Your Move

Board games. Video games. Anything but mind games. KMUW commentator Sam McConnell explores the latest (and the time-tested) world of games.

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Last Sunday, the Nintendo Entertainment System celebrated its 35th anniversary. On October 18th, 1985, the system went on sale in New York City, with a nationwide launch in the fall of ‘86.

Super Mario is 35 years old this month, and Nintendo is releasing several Mario games in the next year to celebrate.


Consumer-grade Virtual Reality headsets have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. The first model of the popular Oculus Rift headset was released in 2013. It was relatively primitive compared to today’s headsets, but it was many times cheaper than other head-mounted displays at the time. There have been several other headsets released between then and now, including models by Valve and HP.

In 1999, Sega released their final home console, the Dreamcast. Among several features it had that were new to game consoles, there was a built-in modem. Few games used it, and even fewer used it well. But one used it phenomenally.


Phantasy Star Online wasn’t the first online multiplayer game on the Dreamcast, but it was absolutely the most ambitious. You could customize your own character, choose your abilities, and pick which weapons you enjoy using the most.

I’m still working from home, and as important as social distancing is these days, sometimes I just want to play games with other people! Lots of games have a multiplayer component, but if you want to play Overwatch or the latest Call of Duty with your friends, all of you need to have a copy of the game and be playing on the same platform. That’s an expensive prospect, and I don’t think I’d have much luck convincing people to drop hundreds of dollars to spend an evening playing Destiny with me.


If you played console games in the ‘80s or ‘90s, I’m betting you still have some of your old machines around. Maybe you have a Sega Genesis in a box in your attic, or a Super Nintendo in your childhood bedroom, at your mom’s house. The good news is, they probably still work! The bad news is, you probably don’t have the heavy, boxy TV that you played the games on anymore. Sure, you can plug an old system into your modern flat-panel TV with the cables it came with, but the picture you get is not going to be anything like what you remember.

Growing up, I was mostly a console gamer. There were some games, though, that pushed the boundaries of what games could do, and they were mostly on PCs. One such series focused on flying the X-Wing starfighters from the Star Wars movies.

I’m spending a lot more time at my computer desk lately, and I know I’m not the only one. Whether it’s for working from home, or for playing games, it’s important to have the right posture to avoid any repetitive stress injuries.

When I was in elementary school, you were either a Nintendo kid, or a Sega kid. Even though I was a bit of a weird hybrid because I had the Sega Genesis and a Nintendo Game Boy, in this particular culture war, I fell on the Sega side of the divide. And as far as I knew at the time, those were the only options. But there was a third pillar, one that was unknown to me until years later - the TurboGrafx 16.

Square Enix Games

In 1997, Final Fantasy VII brought the role-playing game series into 3D on Sony’s Playstation console. It was groundbreaking, but its early 3D graphics and poor language translation haven’t aged very well. Five years ago, they announced a remake of the game for the PlayStation 4. It’s out now, and it. Is. Wonderful.