This little piece from GameSpite Quarterly 5 should resonate with anyone who remembers the NES days before the advent of widespread rentals. You see, kids, once upon a time, the Internet was mostly unknown to the average person, and very few people used it for the exchange of information about video games. Certainly no kids (or so few as to make no difference) did. Instead, we relied on things called “magazines” to clue us in to good purchases, or possibly a thing called word-of-mouth, which was different then than it is now in that it actually spread by mouth rather than by Twitter. The problem with that particular chain of information is that magazines usually only wrote about the big games, or the ones that they were nudged to covering by generous publisher ad buys. That left many, many NES games a mystery. You’d see them on shelves and wonder about them, and they’d look enticing, but who knew if they were any good! EGM and Nintendo Power never wrote about them. Your friends had never played them. So there was nothing for it but to brace yourself and hope the game hit the clearance racks… and once you’d spent your hard-earned cash, to hope it was worth it. This article is about the forgotten art of taking the plunge on the video gaming unknown.