Sunday, January 13, 2013

Disagreeing With My Peers

I'm somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to classifying my demographic.  I'm kind of in between Generation X and Generation Y.  I'm too young for most of what X-ers were in to, so I identify more with Y-ers, especially since I hung out with people who were younger than me when I was a single adult.  Demographics are defined by more than which generation you were born in.  For example, I'm straight, I'm married, I'm a male younger than 40, I'm a father, I live in western Canada, I'm a gamer, and I'm a hardcore hockey fan.  The point of this article is that I belong to all of these demographics, these peer groups, but there are certain things that a certain group will universally like, but that I reject.

Demographic 1: Male between age 25 and 40

1. Booze

Western society seems to worship alcohol, and it seems more obvious among men.  I was raised a Mormon, so I didn't start drinking when most of my peers started (about 14 years old, if their adolescent boasts are to be believed), and I'm still a Mormon, so I still don't drink.  Every event I go to, there's booze flowing.  Hockey game?  Beer.  Rock concert?  Beer.  Office Christmas party?  Liquor.  Non-Mormon wedding?  Yikes!  When I watch TV, especially when I watch hockey, I'm just hit in the face over and over again by online poker ads.  But when there aren't online poker ads, there are beer commercials almost as often.  These beer commercials portray beer as the only thing that adult male friends can bond over.  In the world of beer commercials, guys can't be friends unless they're drinking beer.  Even when I go to one of my favourite websites, The Chive, I get booze thrown in my face.  For those who don't know, The Chive is a site that collects funny, interesting, and cool photos.  Sometimes, the photos are just pictures of beer.  Just beer.  Booze culture has gotten to the point that people like to just look at pictures of booze.

Now, I'm not looking down on drinkers, judging them from a religious point of view.  I'm looking down at drinkers as an outsider who thinks you all look retarded, compulsive, loud, and stinky.  Yes, that's right, I said you look stinky.  Oh, god, the smell!  I work in an industry that forces me to deal with drunks, and the smell when they walk through the door makes me want to puke.  And you're all so obnoxious when you're drunk.  I'm sure you drunks enjoy the company of other drunks, but sober people want you to shut the hell up and leave us alone.

2. NFL and fantasy football

Are you ready for some footbaaaaaall?!  No, Hank Williams Jr., I am not.  I've never been a big American football fan.  Really, hockey is the only sport that gets me excited.  I liked baseball in the '90s, but I never got into football, especially the NFL.  For one thing, all of the teams are based in cities that I don't give a rat's ass about.  The way I look at it, me caring about the NFL would be like an American caring about the CFL.  What do guys in Texas care about the Edmonton Eskimos?  What do I care about the Dallas Cowboys?  For another thing, I find football players the most obnoxious athletes in the world.  Not just professional football players, either.  I went to high school before nerds took over the world.  There are a few exceptions; I have some good friends who played high school football.  Overall, though, I found most football players to be a lot like the jocks portrayed in '80s teen comedies.

I just find fantasy football silly.  It's jocks trying to play role-playing games without the nerd stigma.  Also, it seems to be everywhere now.  I can't even go to friggin' Cracked without seeing videos about fantasy football.

3. Classic Rock

I hate classic rock.  I absolutely hate it.  (Note: The Beatles don't count as classic rock.  Classic rock is typically from the '70s and '80s.  Think of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Van Halen.  Crap like that.)  I just hate it.  And that's rare for a man my age.

Demographic 2: Gamer

1. Pokemon

This one is pretty much a direct result of me being one of the oldest members of Generation Y.  Most of my gamer peers look at Pokemon with nostalgia.  It was a big part of their childhood, and one of the first video game series that they fell in love with.  It came out in 1996.  Do you know how old I was in 1996?  I was 18.  Pokemon was nowhere on my radar.  My earliest memory of Pokemon was when Nintendo released a special Pikachu console with a microphone attached to it, and the only game you played was just Pikachu on the screen, and he did what you told him to do using the microphone.  I instantly hated Pokemon, and I've never stopped.

2. Nintendo 64 in general, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time specifically

Whenever you see Gen Y-ers waxing sentimental about their childhoods, they'll often bring up fond memories the Nintendo 64.  I have nothing against looking back fondly of the console of your childhood.  I, myself, have fond memories of my Sega Master System (the precursor to the Sega Genesis), even though it was an objectively terrible console.  But notice what I did there: I admitted that the console of my childhood sucked.  Gamers who grew up with the Nintendo 64 hold it up even today and call it the greatest console ever, which is just ridiculous.  Have you seen what games looked like on a N64?  They're butt-ugly.  The 16-bit consoles had beautiful 2D graphics.  The first generation of 3D consoles (N64, Playstation, Sega Saturn), while a necessary step in the evolution of video game consoles, was a generation that I skipped entirely.  I saw the commercials for their games, and I tried playing my friend's N64, but then I decided, "Nope.  I'll sit this one out, guys."  And I didn't touch a console again until I got my PS2 in 2000.  I have one title to say to people who claim the superiority of the N64: Superman 64.  I rest my case.

The most successful title on the N64 was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  Most lists of the best video games of all time written today place Ocarina in the number 1 position.  I own Ocarina of Time.  I bought it as an adult after playing Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii.  You know what I have to say about Ocarina of Time?  It's unplayable.  I played it for about an hour and never touched it again.  It's such an ugly game.  Sure, it's about as good as the N64 was capable of, but there's a reason why I hate N64.  My wife was more diligent playing than I was, but she didn't finish it, either.  It was the Water Temple that did her in.

One more thing about the N64, and then I'm done.  What were they thinking when they designed this:

I was gonna rip on coffee, but I didn't have much interesting to say about it without just rehashing some of the booze arguments.


  1. The control stick was, if you forgive the term, a game changer. As evidenced by the next generation of controllers (PS2, Dreamcast) and every generation after that including it. It may be quite fugly now, with a garish combination of colours but it certainly was a leap forward at the time.

    I'm more in agreement with you on Zelda 64. My favourites in the series are Link to the Past on SNES and Windwaker, definitely the 2 prettiest to look at games.

    As for NFL - I'll take watching Peyton Manning over Matt Nichols. Egos aside, the difference in skill and talent is immediately apparent. Watching a CFL game, players seem just obnoxious, especially when they're not using those sound dampeners on the sidelines properly (thank you CBC!) and you get to hear snippets of their lovely conversations.

  2. The N64 controller, much like the N64 itself, were necessary steps in the development of consoles. Yes, it had to happen, but I still don't like it.

    As for the NFL, there is absolutely no question that it is a much more skilled league than any other football league. I realize that CFL players are just as obnoxious. Most football players, at all levels, are obnoxious.


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