Talk about just about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean
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Cafeman
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by Cafeman Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:36 pm

When 1980 hit, I was about 11 years old. We listened to the radio mostly for music. We'd buy K-tel cassettes for albums, by mail. My parents had a lot of old 8-tracks but those were already going out of style by 1980. Many people were into vinyl , but not us for some reason The thing about the early 80's, disco still had a big influence on pop music, there were lots of cool songs with disco beats but also synthesizers, which just sounded cool to me, as a kid. When I hear songs like Upside Down, Call Me, and Magic (Olivia Newton-John), and Betty Davis Eyes, I'm reminded of middle school. But also new rock stuff from AC-DC like Shook Me All Night Long, and ZZ-Top, and Def Leppard hit in the early 80's. That period of 1980-1984 had pretty cool tunes. We would all record songs off radio, off Casey Kasem's top 40 countdown every week. To me, around 1985 or so, music started to get a lot crappier.

Clothing styles and hair styles got really weird in the 80's. It looks ridiculous now, looking back. We'd make fun of the 70's straight-hair and bell bottom jeans back then ... but now, although both 80's and 70's looks are dated, I think the 80's look much more ridiculous! Also many of us in the USA were terrified that Russia would bomb us with nuclear missiles! There was a frightening TV film called "The Day After" that showed what it'd be like if nuclear war happened. Those scenes stayed with me a long time.

Anyway, getting back to gaming subject -- around 1980, video-games had started to take off, and man you can't imagine the excitement everybody felt for games back then! If there was a Defender or Space Invaders in the lobby of K-Mart, I guarantee you there'd be kids (nerds and toughs) and adults lined up watching and playing them. Every watered-down Atari 2600 game was met with excitement even though these were far cries from the awesome coin-ops, and then Intelli and CV and 5200 came around. Most everybody I knew only had 1 TV set , so mom or dad would kick you off the TV and you'd have less time to play the games. But I think everybody I knew back then more quickly got tired of games, and we wanted to go do other stuff like ride bikes, read comics, listen to music, go explore or hike, etc. 1 or 2 hours seemed like long enough.

We had to watch TV (not recorded TV, live with commercials) and read magazines to get news about films and games. We had about 4 channels on TV. If you've never felt the isolation of pre-wi-fi and pre-internet before, go camping and don't bring any gadgets. The availability of the internet really has changed life, mostly for the better, but in a way we are more enslaved to the screen than we ever were with just a TV and a radio/boombox.

I don't miss those times at all, being honest. But I do fondly revisit some of its films, shows, and games of course.

(_)3
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Xeogred
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by Xeogred Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:12 pm

I was born in 1987 on the cusp of things there, some stuff people are mentioning summed up my early childhood for sure.

Videogames were indeed "Nintendo games" for years to me, haha.

TMNT was the biggest thing ever when I was little and the first big "phase" I had as a kid, wanting all the toys, games, merch, etc. It was huge.

McDonalds actually was cool and had a lot of quality toys then.

A lot of cars were enormous boats on the road.
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Ack
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by Ack Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:47 pm

So much cocaine...
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isiolia
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by isiolia Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:50 pm

Ack wrote:So much cocaine...


Yes
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by BogusMeatFactory Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:08 pm

Everyone nailed it. Movies were wild and outrageous and very experimental, with lots of neon and synthesizers. Music videos were the height of popularity, David Bowie still kicked ass. Seat belt laws were not enforced. I remember a childhood of sitting in the back of a van with no seats or seat belts. Or sitting in the bed of a truck. Everyone smoked in buildings. It was a weird time.
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by Anayo Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 pm

I was born in 1990, so I guess I'll ask the 80's guys some questions.

1) What were your expectations for technology in the 21st century? My impression was that everyone expected flying cars and Martian colonies because of Cold War era NASA programs. I mean, we put satellites in orbit and astronauts on the moon in a few short decades. So everyone must have extrapolated and assumed we'd keep advancing just as rapidly. When you saw movies like Blade Runner that showed flying cars in 2017, did that seem likely to you? I know when I saw Back to the Future 2 in 1998 I thought it was pretty hokey...

2) I've had this theory about The Terminator (1984), which is that its premise was subliminally influenced by the Japanese auto industry threatening Detroit. My theory was that the Terminator represents superior foreign technology that could make U.S. jobs obsolete. As I understand, it was enough of an issue that we imposed tariffs on Japanese cars for a while. I also remember reading something about trade deficit between Japan and the U.S. Does this connection seem off the mark?

3) Do you think religiosity was stronger in the 80's, or about the same as today? Did there seem to be a stronger prevalence of things like televangelists, billboards with Bible verses on them, or people in the community attending church during that decade?
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Xeogred
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by Xeogred Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:16 pm

BogusMeatFactory wrote:Everyone nailed it. Movies were wild and outrageous and very experimental, with lots of neon and synthesizers. Music videos were the height of popularity, David Bowie still kicked ass. Seat belt laws were not enforced. I remember a childhood of sitting in the back of a van with no seats or seat belts. Or sitting in the bed of a truck. Everyone smoked in buildings. It was a weird time.

Man I don't miss all the second hand smoke, but I'm sure the damage has already been done.

And yeah nobody cared about seatbelts at all haha.
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by bmoc Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:24 pm

Xeogred wrote:Man I don't miss all the second hand smoke, but I'm sure the damage has already been done.

Don't forget about leaded gasoline. But if you did forget, it is probably because of the lead.
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by BogusMeatFactory Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:52 pm

Anayo wrote:I was born in 1990, so I guess I'll ask the 80's guys some questions.

1) What were your expectations for technology in the 21st century? My impression was that everyone expected flying cars and Martian colonies because of Cold War era NASA programs. I mean, we put satellites in orbit and astronauts on the moon in a few short decades. So everyone must have extrapolated and assumed we'd keep advancing just as rapidly. When you saw movies like Blade Runner that showed flying cars in 2017, did that seem likely to you? I know when I saw Back to the Future 2 in 1998 I thought it was pretty hokey...

2) I've had this theory about The Terminator (1984), which is that its premise was subliminally influenced by the Japanese auto industry threatening Detroit. My theory was that the Terminator represents superior foreign technology that could make U.S. jobs obsolete. As I understand, it was enough of an issue that we imposed tariffs on Japanese cars for a while. I also remember reading something about trade deficit between Japan and the U.S. Does this connection seem off the mark?

3) Do you think religiosity was stronger in the 80's, or about the same as today? Did there seem to be a stronger prevalence of things like televangelists, billboards with Bible verses on them, or people in the community attending church during that decade?


The perception of technology for 2000 and beyond wasn't really flying cars. That was more of a universal joke and high hope, but it w asn't a real expectation people wanted.

As for the auto industry, it was already struggling until the invention of the SUV in the 80s which bolstered the industry. While there was a, "BUY AMERICAN!" mentality, as seen by that terrible buddy cop movie starring jay Leno and pat morita (mr. Miyagi) which took place in Detroit and dealt with said prejudice, I don't think terminator was an analogy for it.

While televangelism was huge at the time and a big American thing, it still is as big, if not bigger, but in a different way. They focus more on infiltrating large communities, or the elderly to take advantage of. They have dedicated networks now to reach people. They mastered marketing to their audience and don't need to spend money and time to rent out a time slot on major networks. Check out TCT as an example.
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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nullPointer
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Re: What were the 80s like?

by nullPointer Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:25 pm

Anayo wrote:3) Do you think religiosity was stronger in the 80's, or about the same as today? Did there seem to be a stronger prevalence of things like televangelists, billboards with Bible verses on them, or people in the community attending church during that decade?
I've been following this thread with some interest, but holy crap this one triggered my memory of the "Satanic Panic" in the 80's lol. Yeah during the 80's a lot of folks in the more conservative states (or at least a very vocal minority) suddenly became concerned that good ol' Beezlebub was coming to eat their children. This outcomes of this 'moral panic' really ran the gamut from the fairly amusing (the made for TV movie starring Tom Hanks warning of the dangers of D&D) to the absolutely tragic (the West Memphis Three). As a kid growing up in conservative rural Wyoming who played AD&D during this time (D&D was for bell bottom wearing 70's dudes - we played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons dammit, lol!) ... it was interesting. There was a bit of stigma involved due to the obvious nerd connotations, but perhaps even moreso due to the whole 'gateway to Satanism' angle. You really kind of had to keep it hush-hush regarding who you shared this interest with, because at best you might get forcefully invited to attend Sunday school, and at worst you might just get your ass beat by some self appointed squad of teenage moral majority knuckleheads. Praise Jay-sus.

I tell you what else was 100% more awesome in the 80's though. Skating (as in skateboarding). Skateboarding exploded in the 80's thanks to the popularity of the Bones Brigade (Tony Hawk's original skate crew), and en vogue skate brands like Vision Street Wear and Santa Cruz. Once again hearkening back to growing up in rural Wyoming, skating had a bit of an 'outlaw' vibe to it. While skateparks are pretty ubiquitous these days, in the 80's you could only find them in the most metropolitan areas. So for a ton of kids back then it was all about street skating. But rather than being confined to a skatepark where the lines are meticulously planned and obvious, there was a freedom to it. You had to apply creativity to find the best lines through everyday stair sets, parking blocks, and various concrete errata. Half the time you'd wind up being run off by shop owners or some other proprietor worried about the insurance implications of punk kids risking life and limb on their property (sometimes this meant an apologetic request to go elsewhere, and sometimes it meant profanity laced threats of repercussion, lol). I'm not sure I've painted the best picture here, but in the 80's it just seems to me that skating offered a means of freedom and escape for misfit disenfranchised kids, whereas today it all seems so much more mainstream and 'acceptable', lol.
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