That said, if I don't soon share details of the video gaming / retrocomputing gifts I received for my birthday two weeks ago, I'll soon be out of relevant opportunities to do so entirely... and that would be too bad, because there are some lovely curios here! My thesis is that my wife must love me and know me well, because she made me very happy with a few birthday presents that, to an outsider, might resemble a random assortment of refuse and detritus.
We'll open with a handful of confusingly-priced random Gamecube / Wii titles, picked up at a random thrift store visit while taking the day off work for my actual birthday. My haphazard game acquisition has really slowed down if only because it turned out I was accumulating significant quantities of duplicate games while buying batches and lots. Initially I made a giant list of "All The Video Games That I Own", maintained on my laptop and Dropbox-synched to my phone, so I could always just check before putting money down whether this was money I had already spent... anyway, the high and low of things is that once your game collection exceeds 1000 pieces, most of the items you find live in the wild will be redundant to what you've already accumulated. So mostly the accumulation of little discs has peaked. Every time we advance a generation of technology and I wind up advancing to the previous generation (as I have a rule: don't collect games for systems which you do not own), a cohort of hitherto uncollected (and recently, sold-in-stores) games enter the secondhand space and I get to gobble up another couple hundred, then simmer dozily for the next 5 years or so. But I digress, let's take a look at these games! Anything good here?
A couple of Wii titles also -- one looks like an extension of the GBA's venerable "Advance Wars" series, a cartoony taste of military strategy... the other, a compilation of House of the Dead parts 2 and 3? I can tell you how long it would take me to drop $2 on one of those in the arcade, and -- done. (The only question -- do they require a light gun or is there another ingenious adaptation of the versatile Wiimote? Getting the games for a song is the easy part, but finding time to actually try them out, there's the kicker.)
All right, what else have we got here? Gaming Quiz cards. I can confirm: the questions on these cards pertain to video games. The difficulty level is a tricky thing, because they're all a bit too easy for me while being simultaneously way too hard for anyone else in my household. It's kind of like that time I, a young classicist, got 100% on my Grade 9 Greek Mythology quiz... that everyone else in the class failed. (The teacher applied a bump across the board so everyone passed, resulting in my earning something like 115% on that quiz, or as I like to put it, a grade of A++. Shortly thereafter the teacher took me out of the class and told me to run the school newspaper during that time every week instead. But I digress.) Maybe we can use them at my upcoming gaming party (I hold them twice a year, pull the systems out of storage, we play all day and all night... are you coming? Saturday April 28th!) to settle disputes over whose turn it is to choose which game on the big screen. (Finally, we can stop duelling to resolve these disputes!)