The World of 1998

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As I mentioned last time, it recently kind of hit us that next year will be the 20th Anniversary of QAGs. The first edition of the game was printed in 1998 (Second Edition wasn’t released until 2003). Some of you may be too young to remember 1998. Others are old farts like us who still think of the 90s as something far more recent than it actually is. In either case, you may not fully appreciate exactly how much the world has changed since 1998. For this week’s blog, I’m going to provide some interesting facts about 1998 that may be useful if you decide to run a game set in that magical, far-away time (or if you just want to make fun of how old we are).

  • A pound of bacon cost $2.53.
  • The U.S. launched missile strikes against Al-Queda training camps in Afghanistan. We have always been at war with Eastasia.
  • The first Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was awarded to Richard Pryor.
  • Season 2 of South Park premiered.
  • Bill Clinton denied having sexual relations with that woman.
  • Hillary Clinton’s first used the term “vast right-wing conspiracy.” It was kind of the 90’s version of “What Happened.”
  • California banned smoking in bars and restaurants.
  • An autopsy revealed that Chris Farley had died of a drug overdose. The same experts would later confirm that water is wet.
  • Viagra was approved by the FDA.
  • just sold books. Made out of paper.
  • The Euro became a thing.
  • Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa both broke Roger Maris’s home run record. Steroids may have been involved.
  • Oprah Winfrey was found not guilty of defaming beef.
  • The 5,000th episode of The Price is Right aired. Bob Barker was still the host.
  • Getting on the internet required tying up your phone line. It was a land line, and there’s a good chance you logged on through AOL.
  • Ginger left The Spice Girls.
  • El Nino was a big deal.
  • Titanic won all the Oscars.
  • Tony Blair became Prime Minister of the UK.
  • ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) formed.
  • The Little Mermaid statue was decapitated by vandals for the first time since 1964.
  • Beyonce was still in Destiny’s Child.
  • Bruce Willis died saving the world from an asteroid.
  • Israel turned 50.
  • Michael Jordan retired from the NBA (for a little while).
  • Phil Hartman was murdered by his wife, who then killed herself.
  • Windows 98 was released. It immediately crashed.
  • The Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft, probably because of Windows 98.
  • Google was founded. If you wanted to find out what the hell a “Google” was, you had to Ask Jeeves.
  • Buffy killed Angel.
  • Elton John was knighted.
  • Congress passed a “Mickey Mouse Law” that extended copyright by 20 more years. They named it after Sonny Bono, who died that year in a skiing accident.
  • John Glenn became the oldest old fart to ever go to space.
  • Jesse “The Body” Ventura became the governor of Minnesota.
  • Jaden Smith was born. Frank Sinatra died. This was not a fair trade-off.
  • That bogus report that created anti-vaxxers? Released in 1998.
  • Chumbawamba had their one hit.
  • George Clooney was still on ER.
  • Seinfeld ended.

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