Midwest Gaming Classic

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This year didn’t work out as planned. For the last few, we triangulated on the Midwest Gaming Classic convention to relive childhood memories. To dig through tubs of game cartridge, put about a billion credits into Metal Slug 3, and brave fording the rivers.

 

Flights were delayed….then cancelled. Rescheduled flights landed in not-nearby airports. Worst of all, a third of the triumvirate was denied entry into the country.

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We bonded over vintage video games and discovered that the three of us didn’t live far from each other. And what better way to indulge in classic gaming than to attend a convention? So we triangulated on Midwest Gaming Classic. For a couple years the highlight of our April was sitting in front of old computers and consoles to relive childhood memories. But things didn’t work out and we were left to enjoy ourselves without feeling too sorry

Once again in front of the warm phosphor glow, we introduced the newcomers to the glory that was Oregon Trail on the original hardware. Pure clicky goodness coupled with lovely green-shaded text. Every year the tradition had been to play until the Willamette Valley screen came up.

MGC Killscreen

The first time we sat down to play, the owners were watching us enjoy their machines over our shoulders. “We’ve never seen anyone sit down and play the entire game!” Seems like that trend continued because there were a bunch of computers with the game installed.

 

So it wasn’t until later that we did a run on the OG IBM and realized something. Even if he wasn’t with us…he was with us in spirit. Our scores joined last year's score when we made our journey west.

MGC Scores

Special thanks to @hoffmanmyster and @omniclectic. For providing pictures when my camera died and for persevering through shitty travel conditions to hang. Check out more pictures from HoffmanMyster and my full-res pictures.

MGC Hoff_Boop

Luggage Pictures

Mom moved into a new house and for once all her stuff was accessible. In the last move, she stashed a majority her things into a storage unit and it was hard to get at. In this new home, she stuffed the basement and entire second floor with all her belongings. My sister went through a lot, in the hopes of finding some vintage clothing gems, and instead stumbled upon the luggage filled with prints and negatives. Some of these are shots from my childhood and our family growing up. And some of these were a time-capsule from when mom was growing up overseas.

Mom tells a story about a trip she was on when she was about eighteen to see snow for the first time. It always struck me as odd since she then moved to Upstate New York to start our family. After pulling out pouch after pouch after pouch of negatives, we stumbled on a little folder. Inside was a group shot of a bunch of people outside of what looks like a ski resort or a nature preserve in the snow. It was the shot taken during that trip and preserved after all these years.

Going through all the negatives and pictures inspired me to start shooting film myself and build my own archive. In the future Instagram and maybe even this URL may not be recoverable but hopefully the prints and negatives will continue to live on. My favorite thing to do now when we’re visiting is to pull random pouches and photo albums out and go through them.

While digging for the family archives shot series, we  also uncovered a generational love of dogs and family pets. 

 

1977ish: Laura scared Uncle so much that he had to leave his bedroom with a baseball bat. Her favorite past time was barking.

1982ish: The way mom talked about Jackie felt more like a beloved younger sibling more than a dog. It took years before the realization that Jackie was a dog.

2016: Armani came home with us because we liked her tail and the fact she kept eating food out of her siblings' bowls.

Full res pictures can be found here. Hit the Instagram @tactilezine.

Bubbles

En route to Exit 9 on the Northway, we had a discussion on the future. What comes next? Not just for myself but for her. The future always seems so bright at that age and perhaps because of that, my daydreams feel that much brighter. Zines still feel viable; like somehow they’ll become a gateway to a Rizzoli cover. But Printed Matter or Quimby’s would be just fine. She chimes in and says that wants to make a zine too. What about pairing ride-ons with the normal OOTD shots? Genius.

 

Fifteen minutes later we roll down Main Street and come upon Bubbles. She actually yelled, “Look at that horse!” which of course made me pull over to take a look for myself. A little horse peeking over the barricade turned out to be a merry-go-round.

And surrounding the equine stable stand a few coin-op machines: a crane game, a motorcycle racing game, Fred Flintstones’ log car, and helicopter. All hungry for their quarters….except for the motorcycles which were on free play.

 

We said we would be home within two or three hours and we were definitely late for dinner that night. Just frolicking and playing with that arcade took up much of our afternoon. Definitely enjoyed this cold, damp arcade more than the warm classic game store that followed.

Full res pictures here.

Introduction

Mom moved for the third time and her current residence is essentially a big storage room with a small living space. Because of this we’ll move our luggage into one of the rooms not being lived in to save space. All around us is stuff so we go digging and sometimes we find lots of treasures. For a while only she could go hunting so one day a message came and showed a picture of a picture. Mom’s stash of 4x6 prints had been unearthed.

Going through each packet was such an adventure; as if we found unmarked time capsules. Mom never labeled anything “France Vacation 1996” or “6th Bday Party”. The envelopes only had a date with the request to “print these brighter pls”. Apparently there was some kind of system, perhaps they were organized in chronological order, but we couldn’t figure it out. One pack held pictures from our trip to London; another set unearthed memories from a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. But an older folio held a real treasure.

My hometown is in upstate New York. Growing up there meant that having four distinct seasons was a regular part of life. Spring and fall are my favorite with their lovely weather and ideal (for me) temperatures. Summers can be very hot and humid. And of course winters are filled with blizzards and ice. Some of my first memories are climbing to the tops of snowbanks made from the passing plows and sliding down in my blue sled or going to a park to enjoy sledding on hills. Life without snow seems foreign.

Mom tells a story about when she was younger, growing up in Hong Kong. Her childhood felt either hot and humid or hot and rainy. Cold and winter were super strange concepts only found in movies. One of her first trips overseas was to go see snow for the first time. She still tells me about that trip and how much things have changed. Even now she still finds snow to be uncomfortable.

So in the folio protected a single print of her trip to the mountain to see and play in snow for the first time. That print turned forty-one in 2017. Stories can be told and retold over and over again but sometimes it doesn’t feel real. Maybe it becomes a fable in the mind. But here this little yellowed 5x7 print proved that at one point long ago, this story actually happened.

After seeing that, my first film camera came in the mail. Shooting digital is lovely but the longevity of that print convinced me to shoot film too. The look feels so good; even with all the “flaws” of grain and missed focus. And of course hopefully my negatives and prints will give someone the same feeling of reality and history forty years from now.

Tactile will always include both film and digital shots. I hope one day that someone will also find my suitcase pictures to be as inspiring.