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Monday, July 17, 2017

Video Rental Stores - The Best Way To Temporarily Expand Your Gaming Library

One of the highlights of the weekend as a kid was being able to do practically anything my heart desired.  Well, within reason anyway.  As much as I would have loved to have sprayed graffiti all over the town with a can of purple spray paint, I'm fairly sure the local police would frown upon that.

Of course, I had to make sure that all of my homework was done before I could have the freedom to do what I wanted (though admittedly, I would purposely wait until Sunday night to do some of it because I couldn't be bothered to work on it during the weekend.)

Kids: Don't be like me.  Do your homework as soon as possible.  You'll save yourself the stress of typing out an eight page history essay while pulling an all-nighter the day before the assignment is due - though, I did get a B+ on that paper, so what do I know?

Anyway, my favourite activity when I was a kid was to go down to the little convenience store around the corner from where I used to live as a kid.  I believe it was called Darling's Variety.  Aside from spending part of my allowance on Salt and Vinegar potato chips, I'd use the rest to rent a video game that they had in stock.

And yes, there was a time in which you could rent video games for the low cost of $2.25 per day!

To be fair, they also had movies as well, but I was never really into the box office scene as much as I was the video game scene.  Besides, the little store I went to had a limited selection of both.  Sadly, that store closed up when I was in the sixth grade, and after that I would rent games from some of the local video rental places and from major chains like Blockbuster or Jumbo Video.  I tended to prefer Blockbuster a bit more though, as they let you rent games for a whole week.  Which came in really handy given that you cannot beat "Final Fantasy VI" in one day.  At least, not without eating, sleeping, or peeing anyway.

Of course, nowadays you'd be hard pressed to find a store that still rents videos and video games.  These days, sites like Netflix have cornered the monopoly on movie renting and streaming.  As well, there are literally hundreds of sites that offer free emulators that you can use to download video games - not to mention purchasing games directly from the Internet for the XBOX, PlayStation, and Nintendo.

But back in the days in which I was a kid...the idea of renting video games was just absolutely magical.

For one, my family was not flush with money by any means.  They couldn't afford to buy a new video game every month - and I certainly didn't expect them to either.  I mean, this is coming from someone whose first video game system was ten years older (and you can read about that story by clicking
HERE - one of the first blog entries I wrote, matter of fact!).  I saved up to buy my Nintendo for several months when I was nine, and it was so worth the purchase!

Because once I had the Nintendo in my possession, it opened me up to a world of endless possibilities.  Or, at the very least it allowed me to rent video games.

I still recall the first video games I rented from Darling's after I bought my Nintendo.  As it turned out, I still had enough money to rent three games from there, so I settled on "Bubble Bobble", "Tetris", and "Rampage".  Yeah, quite the triad of games.  One game you shot at everyone with green and blue bubbles, one game you tried to make lines with coloured blocks, and one game you tried to destroy the entire United States one skyscraper at a time.  It was great!

Of course, I had to make sure that all the games were returned by 1:00 the following afternoon, because if I didn't I'd be billed for an extra day, which the nine-year-old me couldn't afford.

Well, at least until Super Mario 3 came out...then I rented it every other day until I received the game as a Christmas gift!

So, what are some of your favourite stories involving video rental stores and video game rental stores?  Feel free to share them here!

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