Where Were You In 1998?

Total RecallTotal RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

The first StarCraft game was released in March 1998. That was twelve years ago. So much has changed. So have I. And the smart money says so have you.

In 1998, I was a student at Cornell. I hadn't really used email before college, and I didn't use online sources for any of my papers. I checked books out from the library and then carried them home! Card catalogues and the Dewey Decimal system were sometimes involved.


I spent that summer in LA working at Quentin Tarantino's distribution company. LA had just banned smoking in restaurants, something that made smoking difficult. (I have since quit!) I bought lots of magazines and spent my free time hanging out at the Virgin Megastore in the Beverly Center (now closed, I think) or at the Tower Records on Sunset (now closed). I drove a Buick, and it did not have a television in it, nor did it have cameras for blind-spots or a navigational system.

In 1998, I had not yet started learning Japanese. I was studying French. French! And Spanish. Both of which I have not used since 1998.

Kotaku did not exist.

I had a cell phone, but it could not send text messages. It was not in color either, but I could play "Snake" on it! You didn't have to take your shoes off at the airport. If I remember correctly, you could even meet people at the gate, instead of on the other side of security.


Other things that happened that year: Bill Clinton was caught up in a sex scandal, James Cameron was "king of the world" when Titanic won a whole bunch of Oscars, the first euro coins were minted, Tom Cruise was not crazy, Hong Kong closes the airport that was featured in Chungking Express, France won the World Cup, Google was founded, Armageddon ruled the box office, Frank Sinatra and Akira Kurosawa died, Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris's homerun record, Dawson's Creek was on TV, the U.S. tried to remove Saddam Hussein, Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, Mel Gibson was not crazy, Jesse Ventura became Governor of Minnesota, Bob Kane died, Clinton was finally impeached and the Dreamcast was released in Japan.

Where were you in 1998?

Share This Story