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Reliving the 90s and 2000s

Born in 1986, I grew up as a 90s child, and I have fond memories growing up in that time period. Below are some of the things that refresh my mind the greatest. Hopefully, they put a smile on your face as they do mine.

In Video Games:

1. Sega!

Everyone who had a Sega back then remembers this iconic sound and it will forever be a memory of joy for me when I played games like Sonic the Hedgehog. I miss those days.

2. Finish Him!

Was there nothing more satisfying than the sound of "Finish Him" that came flashing on the screen while playing Mortal Kombat? The only thing that was frustrating here was if you came up with a wimpy move to do it with.

3. Mario Down the Tubes

There are so many great sounds and songs in Mario, but this one stands out to me. The sound of Mario going down one of those green tubes and into another world is just so cool and memorable.

4. Donkey Kong Slapping Diddy in Donkey Kong Country

This was a great game, and when Diddy made the monkey sound after Donkey slapped Diddy in or when a crackling barrel was thrown, it made the game even better.

5. The Aku-Aku Mask in Crash Bandicoot

You knew that when you got one of these you not only would get temporary immunity from your enemies, but the mask made this tribal voice that you just associated with good feelings throughout the game. Whenever I think of it, it brings me back to that game and good times.

6. John Madden's Voice in Madden '92

All of the Madden games are classic, but this was the first one that I owned and hearing him say things like, "He'll feel that one in the morning" will forever be ingrained in my mind.

7. Blowing on the Nintendo Cartridges

Anyone growing up in the classic video game era knows about this. I can still hear the sound of the air hitting the bottom of the cartridge and the sound of the click as it reenters the system.

8. Playstation Startup Screen

The robotic voice that starts any game as you load your PlayStation gave me a sense of wonder and awe at the graphics that were possible in a new age of gaming.

9. Blowing up your city in SimCity

One of the best parts of SimCity was that you got to blow up the city that you designed. You could send in a tornado, flood, or in the case above, Godzilla. Most people who played this game did this at some point, and it will forever remind me of my childhood.

10. When Pablo Sanchez came to bat and you knew it was a homerun

It was nearly impossible to get Pablo Sanchez out in Backyard Baseball. This was one of those classic games that didn't need an MLB roster to enjoy (although later editions included All-Star players). And anyone who did play it, remembers this diamond in the rough player.

In School:

1. Scratch and Sniff Stickers

Perhaps the only thing more intoxicating than this as an elementary school kid in the '90s were those scented markers. We loved the teachers that gave these out, and it pushed us to get those good grades just to have one. Why not try to bring these into the high school classroom and see what happens?

2. Buying sports pencils from the pencil machine

I always thought that our high school should have a pencil machine. Kids lose pencils or don't come to school with one all the time. Why not give them an option to buy one while giving money back to the school? This is how I built up quite the collection of sports pencils as a kid. They stocked baseball, basketball, and football pencils in ours, and I think I still have them somewhere - old logos and teams included - Montreal Expos and Seattle Supersonics, for example.

3. Playing The Oregon Trail

This was, and still is, one of the greatest games ever made in my opinion. It taught kids how to plan for an adventure in the Wild West and how to think critically. It was challenging to make it all the way to Oregon when people like John came down with cholera or Mary got a broken arm or an oxen died, but you just had to keep going. I remember playing in fourth grade during free time and the class had these competitions going against each other. It was great.

4. Listening to lectures about the card catalog system