If you’re one of the three people who read my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been getting right into retro gaming of late. It has been purely through emulators otherwise I;d have to buy a second house just to keep all the consoles and computers I’d love to collect.
This has lead me to trawling the interwebs for all things retro gaming…..
I pleased to report back that the retro gaming culture and community is growing at a massive rate. But that doesn’t overly surprise me. If we take the year of 1983 as the rebirth of the gaming industry (thank you Mr Nintendo) that puts people my age smack-bang having their childhood dominated by this wonderful period of gaming. And now we’re all grown up and have a few spare dollars to throw around. And much like your typical mid-life crisis we want to go back and rediscover what we loved as kids (and in the case of the Neo-Geo; what we couldn’t afford!)
But I actually think it’s more than that. I think there is something that older games offer that is missing in modern stuff. It’s also probably the same reasons that we see the boom in mobile games like Flappy PigBirdThingy.
I came through the days of PC gaming from Quake and original Counter Strike where the rules and game play were simple. The graphics couldn’t be spectacular due to hardware limitations, so they relied on simple, enjoyable game play. From there we moved through to modern games where you need to have a PhD just to learn the game let alone be competitive. It’s all to much for my old head. (And thats before we get onto the 13yo’s ruining online play). The games lost their simplicity and it got ruined by complexity plus graphics over game play.
And thats what old games offer.
The other is simply time. It feels like games these days require so much time to be invested into them. Be it online RPG’s or multi-player first person shooters; the time required to either build up your character or your own skills is immense. Now I don’t know about others, but I hazard a guess that the majority of people my age just don’t have this time. Between work, personal lives and perhaps sleep I know I just don’t.
But this leads me back to the simplicity. The beauty of these old games is that you can just pick them up, have some fun, then put it down when you’re called to put the garbage out/do the dishes, change the kid/whatever. It just doesn’t require the thought/effort/time that modern stuff does. And I like that. I don’t like the idea of having to study in order to have a relaxing pastime. I want to be able to spark up a game, play it for the spare 15-20 mins I have and enjoy it, be it bouncing Mario or Alex Kidd around a platformer or screaming around Durham Road in Need for Speed.
And I dont think I’m alone.
So it’s a few things. Its the simplicity of the games where its game play over graphics. It’s being able to just pick up a game for 15 mins and enjoy it. It just harks back to easy, simple enjoyment.
Yes, all that is a bit misty/rose-tinted; but I stand by the fact that the simplicity of the games from days gone by makes them more enjoyable and more accessible to people my age than the stuff thats on offer today.