I grew up playing a lot of videogames. A lot. And I was a Sega loyalist. I had every system Sega made (except for the 32X, because, well, I wasn’t stupid). I had Game Genie, so I could use cheat codes. I even had Sega Channel, which was sort of a GameFly.com precursor.

But when Sega stopped making consoles, I stopped playing videogames. I gave them up to focus on my other all-consuming hobby: television. As a result, I completely missed out on a lot of revolutions in gaming. The Internet became a major part of the videogame experience. Adults started playing. Platformers faded into the background, and wacky games about bluebirds and mummies who threw their own heads (“Decap Attack,” look it up some time) gave way to serious, mission-based “Metal Gear Solid” mini-movies. The sense of humor got sucked out of gaming.

These days, I stick to ROMs of old games I didn’t have the time to beat. 100 levels of “Zombies Ate My Neighbors” would have been worth missing school for, but my parents just weren’t on board. But thanks to ROMs, I can actually save games and come back to them. A brilliant function. Takes all the challenge out of it, of course, but that’s not really what it’s all about. It’s nostalgia coupled with the feeling of tying up a loose end.

Despite the numerous years I’ve been away from that world, I do still keep an ear out for interesting games. “Braid,” for example, and “Brutal Legend.” And every so often, I hear about game-changers coming out of E3. I’ve never actually been to E3, so for all I know, it could look like this:

I haven’t heard about anything from this year’s E3 that really piqued my interest, but that’s probably because Sega’s still dead.

So what am I recommending in this post? ROMs. Specifically, “Decap Attack” and “Zombies Ate My Neighbors,” two hilarous old-school games. Download them, play them. Use tomatoes to kill men with chainsaws. Throw footballs at martians. Or just throw your own head.

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