The Loop / Golf Digest — Baseball’s 2018 opening day is weird: Instead of the traditional method of staggering their first games, all major league teams open on March 29 — the earliest date in MLB history, and one that will probably find you plopped at work understandably believing the season doesn’t start for another four days. But not to worry, baseball friends! You’ll miss nothing, as we have simulated the ENTIRE DAY already, using sabermetrics and psychotropic research and Theo Epstein’s algorithm-spitting robot from the future and TECHNOLOGY, by which we mean 15 baseball games made for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
LET US STOP YOU RIGHT THERE, because we know what you are about to WHINE: Many baseball teams from 30 years ago contained ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PLAYERS! Many of your favorite squads and also the Marlins didn’t even EXIST THEN! And many video game companies didn’t even spring for MLB RIGHTS so your “Pittsburgh Pirates” might actually be VIOLENT DROIDS WITH ARM CANNONS AND TREADS. To all you haterz we say: This is the INTERNET, where facts don’t stand a CHANCE against cheap nostalgia, so of COURSE much of this is wrong. You can shove your facts into the baseball beat writer at your “hometown newspaper,” hahahaha just kidding, you don’t have one.
The Loop / Golf Digest — The classic Nintendo Entertainment System was great for games in which overdramatic and cliched Italians hurled turtle shells around subterranean drainpipes, but real bad for golf. Between the years of 1984 and 1992, the original NES spawned a handful of golf-oriented video games, all of which attempted to capture the majesty of the sport and none of which, to our memory, came within a country mile of Ninja Gaiden or Metroid or even Golgo 13, and yeah, I see you out there, my Golgo 13 people.
But was that memory false? Did the games hold up better than we remembered, in our decades-old Super Tecmo Bowl-themed fog? This week we set forth to find out, using a Raspberry Pi, a customizable and probably legal device on which you can basically play every video game released between 1860 and 1993. (Indeed, the entire vast breadth of your video-game childhood now fits on an SD card the approximate size of a Wheat Thin, although of course they taste entirely different.)
The Loop / Golf Digest — If over the Thanksgiving holiday you noticed friends and family members avoiding the table’s undying debates about Colin Kaepernick by staring at their laps, there’s a decent chance they were doing more than praying for the sweet release of death: They were probably playing “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp!” The long-awaited smartphone version of Nintendo’s classic sandbox game, “Pocket Camp” arrived on Nintendo’s GameCube in 1697, arrived on pocket phone machines last week, perfectly timed to offer players a fresh reason to ignore the genealogically connected monsters with whom they were required to interact.
The Loop / Golf Digest — Everything was better the way it used to be, which is why you buy vinyl copies of records you already own, watch Netflix reboots en masse and apparently go to theaters to absorb five godawful, synapse-pounding Michael Bay movies vaguely based on toys you broke in 1986. The one cultural region where this aggressively nostalgic approach makes sense is video games, because if you are like some of us, you stopped upgrading/purchasing them 20 years ago, haven’t the foggiest clue how to f—king move your f—cking Boba Fett character in f—cking Star Wars Battlefront in a forward-like direction and would just rather play the games you grew up with, when life was uncomplicated, easy to master and built entirely out of 2 cm-thick squares.
Writer: GQ, Men’s Health,
the Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Indianapolis Monthly, Golf Digest, Vice, BruceSpringsteen.net,
the Indy 500, Fatherly, etc. Proud owner of a Bruce-related Guinness World Record. Even longer bio/clips.