Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vintage Games

I always forget how interesting the Nearly New Sale sounds, and then how quickly it gets boring in reality. But it is fun for a little while, and you can score some cool stuff. Kate always does well in the clothing arena, and this year I have my nephew to shop for, and the NNS always has it's share of cheap used toys. I found one in particular that I'm really excited about because it's a toy I remember having as a kid, as does Kate, as did the two other people standing near us when I said, "I remember having this toy when I had a kid!"

The coolest thing I scored was a vintage Avalon Hill board game "TV Wars". It's so cheesy, but it takes itself so seriously. And it is SO dated now. Released in 1987, TV Wars pits players against each other as rival network TV programming executives. Your job is to create a programming schedule for your network during primetime that beats out all the other networks in ratings. It's a cool premise, actually, and one that I want to try. It's the rest of the game that's so funny. You bid on network shows like Nuts Landing, The Ed Sillyvan Show, and The Newly Divorced Game. You vie for the rights to broadcast such movies as Star Warts and Rambozo, and sign lucrative deals with stars like Lucille Bawl, Mary Smiler More, and...wait for it... Flirt Reynolds. Not exactly timely references. And not funny. Not even a little. Not even twenty years ago.

But that's makes this game such a gem. The cheesy artwork, the goofy, laughably unfunny references to pop culture icons long since expired, and the completely outdated four network competitive environment modeled in the game to create something potentially more fun than was ever intended. And the event cards...god some of them are funny! There's a card calling players to lobby congress for a VCR tax...a VCR TAX! Remember when the broadcast networks thought the home taping of television programs was going to kill their ad-supported business model? TV Wars remembers.

Even if I never play it, and based on Kate's reaction I likely never will, I'm happy it's sitting on our game shelf. Plus it was only a dollar.

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