There is a Goodwill outlet down Fillmore St. from my apartment. Being that this Goodwill is in the middle of San Francisco, there are sometimes exciting finds in the used software section. Most recently, I picked up an original boxed copy of SimCity (on 3.5" AND 5.25" floppy!) as a cheap collector's item-- the cover art is wonderful, one of my favorite video game box covers:
Inside, I found the following slip:
Times have changed and cheap nostalgia is easy, but I don't think it's unfair to lament the personal feeling the games industry had to it at the turn of the 90's. The entire industry has gotten exponentially larger in the intervening years, and so the creators of the biggest games tend to be the furthest distanced from the average player, unsurprisingly. Certainly this is one draw of the indie games community-- that it feels like a community, with relatable individuals making small, personal games to share with their dedicated playerbase.
It's wonderful. But it doesn't diminish the fond memory of buying a box of disks from Babbage's or Egghead Software, taking it home, and feeling that you'd opened up a personal conduit to the creators of the thing you held in your hands. We may have entered the age of impersonality... or maybe we just need to restart the practice of packing in a signed letter with our street address on it.