personality to him and would be this super smart robot who would advance my pretty pathetic gameplay. If you watched the video above, obviously that wouldn't have been the case. Nostalgia sets in deep, I even have the The Office Nintendo Player's Guide, which lists a category of games know as the "Robot Series." Guess what - it's Gyromite and Stack-Up.
However, I did want ROB for another reason. I like to see the faith people had in technology and the exploration it took in the past. ROB may have been quickly rushed to market to add novelty to a system that would be forever praised for its basic elements: games and square controllers. Call it desperation or Nintendo thinking kids will buy anything (guess they were right in my case), but holding ROB now, I know that, someone years ago thought that this was where games and human interaction with computers may be headed.
Perhaps that's a little idealistic on my part, but I've been one of those people my whole life. Less so now, but I looked at games like Burncycle and I imagined the possibilities of such a medium.
I didn't by any means think that it was the only and end of development, but it allowed me to really think about where I thought technology was going. It was a good practice. I still think of ads for games and movies that I knew nothing about and where I imagined their plots, most of the time, the actual plot (sans my idea for Jurassic Park) I enjoyed more.
When I looked at my lifeless ROB (I couldn't really afford a working one), I see the start of that process for me. I know it's nothing special, that quality, or even collecting for nostalgia's sake, but those reflective eyes remind me, not of a carefree time, but a place where I was forced to imagine the possibilities rather than be disappointed by their implementation.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013