What would you do with a time machine?

Followers of paralytic supergenius Steven Hawking (author of A Brief History of Time, pre-eminent physicist of our age, voice like an early 1980s arcade game) will know that the scientist recently published an article in Britain's Daily Mail entitled “How to build a time machine.” [SPOILER: it's hard.] Obviously, the first question this raises is, “what would I do with one of those?” But with the obvious answer being well-worn territory, what would you do? Meddle with gaming history, obviously.

5. Invest in a playing-card company

The plan: In 1890, convince playing-card entrepreneur Fusajiro Yamauchi to let you invest in his company, Nintendo Koppai, which takes off exponentially. Due to the advice of a mysterious adviser, the company passes on ideas such as love hotels, instant-rice products, and a virtual-reality version of the Game Boy. You become very, very rich.

Above: 100% completion

Potential complications: Depriving Nintendo of their colorful history means when it comes time to start mining that history, there's little to work with. The trophy collection in Smash Bros. Brawl consists of several dozen figurines of a character called “Mystery Heavenly Stranger,” which is, of course, you. After a while, this becomes uncomfortable.

4. Jump-start American gaming

The plan: In the early 90s, convince EA co-founder Trip Hawkins that his idea for an American console, the 3DO, needs work. Introduce him to nerdware kingpin Bill Gates. The father of MS-DOS revolutionizes the western gaming market, ten years ahead of schedule. Thanks to you, the 3DO is transformed from “laughable misstep” to “pioneer of the American gaming industry.”

Above: Every game in the 1990s

Potential complications: All FPSes, all the time! By giving a shot in the arm to blockbuster American gaming – a sector with a history of sticking a “German soldier in sniper's crosshairs” pic on the box and calling it a day – right when games like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom are happening, you singlehandedly ensure that all games for the rest of the 20th Century can be described as “Like Doom, only worse.”

3. Ask Sakaguchi, “and you're totally married to that name?”

The plan: Gather up Final Fantasy I-IX, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, Final Fantasy Adventure, Final Fantasy Legend, Ehrgeiz. In 1987, tactfully suggest to Hironobu Sakaguchi that “Final Fantasy” is not the best name for his upcoming game.

Potential complications: Sakaguchi goes with his second choice. “Four of Pugilist Fisticuff Unctuous Scallywags of Garland The Malfeasant” fails to sell. Unoriginal people spend the next twenty years saying of the game, “he should have called it 'The Final Fantasy,' cause that's what it was!”

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  • Metroidhunter32 - May 8, 2010 1:49 a.m.

    If you did the last one, then there would still be many consols since they didn't all crash and burn, leaving only nintendo. Can you imagine flame wars being 10 way instead of 3? The internet would explode into smoking rubble from the flame.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - May 6, 2010 5:55 p.m.

    I would make podcast technologizz way earlier so that we could be on talkradar 1000 now and not 100.
  • yetanotherCid304 - May 6, 2010 4:04 p.m.

    @philipshaw: Id just convice him to make Raiden a cyborg ninja in the first place!
  • yetanotherCid304 - May 6, 2010 4:02 p.m.

    Id go into the future and play gears of war 3; A year is just too long to wait.
  • philipshaw - May 6, 2010 1:33 p.m.

    I would go back and make sure Kojima didn't put Raiden in MGS2
  • MaynardJ - May 6, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    @skyguy343 and pin316: Damn, that's what I was going to say.
  • Cyberninja - May 6, 2010 12:06 a.m.

    i would go to the garden of eden and kill the snake if i had a time machine
  • Tomgoulter - May 5, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    @errelp199: I considered that, but really, it's a game about a very fast hedgehog who collects gold so he won't turn into a robot. I think we have to accept there's a finite half-life on that sort of quality. I put the kibosh on "stop Navi being created" for similar reasons.
  • Montag - May 5, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    I'd probably go back in time and shag my own mum in the hope I could be my own dad, she was a milf
  • erreip199 - May 5, 2010 6:56 p.m.

    dang no one came up with "Prevent sonic to become a bad game franchise" idea? sheesh sonic fanboys my ass
  • Turboash - May 5, 2010 6:18 p.m.

    Take a PC and PS3 to 1974 and say "Start here".
  • twinkletitsMcGee - May 5, 2010 2:52 p.m.

    I would put a god damn blue ray in the 360
  • bitcrusherrrr - May 5, 2010 1:30 p.m.

    Id get sega not make all the crap add-ons for the mega drive, that should help the saturn out and then the dreamcast.
  • pin316 - May 5, 2010 1:01 p.m.

    one thing.... i'd try to make the Nintendo-Sony deal for the SNES-CD actually happen. We'd probably be in a completely different world relating to gaming now, but the chance to see what would happen if Sony and Nintendo had gone into business together in the console industry would be too tempting... oh, and i'd also pay someone to shoot the guy who put forwards the bll to illegalise mj.
  • skyguy343 - May 5, 2010 11:33 a.m.

    I would flip the gaming world on it's ass. I would go back in time and convince Nintendo that the smart decision would be to keep their partnership with Sony hence creating an ultimate future where we get motion controlled Killzone and 1080p Mario Galaxy. Smash Bros. would include epic battles like Link vs. Wander from SotC. (on their respective horses of course) (Agro!) Wow, I'm totally drooling right now.
  • Imgema - May 5, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    I would take with me a modern console or PC to show it to everyone. Imagine showing a modern game to someone who thinks Pole Position has photorealistic graphics and has to deal with atari 2600 at home, or a modern PC to someone who saves money for months to buy extra 64kb ram so he can have 128 and do wonders.
  • Wriggly - May 5, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    To be honest, i'd make sure Duke Nukem Forever had actually been made ASAP while still being amazing. This would lead to a series that would still be around now, and be amazing.
  • Giinjii - May 5, 2010 8:23 a.m.

    @reaperman22, You're thinking too small man, I'd buy the rights to money, and I'd also buy the rights to sex, so everyone would have to pay me when they had it with their significant other. And just to spite you, I'd buy the name reaperman22. Nuthin' against you personally, I'm just a treamedous dick.
  • reaperman22 - May 5, 2010 7:23 a.m.

    @Giinjii, why would anyone want to kill Hitler, i would just get friendly with him when he was in art school and then later on kick him out of power and become leader of the world with the help of my army of super robots i got from the future AHAHAHAH!actually no screw Hitler i will just skip ahead to part 2 of my world domination plan. Oh that and i would buy Google
  • Giinjii - May 5, 2010 6:20 a.m.

    What would I do with a time machine? I'd go back and donkey punch the mutha fucka who first thought of the concept of a time machine so bleeding heart pricks would stop telling me "I'd go and kill Hitler" when they all know what they'de really do is go back when their mothers were in their prime, and fuck the bejesus out of her.