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Chronogamer

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I have forgotten to feed my fish...

Mezrabad

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...I left my dog in the car with the windows up and all of the plants are dead. The stretching sound you hear is a metaphor being abused.

 

I've come to realize that it's taken me three years to get even halfway through 1980. Play-lag has reared it's ugly cliched head in this blog before, but now it has become actually detrimental to the experiment itself.

 

The "vision" if you will pretend with me that what I'm doing actually takes some degree of vision and not just a large degree of OCD, was to play the early games in their context with each other. To be able to look at, for example, Atari's Maze Craze, and say, "Wow this is so much more fun than that maze game we played last year on the Bally Professional Arcade!"

 

The problem is: I can barely remember playing Amazing Maze on the Bally Professional Arcade because I played it three years ago. I don't even remember playing the Fairchild Chanel F's Maze game. If I can't remember a game I played "two years ago" in the Chronology, (because it's been about four years since I've played it in real time), then there's a problem with how I'm approaching this. I need to make a better plan.

 

Anyway, not sure what I'm going to do. When I first started this I spent a huge amount of brain space on it. Between getting the games, playing them and writing about them, time and money was being poured into this project, and I really loved it. I still love it, but I've been absent-minded about it for at least three years. Months and weeks will go by and I'll suddenly be "OMG, when was the last time I chronogamed?" I blame it on gainful employment, but my wife says I can't quit my job to play games and write about them. icon_mrgreen.gif

 

So, anyway, when I figure out what I'm doing, I will let y'all know. It has to be a version of chronogaming that I can sink my teeth into again, while at the same time, producing for it at regular intervals, so I don't reach a "WTF...why are all my fish dead?" point again.



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Whatever form it takes, I look forward to it. I enjoy your chronogaming entries very much, but I know it can be quite the chore sometimes to play a bunch of video games and then try to write something coherent about them (which is why I'm so far behind right now).

 

My only suggestion would be to maybe set aside a specific day each month to tackle it. Like the first Saturday of each month - that's Chronogaming day.

 

For myself, this doesn't work since I rarely know what day it is anyway. My goal with my next round of reviews is to make them all much shorter. This, however, probably won't work either, since I don't have enough common sense to know when to stop ty

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It certainly is an ambitious goal. What I like about it is you're attempting to play the games with the mindset you would have had when you first experienced the games as a kid. Even right down to inviting your son to play and sharing his feedback too.

 

I remember when I first discovered MAME and began collecting games, info, and rediscovering arcade stuff. The fun lasted for quite a few years until I approached the completion of my collection. I had an epiphany of sorts when I realized that the whole process of rediscovering and collecting memories actually took longer than the original time period I was trying to recapture. I found that quite interesting. Take Tac-Scan for example. I can't tell you how many times I've played it in recent years and how much info, flyers, photos, and stuff I've learned after rediscovering it. But in reality I only ever remember playing it once as a kid. Maybe twice. My entire original experience of that game was probably no more than 10 minutes.

 

What's my point? I'm not sure I guess. Something about that original magic being fleeting and very intense, and almost impossible to really recapture? But that doesn't stop us from trying, after all that's why we're here I guess.

 

So whatever words you do manage to scrape together on whatever games you find time to play, I look forward to reading about. We'll wait. We've waited more than 30 years now, what's another couple months? :thumbsup:

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Just bend the rules until it's fun again. E.g. change

 

(WHILE PlayerState != DEAD)

 

to

 

(WHILE (PlayerState != DEAD) && (Genre != boardgame))

 

:thumbsup:

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As you know, I've been doing my own chronogaming. My intention is more or less the same as yours, but I'm being more extreme about it: I'm going through all systems - not just consoles - including computers, arcades, and even pong clones. But there are three major differences from your chronogaming effort, which make my life much easier: I don't write about the games I play; I don't play them on the original hardware; and I don't play all the games - sometimes I just watch a gameplay video or just read basic info and look at a few screenshots.

 

Your experience is deeper, more meaningful than mine, and your blog is a gift to all of those interested in retrogaming and videogame history in general. But my way of doing it allows me to move much, much faster and I get to experience more games - which is ultimately your goal too.

 

One suggestion is that you split your chronogaming into two projects: your personal chronogaming, in which you just play for fun and perhaps focus on just the most popular games, and your public chronogaming, where you continue this project and you work on it in "bursts", whenever you feel like it.

 

Another suggestion is that instead of making such detailed posts per game, you select a limited number of games per year, you purchase them, try them all for just a few days, and then write a single entry on your overall experience with the games of that period. While you sell all the systems/games you had to purchase, you plan your next chronogaming incursion.

I know it's been a few years since you've made your last "review", but I hope this gives you motivation to continue. I think you can still move forward and have fun with this project, as long as you're not too obsessed about it.

 

Now I just need to take my own advice. ;-)

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