When GameCola celebrated its ninth birthday, a few inquisitive eyebrows must certainly have been raised. “Nine years?” the eyebrows must have asked. “But this videogame humor site, which is more informative and hysterical than IGN, Joystiq, Kotaku, GameSpot, and Carrot Top combined, can’t possibly be that old! What have they been doing all these years, and why do they never talk about it?”
It’s time we came clean: Some of us have done things on the Internet we’re not so proud of.
We were young and naïve! Many of us weren’t even out of high school! Our parents encouraged us! Until GameCola’s top scientists unlocked the secrets of totalitarian quality control (which took almost 300 turns, I’ll have you know), we hooligans were free to write whatever we pleased. The early years of GameCola had many high points amongst the mediocre and acceptably average points, but it’s the low points that make some people uneasy about bringing up the past. With your help, I’d like to change that.
I believe that we are often more critical of our work than those around us. I occasionally miss the old monthly newsletter format of GameCola where a single page linked to every article produced that month. I’m a proponent of embracing our past and integrating it into the present. By your leave, I would like this article to be the pilot of a series that brings GameCola’s history to light one month at a time, describing each article in just enough detail to make it clear which ones might be up your alley and which ones are too iffy to chance it. This could be a great way for those interested in GC history to more easily navigate the archives, and for everybody else to waste some time while they’re waiting for me to get my act together with another “Sprite Flicker” or “Flash Flood.”
The articles I’m about to link to are from the dawn of GameCola, way back in the unforgettable month of April or possibly March 2002; GameCola’s first baby steps toward becoming whatever the heck it is today.
GameCola Archive: April 2002
Introduction – Column by Paul Franzen
All good comic book characters have an origin story, and GameCola—which is at least as much a comic book character as Ambush Bug—also has one.
NHL ’94 (SNES) – Review by Paul Franzen
A touching story of nostalgia, brotherhood, and ramming sticks into other people.
The Top 5 Video Games of 1994 – Blog Post by Paul Franzen
Keeping with the theme instigated by the review of NHL ’94, Paul lists off some of the best games of a year that becomes more hilariously irrelevant by the hour.
Your Top 10 Favorite Videogames – Column by Matt Gardner with Introduction/Conclusion by Paul Franzen
Doubles as a list of “The Top 10 Best RPGs of All Time,” which is something everyone can argue about.
Philly Classic 3 Report – Blog Post by Paul Franzen
Tales of a videogame convention Paul didn’t believe existed, probably because it sounds like he made it up.
… of the Month: Dragon-Warrior.com – Column by Matt Gardner
Can you believe this? GameCola hadn’t even been around for a month, and already a staff writer was telling people to stop reading GameCola and do something else. Unbelievable. No one realized it at the time, but this plug for a goody-filled Dragon Warrior fansite also contains the first clue that Matt would one day make his life’s work the pursuit of reviewing dirty, dirty games.
And that’s where babies come from. Or something like that. I’d like to hear your feedback on this “Archive Dive” idea; it’s up to you whether these posts (and this post) should have their day in the sun, or should be hurled into the sun.