Get the collectathon on like Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong 64 (1999)

When you’re part of the squeezed middle like me, you’ll know all about not having enough money to buy a house, though you’ll probably have plenty of disposable income otherwise. You could save your hard-earned cash towards property prices, but why bother? They only ever go up, so you have already lost that battle.

You’re not gonna keep up with it. So why not spend your money building a collection of something instead? With any luck, you might be able to sell your completed collection for top dollar in twenty years’ time, which is conveniently around the time you’ll finally be able to buy that house.

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Frenzy on the freeway, it’s a good Mario game spoiled

Mario Golf (1999)

There’s only one thing that golf fanatics like me are after, of course, and that’s the coveted green jacket you get for winning the Masters. So listen up, prole, here’s how you do it.

Right, first hole, par 4, the green is 350 yards away which is a few football pitches, and you’re not sure you could even walk that distance unassisted.

But no matter because you’ve got your caddy alongside you, who will helpfully double as a chauffeur to bring you around on one of those nifty golf carts. Your first job is to drive the ball as much as possible, which of course means using your driver. You might at this point attempt to grab your caddy by the ankles, walk him towards the first tee, wheelbarrow style, and use him as a club to strike the ball with. After all, he’s your driver, right?

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Gotta learn it all; it might be the toughest Pokémon battle there is

Pokémon Stadium 2 (2001)

Alright, before we go any further, I want you to answer one thing: are you any good at Pokémon battles? Obviously if you say ‘no’, then you can get off this page immediately. That’ll be the end of it, I will not pursue you, I will not point and laugh at you. If you say you have a bit of battling ability, then I’ll have to cast a suspicious eye over you. Can you back that up? Did you make your fair share of other children cry, in playground Link Cable battles? Are you Mewtwo, or Mewpoo? Machoke, or Majoke? Hitmonchan, or Hitmonsham? You get the idea.

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Everyone’s got a plan until they get mauled by the bear

Banjo-Kazooie (1998)

Do you plan everything in your life? I certainly don’t. Life is at its most fun when it’s unplanned, spontaneous. I truly believe this can be applied to all facets of life. You may have found yourself holidaying with some awful people who try to plan everything to the letter. Distressingly, they bring in the use of something called an itinerary. I know, sounds like something for itinerants, but it’s worse than that. At 10 AM, we do this, at 12 noon we do that, it’ll involve walking 100 kilometres a day and if you wanna sit down and rest your little booties, forget it.

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If you and your mother wanna have yourself a time…

South Park (1999)

It’s always a bit of a laugh when parents try to censor your viewing and playing habits. Alright, there’s some extreme stuff out there that kids shouldn’t be watching, but it’s always a great thrill for kids when they hear their parents swear, and doubly so when they get to the age when it becomes acceptable for them to swear around their parents. I can’t imagine trying to regulate a kid’s mobile phone in this day and age, not when the kids tend to be more tech savvy than the adults and are usually able to find a way around it.

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Ladies and gentlemen, class and decorum have left the building

Animal Crossing (2004)

Just like you can never really know what your workmates are gonna be like until you’re deeply entrenched in the low-pay grind with them, it’s pretty difficult to consciously choose your neighbours. Mind you, in this day and age you can at least go onto local neighbourhood watch pages on social media and do a quick search for the street or estate you plan to move into. If there’s barely any mentions of your desired area on there, then your children will be able to practice the dulcimer and eat their activated almonds in peace. But if your finger gets tired scrolling through all of the reports of anti-social behaviour, your home life will shape up like a scene from the Walking Dead.

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I’m the best penalty taker in the world… on paper

Paper Mario (2001)

So, do you have a happiest memory in your life? Maybe I’m just depressed, but for me, it’s harder than one might think to come up with memories or days that stick out as being overwhelmingly happy ones. I know we’re supposed to say our wedding days, or the day we graduated from college or something. Or the moment we lost our virginity. But what sticks out ahead of all these is usually a particularly great night out with all your pals present – or even better, a pizza fuelled house party where everyone’s there.

Harry Potter enthusiasts will know that the method of combating the Dementor creatures is to conjure up a very happy memory, and somehow turn that memory into a spirit animal that chases the shadowy demons of depression away. I remember reading that and thinking that I’d be bang in trouble if I ever needed to do that. Ask yourself, what moment would you draw from?

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A short story without much fun is something truly criminal

Yoshi’s Story (1998)

I’ve got to come clean with you today – I’m a no good criminal. Actually, I’m no stranger to breaking the law: I’ve pirated just about every form of media you can think of. I’ve even got Virtual Boy ROMs on my computer, for heaven’s sake. I’ve downloaded – and watched – Mean Girls and The Notebook. I’m not sure if you want to know any more about my depraved downloading habits, but one thing I’ll tell you – my conscience is clear.

After all, when downloading films and music, I’m only taking a bit of money out of the pockets of those fine upstanding fellas like Harvey Weinstein. Today though, I have to confess to something a bit more grave: renting games and not returning them on time.

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The name’s Burkey… Heathen Burkey

GoldenEye 007 (1997)

There seems to be a strange phenomenon in life whereby the most major and far-reaching decisions tend to be left in the lap of children, while the decisions made by adults are of no consequence at all, or you never had that much agency in the first place. You might think that marriage, or buying a house are earth-moving decisions on your part. But it’s society that makes this decision for you, if you’re really being honest with yourself.

That momentous decision to have kids? Oh come on, how many of us were accidents? Even if you’re too careful for accidents, and you want to reproduce, then it’s still not your decision, that’s your genes acting on your behalf. And as you get older, it’s not like you’ll be the one deciding when you’re going to shuffle off to a home, which one you’ll even go to, and when to pull the plug at the end of it all. It seems to me that the older you get, the less you get to decide.

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Never bring a white van to a go-kart track

Mario Kart 64 (1997)

In around 150 AD, after several years of labour and study, Claudius Ptolemy completed his Cosmographia, his long-studied understanding of the geography of Europe and the world. Beginning in 1308 and finishing in 1320, Dante produced his masterful magnum opus, the Divine Comedy. And in this year of our lord, Burkey presents to you his much anticipated treatise of the worst types of road users.

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