1. Video games provided an amazing education.
Thanks to Streets Of Rage you knew that if you smashed in enough phone boxes you’d eventually find a roast chicken.
2. And the graphics were incredible.
When FIFA ‘98 came out it was almost impossible to distinguish the players on the screen from those in real life.
3. The only thing you had to watch out for was your mate shoving you off the pool table cushion and into the pocket on Micro Machines.
4. Thanks to the revolutionary Teletext you could now access cheat codes 24 hours a day!
As long as you were prepared to wait for the 24 pages to scroll through.
5. At school all you needed was a wetsuit-material pencil case and everyone would be jealous.
6. Slopping on discount wet-look gel was the way forward.
The more the cooler really. Though if you really wanted to make a statement, look no further than streaks.
7. You’d be guaranteed a year’s supply of Lynx every Christmas.
But which do the girls prefer - Voodoo, Africa or Java?
8. And if you found three crumpled David Battys at the bottom of your school-bag you could be guaranteed someone would swap them for an Eric Cantona shiny.
9. At home your mum might come back with a Dorling Kindersley Guide To Inline Skating from the library.
10. If not you could always browse the new Argos catalogue.
Especially exciting if there was a lady modelling non-slip shower mats in the bathroom section. Maybe rip it out and hide it under your bed?
11. You’d hyperventilate after spending the afternoon blowing the dust out of your SNES cartridges.
12. And if you were feeling fearless you could wind down by reading through a Goosebumps book.
13. Until the day came when finally you graduated to Point Horror.
14. Most of your friends had girlfriends that you wouldn’t know because they “met them on holiday and only saw them once a year”.
15. But at least you could reply you had trials for Man Utd, Brazil and Italy. Remember that time you nutmegged Roberto Baggio?
16. Playing around with your PC was the ultimate way to spend your evenings.
Why not make your mouse pointer into a space shuttle and put the trail on maximum?
17. Or just close the curtains, kick back and watch the Windows 3D Pipes Screensaver for a while.
18. An important rule was to peel off the parental advisory stickers on your Cypress Hill album in case your mum sees.
19. But what’s so grown up about ‘weeds’ anyway?
20. You didn’t have to worry about world events because when you got up early to watch the news on Ceefax you didn’t understand any of it anyway.
21. And financial crises hardly mattered when you could rub The Queen’s Nose and get pretty much whatever you wanted.
22. Though the ultimate goal was to have Bernard’s Watch. He never even used it properly anyway.
23. Your biggest dream was that one day Boyzone might harmonise “Happy Birthday” down the phone to you on Live & Kicking.
24. But you were happy enough to laugh along to Trevor and Simon.
25. That alien playing marbles at the end of Men In Black messed with your head for days afterwards.
26. DVDs were just coming out and boasted amazing features. Scene selection, interactive menus - you name it.
27. And to make money all you had to do was set up a Tamagotchi babysitting club.
28. If you were feeling bold you could venture onto disc two of your “Now That’s What I Call Music” CD and hear scary rock music by bands like Reef and Ocean Colour Scene.
29. But mostly you enjoyed how the lyrical ingenuity of Phats was complemented by the subtle production skills of Smalls.
30. Your ISS Pro team boasted amazing players like “Robbie Fooler”, “Steve McMananan”, and “Paul Gascone”.
31. And Sunday evenings were spent listening to Dave Pearce’s Dance Anthems on your AM/FM clock radio.
32. And best of all, the one secret you kept to yourself was that floppy disc under your bed marked ‘System Files’ - who would guess it actually contained pictures of Melinda Messenger?
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