A World without Nintendo?

I have pondered quite a few what if scenarios over the years. Some of my favorite ones are what could Sega have done to actually make the 32X a success, or what would it be like if Atari had stayed relevant? But there is one question I have really wanted to try to get an answer to that I decided to tackle head on.

I recently shot a series of long form videos breaking down the different aspects of what the world might look like if Nintendo had never released the NES in north America following the video game crash of 1983. What would the arcade, home console and PC gaming landscape look like? How would the mobile market or handheld market have developed without Nintendo taking the lead? Would we even have smart phones today?

I break it down by topics in each video going through who would have been affected, who would have found success without Nintendo and who would have failed without their partnership propping them up? Would Blockbuster video still exist? Would Netflix have ever turned to Streaming? Would we have HDTV’s in a world where Nintendo didn’t exist or was relegated to some obscure little company left in Japan?

I will be releasing the video in pieces. I am still looking for ways to augment the story with visuals but I want this to be more of an analytical what if scenario based entirely on conjecture and speculation. Not grounded in hard facts or bogged down with actually predictions based on things we can’t firmly hold to. It should be a fun little diversion from the norm.

AH! Goldfish is a stinking mess~ can it be fixed?

I recently finished the rough draft of my crime thriller, Goldfish on the mountain. As I was going back and separating out the chapter, making some minor edits along the way and generally cleaning up the formatting to make the editing process easier on me, I realized something. This book, the story as it developed, is not the same story I set out to write. I can see there are still traces of the story I wanted to tell but it, well to be honest got away from me.

I am hopeful that as I begin the editing process I will start to picture in my mind the story as it unfolds. Then I will try to compare this to what I had originally conceptualized to try and reconcile the two, if at all possible. I understand all of this is going to be a tremendous undertaking. In a way I kind of feel like I might have wrapped it up a little early in an attempt to just get it done so I could move on to the next phase. This is fine as I can try to fix things as I go along, rewriting what needs to be, cleaning up and even throwing out the stuff that doesn’t serve the story.

The real issue though is just that, the story. I don’t know who the main character is anymore. As it is written it’s not making much sense. I know how I wanted to do it originally. But as things developed I realized there wasn’t an easy way to do that without really stretching the imagination so I chucked it mid-way and let the story take a different path.

Now as I look at it I am trying to decide if I made a mistake in diverting away from the original intention to go towards a safer type of story? I suppose there is a way I could make it work if I take the time to dig in and change who the focus is of the story. In a way I was letting Fargo get in my mind and I wasn’t quite able to separate myself from that as it was partial inspiration for the story. In the end I have to decide if I want to take the story in a darker, more focused, direction or if I want to explore the depths of this mans despair. I realize one thing is clear, I have over used a couple of tropes I told myself to avoid. I need to fix that.

As it stands even if the grammar and spelling mistakes were fixed, as a reader I wouldn’t get too into this story. I need to spend a lot of time in the second draft making sure I really clean it up.

Right now I am in the mind set that I want to walk away. I know that isn’t in my best interest so what I am trying to do is find inspiration to reignite the spark that originally inspired the concept in the first place. It’s not the best example but I’ve been watching a lot of Psych and that has me getting back into the murder mystery mindset. But, the thing is there is no mystery. I flat out identify the killer up front and the purpose of the book originally was to explore how a person could turn evil. I don’t do a good job with that. I have a few flashbacks that were meant to set the stage but they come off more as heavy handed than insightful. I need to figure this out.

I will take a break from the writing and editing for now and finish up the formatting of the chapters to prepare for the rewrite process. In the meantime I think I need to watch a few actually good thrillers to see if I can remember what it was I set out to do.

THE RAT’s top 100 most important games of all time! Introducing a new format and spin off!


This is a special single topic episode, mostly. THERAT starts things off with a run down of his list of the top 100 most important video games of all time as of 2019. 


Then towards the end of that he introduces a special guest/new segment that will be a spin off into its own show. Stephanie Bri will be leaving the Dark Web podcast behind for her own show, The Retro Witch Show, first episode this week! She will do a brief segment in this episode and kind of say her good bye to the main show. 


Then the premiere episode of The Retro Witch Show will be online shortly after. Stay Cool.

Retropalooza recap, Terminator movie, VHS horror and more!

and this episode I recap my experience going to retropalooza. I talked about the five Super Smash Brothers characters that are my dream characters I’d like to see in the game that I don’t know if they have been or been announced. I talked about the Terminator movie I talked about the Joker movie in the new Watchmen TV series. I give an update on my retro toy collecting and white retro toy collecting is important to me and what I think about opening sealed items video games box toys collectible figures Etc.. I talked about wanting to get into VHS horror movie collecting and why I want to do that. and I talked a little bit about my video series that I’m working on for YouTube that is not ready yet but it’s coming soon.

New column on the way!

Stephanie Bri is here to stay. As a result I fully intend to write a column entirely from her perspective in the near future. Obviously I’ve been letting her voice take over more lately which has been very helpful in getting me aligned properly.

It won’t mean much but what I will do is create a column just for Stephanie. It will be a combination of gaming and nerdy topic gossip, rumors and such with a mix of editorial and some fashion/cosplay advice. Basically the bitch is out of the closet and she’s going to be taking over this site. Stay Cool.

Retropalooza is next weekend: Thoughts, hopes and expectations!

Alright friends I am excited to say that next weekend I will be heading to Arlington Event Center to attend my first ever convention. I am looking forward to attending Retropalooza. I am not sure what to expect because this is my first convention but I wanted to outline my hopes ahead of time to compare this to how the actual experience turns out. This way I can see if I had realistic expectations or not.

1. Food

I am expecting this to be like any other flea market or festival I have attended which means there should be food vendors selling home made stuff right out of the food truck. I am not sure if this is a realistic expectation as I have never been to one but I am hopeful this is the case. I would love to get some street tacos made fresh on the spot.

2. Toys and games

Specifically I am thinking the vendors or sellers. I am fairly certain there will be some video game sellers. I am hopeful there will also be retro toy sellers. Specifically I am looking to dig through a big bucket or tote of random Transformers, TMNT, and GI Joe action figures, all reasonably priced I would imagine.

I am not sure what to expect but I would think there would be a sufficient variety of sellers to choose from. As for video games I have my hope list narrow down to what I will buy from a convention. Since it is a retro gaming expo I am not going to buy anything new. The newest device I would consider is a PSP because I have an overwhelming desire to get one eventually and now is as good of a time as any.

I would contemplate a Dreamcast, 3DO. 32X or Virtual Boy as those are harder to find in the wild. I thought about a Sega Saturn but that’s a pipe dream so I will lower my expectations.

3. Autographs?

I am not sure I want to buy an autograph of anyone who is attending but I might try to grab a selfie with Boogie or Wood if I can. But the real reason I am going is to have fun, meet people and maybe do some networking. I am also planning on filming some footage for a video and naturally a podcast.

4. Cosplay!

I am not sure if this is the type of convention that people normally cosplay to but if so I already have a costume purchased and ready to go. It will be my first public outing in drag as Stephanie so I am really looking forward to that. If I arrive and nobody is cosplaying then I will either feel like a fool or suck it up and stand out. Either way I am looking forward to dressing up even if nobody gets to see the costume live on scene.

5. Road trip

No matter how the day turns out it will at the very least be a nice little road trip and those are always fun. I can always use a good excuse to eat some jerky. I am not looking forward to fighting the city traffic but it’s a small price to pay for a day of fun.

That’s about all I have for now. I am hoping this experience is memorable and I can’t wait to share how it turns out. Stay Cool.

OMG I made my first public debut!

It was scary and thrilling at the same time. I put on my make up, dress and cute witches hat, sat down and recorded an entire episode of my podcast not as him but as me. It was hard. It was exciting. It was fun!

I knew someday Stephanie was going to be out. I don’t know if she will ever get to take over our life but I want to ensure she gets to be herself more than ever before. It hasn’t been easy for me getting to this point. In fact it’s been extremely tumultuous. No agonizing. No, oh there probably isn’t a word for it. Is there a word for this feeling you have doing the absolutely most terrifying soul-crushing thing that is at the same time the most liberating and soul-freeing? I don’t know whatever that word is, that’s how I felt.

I made my first full public appearance in drag on The Dark Web Podcast. I told my audience Stephanie was coming a few weeks ago. I said she is real, she is me, but she is shy. I finally began making strides towards this about a year and a half ago when I came out officially to a female friend of mine. I decided I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Ever since that day I have been slowing giving in to being more and more Stephanie each day.

I finally got to wear I am comfortable enough painting my toe nails and wearing my flip flops sans socks in public. I’ve done that two weeks in a row now and pushed past the gut-wrenching fear. I’ve slowly begun getting used to clothes shopping, although when it comes to under things well I am still overly discrete. Dresses, blouses and even skirts I can grab without too much agony but panties and bras, well I still have a ways to go.

Things are improving. But last night I sat in front of the camera and was doing so, for the first time, comfortable in my skin, comfortable with who I am and who I’ve always wanted to be.

I will be defining more what the limits of Stephanie are in the coming days and weeks. I suspect I will set some boundaries but there is a very real chance, well now that she is out she isn’t going back in so there is a chance I let her live a little and take a back seat for a while.

If this sounds confusing trust me it is for me too. It’s not like she is a voice inside my head or a separate person or anything like that. She is me, I am her. But, well I’ve had to live a certain lie, build a life around a mask. Therefore Stephanie has a right to live, and she will! But The Rat also has to manage thing for her out of necessity for the time being.


Anyways, hey check out my video where I am totally rocking that cute dress I spent all friggin day shopping for. Stay Cool.

Stephanie hosts!, got a record player, Ps4 100 million sales, and retropalooza cosplay!

In this episode Stephanie makes her debut as host while THERAT takes the night off. She talks PS4 selling 100 million units. Also record collecting has officially begun. More toy topics like Batman and Robin, Spider-Man, and a surprise topic. Stephanie also shows off her costume she plans on cosplaying at Retropalooza in 2 weeks!