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How come a lot getting into retro games skip Atari?

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I started collecting in 2002 with just the NES and it grew from there. Yeah I miss the prices at GameXChange and EBGames circa 2003-2004. Tons of great games available cheaply, and there was more of a rental style atmosphere where gamers would return stuff to the store for credit to pick up different games. It was more of a revolving door rather than the hoarder culture we have today. Mostly the people selling in just wanna cash out and the people buying don't sell their stuff back. Then the resellers come in pricing shit on their smart phones and stealing any good deals if they're below market. And mostly sports and garbage titles languish on shelves, neglected and unappreciated.

 

That would have made you around 21 when you started collecting and around 5 when the NES came out. So, imagine a 21 year old today collecting a console that came out around the time they were 5 and like the NES would have been the top console of the time. What console would that be? The PS2. Think about that. How retro the NES seemed to you at 21 and how primitive everything before it would have seemed to you then is exactly how a 21 year old today would feel about the PS2 and the primitive consoles before it. That is how a modern 21 year old would look at it. Now if you add me to the equation which is very close to yours except I was already going back to precrash consoles like the Atari 2600 the modern 21 year old version of me would also view the PS2 like the NES but the last gen "pre-crash" consoles they would already be into would be the PS1, N64, and SEGA Saturn. Them going a generation before that would be like us going back to Pong consoles. That is why it seems very strange to me that the NES isn't just only the farthest many starting to get into retro gaming are willing to go but it is still one of the the first they would want to go to with more recent consoles lower on their list. So, compared to these new 21 year olds that would be like us at 21 not only being willing to go back to Pong Consoles but the first consoles we would want to go to with the precrash consoles and the consoles after like the NES lower on our desired list.

 

In other words, why is it that the goal isn't moving with the times when brand new younger than us retro gamers start to collect? I would expect something more like it happening in the order the consoles were originally launched. Something like those who grew up with first gen would start buying for it when they grow up, its prices rise, and then it gets to the point that you can't sell for them because all collectors interested already have what they need, then the same for second gen, third, forth, etc. Kind of like when adults revisit their childhood consoles the order of their popularity when children would be the order they make them popular again as adult collectors so that you could almost predict when a console would become popular again.

 

But that doesn't seem to be happening. The PS2 should be starting to get popular again and this new generation of retro gamers should be wondering why we are willing to go back to even 16-bit consoles. Just like Nintendo, Sony is still around and very popular. So, it seems like we should see a lot of retro gamers fascinated with discs like we would be with carts, T-shirts with a PlayStation controller on it that says,"Classically Trained", other T-shirts of retro franchises like Twisted Metal, Doom, etc., collecting model revisions, collecting memory cards and other accessories, some willing to go back one more generation to PS1 and competing consoles, many heated debates about rather the PS2, XBOX, or Game Cube were the best retro consoles, etc. with all the older retro consoles looking like Pong console like old hat for old people in their mid 30's to 50's.

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I don't know what the time frame is, but I'm just getting nostalgic about old 1990's emulators. I don't want to play them much, but I do want to keep them as a remembrance of when I first got into them.

 

I got a 486 rig in 1992, and these past few years I discovered I'm happy I kept it along with the documentation and boxed software.

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That would have made you around 21 when you started collecting and around 5 when the NES came out. So, imagine a 21 year old today collecting a console that came out around the time they were 5 and like the NES would have been the top console of the time. What console would that be? The PS2. Think about that. How retro the NES seemed to you at 21 and how primitive everything before it would have seemed to you then is exactly how a 21 year old today would feel about the PS2 and the primitive consoles before it. That is how a modern 21 year old would look at it. Now if you add me to the equation which is very close to yours except I was already going back to precrash consoles like the Atari 2600 the modern 21 year old version of me would also view the PS2 like the NES but the last gen "pre-crash" consoles they would already be into would be the PS1, N64, and SEGA Saturn. Them going a generation before that would be like us going back to Pong consoles. That is why it seems very strange to me that the NES isn't just only the farthest many starting to get into retro gaming are willing to go but it is still one of the the first they would want to go to with more recent consoles lower on their list. So, compared to these new 21 year olds that would be like us at 21 not only being willing to go back to Pong Consoles but the first consoles we would want to go to with the precrash consoles and the consoles after like the NES lower on our desired list.

 

In other words, why is it that the goal isn't moving with the times when brand new younger than us retro gamers start to collect? I would expect something more like it happening in the order the consoles were originally launched. Something like those who grew up with first gen would start buying for it when they grow up, its prices rise, and then it gets to the point that you can't sell for them because all collectors interested already have what they need, then the same for second gen, third, forth, etc. Kind of like when adults revisit their childhood consoles the order of their popularity when children would be the order they make them popular again as adult collectors so that you could almost predict when a console would become popular again.

 

But that doesn't seem to be happening. The PS2 should be starting to get popular again and this new generation of retro gamers should be wondering why we are willing to go back to even 16-bit consoles. Just like Nintendo, Sony is still around and very popular. So, it seems like we should see a lot of retro gamers fascinated with discs like we would be with carts, T-shirts with a PlayStation controller on it that says,"Classically Trained", other T-shirts of retro franchises like Twisted Metal, Doom, etc., collecting model revisions, collecting memory cards and other accessories, some willing to go back one more generation to PS1 and competing consoles, many heated debates about rather the PS2, XBOX, or Game Cube were the best retro consoles, etc. with all the older retro consoles looking like Pong console like old hat for old people in their mid 30's to 50's.

Part of it was I never had an NES growing up, only getting to play when I visited a friend's house. My mom did raise me with cheap LCD handhelds though.

 

PS2 is not "retro" today the way NES was "retro" in 2002. Compare the PS2 to the PS3 and PS4. How much has really changed from one system to the next? Very little honestly. PS4 controller is still based on the "Dual Shock" that came out halfway through the PS1 generation. Graphics are only marginally better now than in 2002. Sure we have HD and prettier effects, but neither the gameplay mechanics nor the graphical style has really changed leaps and bounds during the 6th, 7th, and 8th generations of game consoles. Nintendo is the only company even attempting to innovate from one console generation to the next.

 

Game consoles are timeless pieces of hardware. The NES was the first system to have "pretty" visuals and "memorable" soundtracks. 4th gen vastly improved on the sprite pushing systems during the 16-bit era and the 5th gen introduced 3D games just like 2nd gen introduced 2D games besides PONG clones. 2nd gen consoles get this "blocks, bleeps, and farts" reputation that is difficult for modern gamers to look past, yet the "golden era" consoles of the 3rd and 4th generation (namely NES, SNES, and Genesis) are renouned for their fantastic use of pixel art and innovative gameplay. Such a phenomenon is unlikely to be recreated again going forward.

 

That is why gamers in their early 20s are just getting into NES, SNES, and Genesis now, just as I was getting into NES back in 2002. Modern consoles simply cannot duplicate the impact of late 80s to early 90s consoles had on gaming and culture at large. It also helps that Nintendo is still in business and marketing to both nostalgia as well as new gaming experiences.

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Part of your problem is no one sells Atari anymore. Slackers which is a vintage videogame store doesn't even sell them. They use too about 10 years ago. However, even then I was probably one of the only people buying atari from them.

 

Which leaves people ebay and Craigslist and I see way overpriced stuff there. Then add in what many consider a huge amount of obscure atari games that no one knows about nor knows how to play because they don't have access to or want to read a manual.

 

Other than homebrews from here, I haven't bought any Atari games due to lack of supply.

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PS2 is not "retro" today the way NES was "retro" in 2002. Compare the PS2 to the PS3 and PS4. How much has really changed from one system to the next? Very little honestly. PS4 controller is still based on the "Dual Shock" that came out halfway through the PS1 generation. Graphics are only marginally better now than in 2002. Sure we have HD and prettier effects, but neither the gameplay mechanics nor the graphical style has really changed leaps and bounds during the 6th, 7th, and 8th generations of game consoles. Nintendo is the only company even attempting to innovate from one console generation to the next.

 

I grant that there are differences but for someone who was playing the PS2 at 5 years old I can see how that would feel like a back in the day retro console to them. Around 2002 the NES didn't feel as retro to me as it does today. It still felt fairly recent enough that I probably would have said,"It isn't retro yet." in a way that the Game Cube and maybe the Wii still feel recent enough that I would put them in a category with more modern consoles. In other words, back then when I would think of the word "retro" I would have been thinking of pre-crash consoles and it would have felt kind of odd to me to refer to anything from the NES and after as retro kind of like how it has only been within the last few years that the PS1 has started to feel retro to me. I know that is just a subjective feeling but I can see how people growing up on PlayStation would shift where they would put their arbitrary line. For an example, when I think of the Atari 2600 compared to the NES it feels like there is a line there where it went from a more primitive era to a more modern era and I could see how a young adult today may put their arbitrary line between the PS1 and PS2 where the PS1 feels more primitive(their pre-crash era) and the PS2 feels like the beginning of a more modern era(their NES modern era) that goes all the way up to the PS4 today just like how for me in 2002 the NES felt like the beginning of a more modern era that was still going on when the Game Cube was out(like their PS4).

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I grant that there are differences but for someone who was playing the PS2 at 5 years old I can see how that would feel like a back in the day retro console to them. Around 2002 the NES didn't feel as retro to me as it does today. It still felt fairly recent enough that I probably would have said,"It isn't retro yet." in a way that the Game Cube and maybe the Wii still feel recent enough that I would put them in a category with more modern consoles. In other words, back then when I would think of the word "retro" I would have been thinking of pre-crash consoles and it would have felt kind of odd to me to refer to anything from the NES and after as retro kind of like how it has only been within the last few years that the PS1 has started to feel retro to me. I know that is just a subjective feeling but I can see how people growing up on PlayStation would shift where they would put their arbitrary line. For an example, when I think of the Atari 2600 compared to the NES it feels like there is a line there where it went from a more primitive era to a more modern era and I could see how a young adult today may put their arbitrary line between the PS1 and PS2 where the PS1 feels more primitive(their pre-crash era) and the PS2 feels like the beginning of a more modern era(their NES modern era) that goes all the way up to the PS4 today just like how for me in 2002 the NES felt like the beginning of a more modern era that was still going on when the Game Cube was out(like their PS4).

I put the arbitrary "retro" line to represent consoles released before 2000. This means the Dreamcast is "retro" (for reasons besides release date, Dreamcast was discontinued much earlier than other 6th gen consoles) while the PS2, Xbox, and Game Cube aren't. I also count the GBA as a "retro" system, being released in 2001 but being a primarily 2D graphics engine (though Super Circuit and other racers made impressive use of mode 7, basically SNES Mario Kart with superior handling).

 

Arbitrary lines aside, I think a lot of gamers associate 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations with "retro", 6th, 7th, and 8th gens as "modern", whereas pre-crash systems are considered "dinosaur" in gaming terms. Retro is "cool", dinosaurs, are well, dinosaurs. Well some of us like collecting fossils anyway... :P

 

I still feel that there are only modest improvements between say PS2, PS3, and PS4. Mario Sunshine, Smash Bros Melee, and Double Dash looked beautiful on the Cube, as do their HD Wii-U counterparts.

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I put the arbitrary "retro" line to represent consoles released before 2000. This means the Dreamcast is "retro" (for reasons besides release date, Dreamcast was discontinued much earlier than other 6th gen consoles) while the PS2, Xbox, and Game Cube aren't. I also count the GBA as a "retro" system, being released in 2001 but being a primarily 2D graphics engine (though Super Circuit and other racers made impressive use of mode 7, basically SNES Mario Kart with superior handling).

I feel the arbitrary line move with time. It is moving slowly. For an example, PS2 doesn't quite feel retro to me yet but PS1 is starting to. However, when the PS2 came out the NES didn't feel retro yet but it does today.

 

Arbitrary lines aside, I think a lot of gamers associate 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations with "retro", 6th, 7th, and 8th gens as "modern", whereas pre-crash systems are considered "dinosaur" in gaming terms. Retro is "cool", dinosaurs, are well, dinosaurs. Well some of us like collecting fossils anyway... icon_razz.gif

I think it depends on the retro gamer's age. Going back to that 21 year old that grew up with PS2, stayed mostly a Sony fan, and owns a PS4 today. This hypothetical retro gamer may move this dinosaur period past pre-crash consoles maybe up to the Super NES and consider retro starting with the PS1 and Nintendo 64. It is kind of like how some will claim that pre-crash consoles were an experimental stage and gaming started getting good at the NES. So, this hypothetical retro gamer may think that anything before 3D worlds with stories like interactive movies was an experimental period because since they grew up with interactive movies then to them that may be gaming starting to get good and they may consider the PS1 instead of the NES as the savior of gaming because modern "proper" gaming evolved from that.

 

To make what I'm saying more clear imagine a 5 year old today growing up with the PS4 and what consoles will be like when they turn 21. To them every single console that existed during our childhoods may all appear to be dinosaurs and somewhere between the year 2000 and the release of the PS4 is where retro starts for them.

 

I still feel that there are only modest improvements between say PS2, PS3, and PS4. Mario Sunshine, Smash Bros Melee, and Double Dash looked beautiful on the Cube, as do their HD Wii-U counterparts.

Around the beginning of the century that is exactly how Nintendo consoles felt to me. What you are saying about the PS2, PS3, and PS4 felt like that with the NES, Super NES, and N64. It just felt like modest improvements happening. For an example, Super Mario World felt like a step up from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64 felt like a step up from Super Mario World. In other words, it felt like Mario was just smoothly evolving to be better and better. There may have been jumps there because the consoles have different specs obviously but the jump from Mario on one console to the next didn't feel much different than the jump from Super Mario Bros. to Super Mario Bros. 3 within the same NES console. I guess the jumps felt big because the improvements were exciting but still probably just as modest as first person shooters evolving through the PS2, PS3, and PS4. I would grant that the changes of those Nintendo consoles felt bigger to me than the changes between the Sony ones but that is probably because I prefer Nintendo games over first person shooters but to a first person shooters fan that has grown up with them through those Sony consoles they may feel the same way about the evolution of those games as I did with Mario games.

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The line is definitely a moving target. Its speed and position depend on how long ago you first experienced something and how long it takes for "yearning to go back" to develop inside you. So it will be different for everybody.

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My groupings have little to do with the generation I or anyone else was born into and everything about the percieved difference in quality from one generation to the next. We saw diminishing returns during the 2D gaming era and a subsequent trend of diminishing returns during the 3D gaming era. Perhaps VR is the next step up in immersion from 3D, provided it doesn't fizzle like the Virtual Boy of the 90s.

 

One big potential issue with VR over traditional displays is that games cease to be a "spectator sport" when one dons the goggles, completely eliminating any social aspect. Each participant needs his/her own headset, adding to hardware cost. Even with handhelds, one could look over the shoulders of another to view gameplay.

 

Currently the only "enormous" gap (besides the dawn of arcades and pong consoles) was the jump between 4th and 5th generations, from tiles to raytracing. Procesor speed increased by an order of magnitude and sprites got replaced with polygons. For instance, SNES was 3.58Mhz, replaced with the N64 running at 95Mhz. Up from 128kbytes RAM (SNES) to 4-8 mbytes (N64). Sorry but the difference between say Super Mario World and Mario 64 is no comparison at all, and anyone who feels this to be a minor incremental step ie SMB3 to World, needs to replay these titles. 3D was so fundamentally different formula from 2D that it really was a game changer.

 

At a lower level, I see the usual graphical refinements with every generation. Games look prettier but play largely the same.

 

The next largest jumps are "racing the beam" (Atari VCS) to tile graphics (NES, SMS) and SD (GC/Wii/PS2/Xbox) to HD (PS3/X360/Wii-U)

 

-> = minor refinement

-> -> = major refinement

-> -> -> = quantum leap

 

electro-mechanical games (pre videogame era)

 

-> -> ->

precrash (early 2D)

-> ->

3rd gen (8-bits)

->

4th gen (16 bits)

 

-> -> ->

5th gen (early 3D)

-> ->

6th gen, 7th gen SD

->

7th gen, 8th gen HD, Switch (9th gen?)

 

-> -> ->

VR "era"? Uncanny valley finally crossed?

 

And I only really consider the transition to HD a minor refinement at best. There are a lot of parallels between precrash 2D and 5th generation 3D in terms of presentation. The step up from pre-crash to post crash was bigger than subsequent steps, same for 5th gen 3D to 6th gen 3D. There will never be another "order of magnitude" level jump in resources as there was between 4th and 5th gen. The refinements get more subtle with each generation going forward, and I feel the laws of diminishing returns will take hold, unless a new "era" of gaming replaces 3D.

 

4k resolutions are largely placebo aside from advancements in display tech. You'll notice a subtle difference between say 1080p LCD and 4k OLED HDR, but not as much difference with a budget 4k LCD until you get uncomfortably close to the screen. And until technology reaches a point where realtime effects reach the level of realism comparable to say Gollem (LOTR) or Avatar, we won't be crossing the uncanny valley anytime soon...

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I read various other gaming sites/forums and I've started to feel old on a lot of them (it's one of the reasons I started visiting here a lot more again). I've noticed that while the game industry itself has changed a lot, current-gen gamers don't seem to have changed much at all. They always seem to range in age from under ten(!) to the early 20's, and the latter often claim to already be feeling the pangs of nostalgia. I always have that Matthew McConaughey line from "Dazed and Confused" going through my head on most other gaming sites - "I get older, they stay the same age."

 

I guess the top end of the age range probably always moves higher - I'm probably in that top end now. But most gamers are a lot younger.

 

The point being, I've seen that nostalgia line moving on these sites over the years. I have seen people talking about the GameCube as a retro console these days. Or the original DS. Definitely the Dreamcast, for those who did experience it at the time.

 

I think the reason you don't see the PS2 talked about with nostalgia that much is that most of the PS2's best games have sequels or remakes on later systems. Obviously with so many games, people are bound to have favorites that are exclusive to the PS2. But it was also just a system without much of its own identity, so people probably didn't develop as much of an emotional attachment to it. I feel like the systems that had a more distinct "house style" are usually the ones people become most nostalgic for.

 

So I've definitely seen that nostalgia line move up to about the late 90's/early 00's at this point, but not all consoles are going to be equal recipients of that nostalgia. And I don't think it's got anything to do with popularity at the time; I've seen systems like the Dreamcast develop almost legendary status even among those who never owned one originally, while the PS2 is shrugged off.

Edited by spacecadet

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Very simple, it's the lack of quality of the games. If the first game they ever saw for the 2600 was say, Hero or Montezuma's Revenge, then they would be interested. Since usually its not and more like a crappy pac-man or worse, it turns them off to even checking the system out further.

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Currently the only "enormous" gap (besides the dawn of arcades and pong consoles) was the jump between 4th and 5th generations, from tiles to raytracing. Procesor speed increased by an order of magnitude and sprites got replaced with polygons. For instance, SNES was 3.58Mhz, replaced with the N64 running at 95Mhz. Up from 128kbytes RAM (SNES) to 4-8 mbytes (N64). Sorry but the difference between say Super Mario World and Mario 64 is no comparison at all, and anyone who feels this to be a minor incremental step ie SMB3 to World, needs to replay these titles. 3D was so fundamentally different formula from 2D that it really was a game changer.

 

When I was growing up I wasn't paying attention to these specs or understood them and still don't. I just went by how they looked and played. By the time I got to Mario 64 it just seemed to me that they were combining things I already saw before. I have seen Mario in a 3D environment(Mario Kart) and seen him looking good and not crappy like the original Super Mario Bros.(Super Mario Bros. 3 and even better Super Mario World). So, to my eyes it just looked like they combined both concepts together and since I didn't understand polygons and how they were a replacement I probably just subconsciously thought something like,"The N64 must not be able to combine both concepts ideally because Mario and the environment looks blockier than last time." Yes, I can agree that going to 3D was a game changer but I wasn't experiencing this change by understanding the specs to measure how big of a change. I was just going by what I saw from my child eyes which was a change something like taking the top down view of Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, changing the world and characters into Mario themed ones, and then moving the camera down like Mario Kart. To put that another way, if at the time someone tricked me by putting an N64 into a Super NES shell and told me I was playing a new Super Mario Bros. game on the Super NES then I would believe it. Yes, it would blow me away but I would be incapable of thinking,"But something like this can't even fit in the Super NES's specs?" because every single new Mario game looked impressive even if the last one I'm comparing it to was on the same console.

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The line is definitely a moving target. Its speed and position depend on how long ago you first experienced something and how long it takes for "yearning to go back" to develop inside you. So it will be different for everybody.

 

I agree but I don't think this "yearning to go back" nostalgia applies to everyone because the only reason I was moving on from consoles that I would have to go back to later was simply because childhood prevented me from having a collection that got constantly added to. I would have to sell or trade games and consoles at the flea market to experience new ones because I didn't have a job or I wouldn't have a reason to own some because family or friends had them to share. But when I got a job I started trying to get everything back and things I missed out on which couldn't be nostalgia since I never experienced them. So, in between being a kid with no job to an adult with a job there was no waiting for nostalgia to kick in because recollecting started up automatically. I think the only thing that has kicked in that isn't really about going back to the past but going less towards the future is that I'm usually not as excited about a brand new console like I used to be. I guess it is like how old people can't understand younger people's music.

 

Anyway, I think it is, at least for me, other things that makes a console start to feel retro. It is hard to put my finger on. I think it is things like looking at a modern console and comparing it to the one in the past and it blows it away so much that the retro console looks a lot less impressive than it originally did. Or the transition from everyone around you having the console when new, then less people but still a lot having it after market, then only some having it after market, and then minus the Internet it starts to feel like you are the only person left to still own it. Or the average perceived preferences for games have changed so much that the average gamer can't see what you could potentially like about the console. Or you know adults younger than the console and yet you feel much older than those adults. Just all kinds of things like that where the console slowly fades out from being a modern console for the current generation of kids until it has become self evident that it is now a golden oldie for adults.

 

But I think nostalgia would have to be a smaller factor in that compared to others. For an example, I'm interested in the Nintendo Switch. If I get one I would likely keep it like I do everything else. Then maybe 20 years from now it would start to feel retro. Now there couldn't be any yearning for back when I had a Switch and no Switch to go back to because I had it the whole time but it still faded from a modern console to one that feels very retro.

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Atari is my only system for collecting now. I use my 3DS and Vita for retro games. I'm not selling my kidney for Earthbound or Tombi but I'll pay a few bucks for them on download services. Plus Atari is so much more fun to collect with those odd 3rd party carts. Plus I like a quick round

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I believe it is possible to have nostalgia for systems you didn't actually own, on the condition you knew about them for a long long time and read their catalogs.

 

I would have liked to round out this micro-post by saying wanting then is the same as wanting now. But the flavors are different in a way I have yet to define.

Edited by Keatah
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I believe it is possible to have nostalgia for systems you didn't actually own, on the condition you knew about them for a long long time and read their catalogs.

 

I would have liked to round out this micro-post by saying wanting then is the same as wanting now. But the flavors are different in a way I have yet to define.

Exactly. All my friends having Nintendos growning up (and later had Genesis and/or SNES as teens) but I never got an NES for myself until I reached adulthood. Sitting on Santa's lap despite being way too big to believe in him, and loudly and proudly begging for an NES while looking over towards my parents to make sure they heard what I asked for, well you just can't confabulate memories like that. Too bad my little game of charades didn't work. I always got Legos under the tree... :P

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I believe it is possible to have nostalgia for systems you didn't actually own, on the condition you knew about them for a long long time and read their catalogs.

 

I would have liked to round out this micro-post by saying wanting then is the same as wanting now. But the flavors are different in a way I have yet to define.

 

I think that would be more of nostalgia for the catalogs instead of the systems themselves because it would be the catalogs that would take you back to the past. For an example, I remember seeing those catalogs with Ms. Pac-Man all dressed up coming in Atari games. So, when I look through those it can take me back to when I was first reading them as a child. That would be the nostalgia part. Then from there I may notice that it is showing an Atari XEGS and think,"I always wondered what that was about." then get it. But as I play it for the first time none of that would be nostalgia because it would be as new to me as if it were a brand new modern console.

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Exactly. All my friends having Nintendos growning up (and later had Genesis and/or SNES as teens) but I never got an NES for myself until I reached adulthood. Sitting on Santa's lap despite being way too big to believe in him, and loudly and proudly begging for an NES while looking over towards my parents to make sure they heard what I asked for, well you just can't confabulate memories like that. Too bad my little game of charades didn't work. I always got Legos under the tree... icon_razz.gif

 

Didn't you say somewhere else that you found out they actually did get you an NES for Christmas but for some reason they forgot it in the attic for 15 years or something like that until you found it?

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I think that would be more of nostalgia for the catalogs instead of the systems themselves because it would be the catalogs that would take you back to the past. For an example, I remember seeing those catalogs with Ms. Pac-Man all dressed up coming in Atari games. So, when I look through those it can take me back to when I was first reading them as a child. That would be the nostalgia part. Then from there I may notice that it is showing an Atari XEGS and think,"I always wondered what that was about." then get it. But as I play it for the first time none of that would be nostalgia because it would be as new to me as if it were a brand new modern console.

 

 

Not really. It doesn't matter how you're taken back to the past. But it matters where you're taken. And the catalogs and screenshots let you imagine having played the game, in a manner of speaking. If you wanted it enough and imagined it enough it's all the same. The brain doesn't differentiate memories that old. That's how some people can claim and actually believe they were a victim of a crime when they actually weren't. If you're told something enough and begin to believe it, the brain thinks it's real. Therefore the nostalgia is real.

 

A real example is back in the Apple II days I wanted a digitizer, but couldn't afford it. So I settled for having a bunch of hi-res pictures and making the bigger kids do the work with their set-up. And now years later I got one. And it seems like I always had one, and found the excitement of using it as fresh, yet as old, as if I had one back in the day.

 

The exposure to wanting it back then is sufficient to create nostalgia for the actual item today, even if you just got that item today. Like I say, the brain doesn't care. And this has been proven millions of times in court involving accurate memory recall.

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Not really. It doesn't matter how you're taken back to the past. But it matters where you're taken. And the catalogs and screenshots let you imagine having played the game, in a manner of speaking. If you wanted it enough and imagined it enough it's all the same. The brain doesn't differentiate memories that old. That's how some people can claim and actually believe they were a victim of a crime when they actually weren't. If you're told something enough and begin to believe it, the brain thinks it's real. Therefore the nostalgia is real.

 

A real example is back in the Apple II days I wanted a digitizer, but couldn't afford it. So I settled for having a bunch of hi-res pictures and making the bigger kids do the work with their set-up. And now years later I got one. And it seems like I always had one, and found the excitement of using it as fresh, yet as old, as if I had one back in the day.

 

The exposure to wanting it back then is sufficient to create nostalgia for the actual item today, even if you just got that item today. Like I say, the brain doesn't care. And this has been proven millions of times in court involving accurate memory recall.

 

That seems like it could turn any desire for new experiences into nostalgia. For an example, we have all these high tech gadgets that were all sci-fi in the past. So, when people first got excited about getting cell phones was it caused by nostalgia from seeing communicators in Star Trek? If yes, then how is that a yearning for the past when in the past all the way up to getting that cell phone was a yearning for the future, for the new, for the desired but yet to be experienced,etc?

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Didn't you say somewhere else that you found out they actually did get you an NES for Christmas but for some reason they forgot it in the attic for 15 years or something like that until you found it?

Yeah, pretty much. Really more like ten years. My mom bought the CIB NES from a family friend in the early 90s (he needed the money to buy a Super Nintendo) but somehow forgot about it after my behavior went down the toilet, and there it sat in the garage for ten years. So I technically became the second owner when we discovered it in 2002 while cleaning house after my dad passed away. Besides my limited exposure to Super Mario Bros, most of my nostalgia for the system was from actually watching other kids play. So I technically experienced most games myself for the first time as an adult.

 

I never understood the people who only want to play the games they played growing up, especially when many games were crap. For me retro gaming was always about discovery and trying new things, which is one reason why my collection today has a heavy emphasis on homebrew.

 

The exposure to wanting it back then is sufficient to create nostalgia for the actual item today, even if you just got that item today. Like I say, the brain doesn't care. And this has been proven millions of times in court involving accurate memory recall.

Yes, I can attest to this fact. But I believe it is also possible to "create" new nostalgia for old things we were never exposed to in early life. Music is one common example. I was ignorant to the sheer existance of Atari growing up, and never never knew any friends who played one. One kid across the street had an 8-bit computer I think, but we never hung out. My first Atari 2600 was an impulse buy for me in 2012 and I knew it was a low risk investment since I could just sell it off for a small loss if I didn't like it.

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I never understood the people who only want to play the games they played growing up, especially when many games were crap. For me retro gaming was always about discovery and trying new things, which is one reason why my collection today has a heavy emphasis on homebrew.

 

Well, for me it's both, except that I don't really do homebrew at all, so maybe there's actually a third mentality out there.

 

When I was growing up, gaming was very tribal. And not many people had more than one system at a time (whether computer or game console). To an extent it's still that way when it comes to the current generation, although it seems like more people have multiple new systems as well as computers these days. But I had an Intellivision, an Apple II, an NES, a Genesis, a PS1, and only then did I start getting more than one system at a time, as well as starting to collect older stuff.

 

That meant I missed a lot of good stuff. Some of it I actively slagged off at the time because it was a threat to my own system of choice, but of course when looking at things in hindsight, it becomes a lot easier to appreciate those same things. Some things I just ignored as irrelevant at the time; there was too much to play on whatever system I did have. So I do enjoy going back and "discovering" games and systems that I missed the first time around.

 

But I am still drawn more to the stuff I really grew up with, because I already *know* it's fun. I wouldn't have played it if it wasn't! I haven't really found many games that I remember as great from my youth that haven't held up. I like to think I had at least some taste even back then. Maybe some of the really early 3D stuff that was technically impressive at the time and that allowed us to ignore things like wonky controls or cameras. But other than that, most games I remember playing, at least in the 8 and 16 bit eras, are still fun when I play them now.

 

I do like sticking to "official" stuff, though, for the most part. I can't easily explain why, but modern homebrews somehow feel kind of like cheating, to me. They're games made with decades of experience and study of a particular system, which is something developers at the time didn't have, especially considering many of them were working under tight deadlines and trying to beat holidays, etc. I like to see how systems evolved and try to get myself in the mindset of a gamer at the time. Part of "nostalgia" for me is the feeling I either did have playing a game back then, or the feeling I would have had (but missed). I don't get that from homebrews.

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That seems like it could turn any desire for new experiences into nostalgia. For an example, we have all these high tech gadgets that were all sci-fi in the past. So, when people first got excited about getting cell phones was it caused by nostalgia from seeing communicators in Star Trek? If yes, then how is that a yearning for the past when in the past all the way up to getting that cell phone was a yearning for the future, for the new, for the desired but yet to be experienced,etc?

 

It really only works for one-time experiences. If you see something and then it takes a while to get it. And you keep thinking about it. It is treated as a present-day memory.

 

But if you see something, want it, and don't get it for a long time, and stop thinking about it in the intervening years, the brain treats it as an old memory.

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