Today, October 16, 2017, Retro Game SuperHyper turns one year old! A winner is me!
I literally came up with the idea for the blog and implemented it in the span of a day. I had recently been enjoying some popular retro gaming podcasts during my daily commute, and got to thinking, “geez, after over 35 years of videogaming, I have lots of experience and knowledge and stories — it would be fun to talk about it, and I could totally hold my own on this show if they had me on.”
But since that wasn’t gonna happen, and I don’t have the time or gumption to start a podcast of my own, I thought starting a blog would be the next best thing. The idea started really appealing to me, but I had some hesitation: after leaving the Metroid Database ten years prior due to lack of time and interest, did I really want to re-enter the world of videogame enthusiast websites?
Well, the big difference ten years made was in technology. When I was running the MDb, the site was coded by hand, I had to transfer photos from my digital camera to my PC, edit them, write, format, code, upload… But now? Smartphones! I can take photos with my phone, and use the WordPress app and website to write and create my articles. It’s so much easier! I can do it anywhere, working on the computer or on my phone, wherever I am. I can kill 30 minutes waiting for my daughter to finish her flute lesson by working on a post. If I get no-showed by an appointment at the tattoo shop and have a spare hour or two, I can do some writing. I may or may not have blogged from the toilet, you don’t know, shut up, don’t judge me.
Plus, I figured I already have tons of photos of cool items I’ve owned, my collections, game rooms throughout my life, arcades I’ve visited…plenty to share. And I could play around with making some videos too!
Anyway, the notion was rapidly becoming appealing, and I immediately decided on the name “Retro Game SuperHyper,” which I have actually had kicking around for many years. (Why? I’ll get into that later.) I also decided I needed a cool little cartoon mascot, and my little shmup spaceship dude (who still needs a name!) popped right into my head. I thought it would be fun to create a whole social media presence around the blog, too. Not only was the blog itself sounding like fun, but the idea of seeing how much I could get it to grow was just as interesting. It would be an experiment that would still be cool and fun no matter where it went.
This all went through my head one afternoon while my wife and I were having lunch at Mitsuwa marketplace in the ‘burbs of Chicago. I must have been pretty quiet while scarfing down my tempura don because she asked me what was on my mind, so I blurted out the whole idea as I had just conjured it. She said “go for it,” and probably thought I wasn’t actually gonna get around to it.
That evening, after we returned home from our little day trip (Chicago is only a few hours’ drive from us), I got right to work. I drew my mascot. I signed up for a WordPress account. I made a new Facebook page. I made a Gmail address, and used that to start a YouTube channel and an Instagram account. I bashed together a logo that looked like what I had in mind. A little Photoshopping later, and probably in the span of a couple hours, my whole Retro Game SuperHyper blitz was ready to launch.
This was on October 16 of 2016. Launching on that date was significant because I thought it would be cool make my return to videogame writing exactly 20 years from the day that I launched the original Metroid Database. Not that I expected it to be a major bombshell, just a cool parallel. Like the return of Twin Peaks, but with fewer fans and a lot less weird. (If you go back and look, you’ll see that I actually posted my first two entries on the 17th — but everything was up and running the night before.)
So here we are, a whole year later, and I’ve gotten some great feedback on my efforts so far. RGSH is a nice way for me to reflect on what I’ve done in my gaming hobby and gives me motivation and ideas for what to explore next!
And what is next? Well, first off, as a little reward to myself for sticking with this for a year, I went ahead and bought the domains retrogamesuperhyper.com and .net. Now it’s a little easier to link to the blog!
AND HAVE YOU SEEN THE ‘ZINE?? To mark the site’s first year, I’ve published the Retro Game SuperHyper Year 1 ‘Zine, a 32-page publicaion available NOW as a PDF or a printed magazine on MagCloud!
Otherwise, I’m gonna keep blogging. The Arcade Pilgrimage series has a couple major entries that still have to happen, which I am planning. Looking over the past year, I do realize that the blog seems to be pretty heavy on Nintendo consoles. That’s not necessarily my intent. It’s clear that I haven’t covered nearly enough pre-NES stuff, and I need to do more on Atari, Intellivision, Colecovision, and Vectrex! There’s been a bit of Neo-Geo coverage, but I’ve been thin on Genesis/Mega Drive content and have barely even mentioned Turbo/PC-Engine. I resolve to remedy all of this in the coming year! I also still have ambitions for some other products maybe, some fun stuff to tie into the whole RGSH micro-media-empire. Who knows? I’m not sure. But you’re invited to come along!
Thanks to you, my readers, and don’t forget to follow along on the other social media avenues which I will link to below!
Oh yes — so where’d the name come from?
Wayyy back around the late 1990s — probably a year or two into running the MDb — I was planning a new videogame website, which was going to be just thoughts and ramblings on videogamer life. I was going to call it “TV Game Hyper GO!”, in the spirit of Japanese-style hype. I had recruited 3 or 4 of my hardcore gamer friends to help me write articles for it, and we all started kicking around ideas. Around that time, a new videogame magazine appeared on US newsstands called “GameGO,” and I thought my name was too close to that. So, again taking inspiration from Japanese game magazines — in particular, Hippon Super, a publication I had heard of but never actually seen a copy of, and I liked the odd-ness of the name — I came up with “TV Game SuperHyper.” (Incidentally, GameGO magazine lasted all of an issue, maybe two.) Well, that website ultimately never materialized. But, much like Nintendo, I never throw away an idea…
Retro Game SuperHyper: Year 2 is GO!