Our Imposter Syndrome cancels out our Dunning-Kruger

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Froborr
    May 16, 2016 @ 5:06 pm

    I don’t know, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the way Earthbound bridges past and future via its connections to both the original Dragon Quest and Undertale.


  2. Shane
    May 17, 2016 @ 2:17 am

    I have a question about the seminal sleepover story you told in the “Bubble Bobble” post – can you put yourself in the headspace you were in when it happened?

    There are events from my childhood where I can’t fathom why I acted like I did, like when I sat on the outside steps while my friends Jimmy and Hayden watched “Beetlejuice” inside. I wouldn’t even go in for Burger Rings. (Rationally, I know I was worried the movie would be too scary for me, but it’s still hard to put myself in the shoes of Young Shane, even though the memory is clear.)

    I suppose I’m asking whether it’s easy for you to remember exactly what you thought/felt when it happened – whether you can wholeheartedly identify with Young Phil – or if it feels more like a story that happened to another version of you.


  3. Shannon
    May 17, 2016 @ 2:21 am

    Donkey Kong was one of the few games I ever played for SNES, as I never had a console. But the boy I had a huge crush on (and who liked me back) in sixth and seventh grade had it and I’d play it at his house. I hadn’t thought about that game or his house for probably years and just seeing it flooded back that memory. Besides the crush, I remember being introduced to sex in part from reading the sex scenes in Jaws over his shoulder on the school bus. Seems appropriate for this entry.


  4. Daniel Tessier
    May 17, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

    My brother and I played DKC2 and Mario Kart 64 last night, simultaneously adoring the graphics and noting how terrible they look on an unnecessarily large flatscreen TV. And god, we were better players in the 90s.

    Much of my memories of the era’s games are tied up with reading the UK’s Nintendo Magazine System, complete with “sexy” pics of B. Orchid from Killer Instinct. A Rare treat indeed.


  5. Spoilers Below
    May 17, 2016 @ 4:49 pm

    When I was small, I was on Nintendo’s mailing list because I had registered my SNES. They were quite good to me, in a show of good will that still seems surprising 20+ years later. Shortly after registering, I received a copy of Mario Kart, gratis, and then some months after that, a copy of Super Mario All-Stars. They just arrived in the mail, with no prompting or promotional mail ins on my behalf. Being unable to afford new games myself, these were a blessing, like strange manna from heaven.

    And then, a VHS tape.

    It warned that the following would show scenes of graphic and animal nature, and that people sensitive to such things would be advised to discontinue watching. I was then treated to a long promotional demonstration and tech show off from one of the lead programmers of Rare, who was terribly enthusiastic about all the brand new 3D technology that was going to transform video games forever. They showed off the zoo where they had studied apes to get their wireframe models correct (presumably the reason for the opening disclaimer?), they showed off the loose, party-like atmosphere of their studio, and they made the game look incredibly fun, much more fun than it actually turned out to be a year and a half later when I borrowed it from an acquaintance and banged my head into terribly difficult level after terribly difficult level.

    But before that, I was showing it to a friend (because that’s what you do when you get a strange tape from a video game company in the mail, the closest you will ever get to having an uncle who works at the company and lets you play all the upcoming games when you visit him), and my father came in to tell us something. He ended up talking all the way through the end, as he was wont to do. A hidden sequence, after the tape looks like it has run out. The mischievous host opening a door he oughtn’t, the one marked “Top Secret”. Some of the programmers from the earlier sequence playing some sort of 3D rendered fighting game which looked much, much cooler than Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat or Primal Rage or Clayfighters or World Heroes… A velociraptor fighting a Native American with a mohawk? Awesome! They shout and wave at the cameras, hands trying to cover up the screen, but we’ve already read the title: Killer Instinct. It lasts all of 10 seconds.

    All staged, of course, but I was a kid. What do I know? Clearly, this would be the best game ever, even better than the one we’d just watched a ten minute commercial for.

    (A few seconds on google yields the video in question, Donkey Kong Country Exposed, produced by Nintendo Power: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8zIZrY0tiM )


  6. Frezno
    May 17, 2016 @ 9:47 pm

    Christmas of 1995 is when I finally was able to get a SNES, and Donkey Kong Country was the pack-in game with it. It blew me away, just how good it looked compared to my meager NES collection.

    2 was better.


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