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Curse of the gray elephant: Gaming in Post-Soviet Russia

I stumbled across an interesting youtube video tonight. And no it wasn't one of those reply girls with the boobs.

It is a rather ambitious and comprehensive video similar to AVGN(who Kinaman, aka Pavel Grinev references a bit here) which primarily deals with the Dendy, a pirate famicom console made by the Taiwanese company Steepler.

For a long time, I like many other gamers in the US, accustomed to playing licensed games on licensed consoles, was puzzled by all this. But this video helps to shed light on an era of gaming. Given the way that Dendy and the repurposed famicom games were advertised, it's clear that the average Russian citizen was not aware Dendy wasn't legit.

Grinev's video addresses everything from glitches, hacks, hardware designs, and the marketing of Dendy in Russia. Would you believe that this pirated console actually had its own publication and TV show? Imagine open advertising of licensed consoles and games such as the Sega Genesis and Jungle Strike alongside the "Dendy Classic" and "Super Contra 6"

"Video-Ass Dendy"

The era of Dendy seemed like a bittersweet time in Russia. In one respect, gamers in the newly formed Russian Federation had been given their first taste of the Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 courtesy of Dendy and other such companies. However it was 1992! While they were playing Mario for the first time on monochromatic TVs(another thing Kinaman discusses), many of us were enjoying Super Mario World!

Nothing but respect for the kids who had to grow up on these horrific pirated games. Think Ninja Gaiden is hard? Try playing it with no power ups!

These days with the revival of retro games, even pirate games are getting some love.

I'll admit this isn't the easiest video to watch. Not only is it subtitled(Thanks for accommodating English viewers!) but it is over an hour long. It is fairly entertaining.

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About trunxkam45one of us since 10:21 AM on 04.10.2007