Apr 26, 2012

The League: When I Was 12

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers is celebrating its 12th week with an interesting challenge.
Grab Rufus and head to the phone booth, because this week, we’re going back in time! Dial up the year you turned 12, and revisit the last official year of your “childhood.”
While posts to the weekly topics are always varied, I think this week will be especially interesting because we weren't all 12 at the same time...well, I'm guessing most of us weren't. By the way, if you didn't get the "Grab Rufus and head to the phone booth" reference above, you need to see Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure!

My first stop in the phone booth was The People History to get a refresher on the goings on of 1982:
  • First CD player sold in Japan
  • First artificial Jarvik heart transplanted
  • Michael Jackson releases Thriller
  • Time Magazine's Man of the Year: The Computer!
  • Debut of USA Today, the Weather Channel and EPCOT
  • Computer scientist Scott Fahlman from Carnegie Mellon University first suggested the use of a  smiley or emoticon as a way of expressing emotion in an email :-)
Our next stop in '82 is a TV ad. Although Star Wars was still looming large, I did start collecting some GI Joe toys around this time as well. I should really see if I can dig them out of my parent's basement next time I'm there.

The third stop would be an arcade. Any arcade. '82 was near the start of the Golden Age of Video Games. My dad used to take me to a local bowling alley (Capeway on Rt 44) and turn me loose with a pocket full of tokens. He mostly stuck to the pinballs but I loved those too, especially Black Hole and Black Knight. I also have a crazy love for vintage machines. It's ridiculous how many arcade games I can identify by sound.
Image from Luna City Arcade. This is someone's HOME arcade
Next up is another stop that forever influenced my life as a geek: Dungeons & Dragons. I don't remember what led me to start exploring D&D in middle school. Likely a combo of Choose Your Own Adventure books and TSR's Dungeon! game. This was the Basic set, way back when there were no races, Dwarf and Elf were classes, and you didn't need a higher mathematics education to calculate your to hit rolls. Eventually I'd actually start playing my freshman year in high school and meet some awesome people. Erol Otus, who did the art for the box, had a unique style. Go Google him.

The last stop in the phone booth is August 17, 2011. Wha? Yup, we're going back just a few months to when I posted about my memories of going to see the last Star Wars movie ever (at the time), Return of the Jedi. While Jedi came out in 1983, I was still 12 when it happened and being a Star Wars fan for half my life to that point, it was a pretty big deal.

Be sure to check out these posts from other League members!
Shawn at Branded in the 80's crammed a lot of movies in during 1989
Ashley at Life With Fandom writes as I would have written, if this were about being 22
Newcomer Michael from Memories of Toymorrow talks about toys and Metallica in 1985
Claymation Werewolf goes all the way back to 1992 and tells how he met his wife!

And for the rundown of all the bloggers, visit Cool and Collected


  1. Dex, you and I would definitely have been pals back in the day. Great trip down memory lane!

  2. Nice! THE ARCADE!! I remember the smell of heating electronics in my local Bowling alley.....

  3. Thanks for sharing! LoL I had to reference the exact same People History site in order to remember 1982 more accurately on my post! =D