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How much does nostalgia impact your opinion on games?

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Nostalgia is probably a bigger factor for the person who hadn't played an Atari for 20 years and them goes and buys one on ebay, or gets a Flashback or something.

 

And then comes on a forum and thinks he's the fucking Mr. Miyagi of classic video gaming.

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Having played the VCS when it first became available was another "thing" of discovery. A novelty. Not all that much different than BMX'ing in new territory, or exploring the sewer system or getting a waterproof flashlight - big thing for me back in the day! Heh..

 

When I play games like Miniature Golf, Video Pinball, Surround, Bowling, Flag Capture, Video Chess, I always get taken back to a simpler time of cozyness and warmth and adventure and discovery. Especially after a day outside romping in the snow and watching how it melted and made miniature rivers in the curb gutter. The crystalline ice cold air and harsh blue sky..

 

Yeh, the smell of frozen Swanson chicken dinners, minimal or no school homework, the soft plush carpet of a wood-paneled basement or living-room. The radiated heat and warmth of a console TV flickering late into the night. Blankets and beanbags and cozy corners. And while my buddies would be taking their turns at the seemingly endless Video Pinball I'd read my airplane and astronomy books. And be thinking about Lunar Landers and Space Shuttles. Reading Omni. Discovering how microchips worked.. Playing with electronic project kits and parts from RadioShack and building the Aircraft and Police VHF receivers. Building the Globe Patrol SW radio. Science..

 

Yup. That's the good times. Times you can only have if you were there. For not having been there is akin to all this faux-retro crap of today!

 

So you can plainly see, Atari was just something that fit into the culture of the day. Playing it now for the first time isn't quite the same as having experienced it back in the 70's and 80's. It complemented the times, the times complemented it.

 

And back then you maybe had 10 or 20 games to pick from. That made each one a special experience. An experience that would be treasured forever. Today videogames are available in such high numbers they're almost meaningless.

Edited by Keatah
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Yup. That's the good times. Times you can only have if you were there. For not having been there is akin to all this faux-retro crap of today!

 

So you can plainly see, Atari was just something that fit into the culture of the day. Playing it now for the first time isn't quite the same as having experienced it back in the 70's and 80's. It complemented the time, the times complemented it.

 

And back then you maybe had 10 or 20 games to pick from. That made each one a special experience. An experience that would be treasured forever. Today videogames are available in such high numbers they're almost meaningless.

 

I think you can go back in time to a degree, I don't think it's quite that simple to just say you were there or you weren't when someone is really into it. By and large, they must "get" the experience. I'm sure there are a lot of weird retro kids out there today that might fake it, but I'm pretty sure a 23 year old kid in these days who goes to enough trouble to own a Bally Astrocade when he starts getting some dough is a kindred spirit to all of us. The game resonates in us, not the surroundings. That's why the retro gaming, movies and music stuff is so popular today and not wood paneling. By the time I was old enough to have all the necessary shit, video games, CD Player, etc. when I was 10 in my Genesis stage, all I did was go to school, hang out, watch hockey, and listen to tunes while I rocked some Genesis. I doubt the Atari kid was much different besides the console was Atari and he had 8 tracks. I guess what I'm saying is I'm not vain enough to think someone couldn't duplicate my era of growing up when all I did was consume media, like anyone else. The beauty of technology is it allows this to happen with all these things being preserved. We can't get pissed off because shit from the 80s was preserved and a kid born in 2005 just happens to like it. And people tend to just take the good things to think about... not the cold war, more overt racism and Reagen. Nostalgia people are cherry picking just as much as the fauxs. :)

 

Anyways, my initial main reason to reply was I feel you're exactly right with your last sentence. You can just consume so much now that I don't see how people could act like a new Atari game now is like it would have been in 1981. There are certain things that peak your appreciation (I still get a hard-on whenever I talk about my Vectrex since I never thought I'd ever get one, and got as a result of perfect timing), but I just don't see how label variations or junk games would make people nostalgic and happy. I fucking hated bad games as a kid. I remember renting Spot for NES and it was the biggest let down ever, I had no idea what to do, especially since games were more expensive to rent and I lost out on renting 5 wrestling tapes or movies in its place. I totally understand collecting all the systems to try games out for. But to need thousands of games... there's no way the game passion/nostalgia doesn't wear down and you start collecting out of addiction, habit, OCD, etc. Even as a kid when I got a game, I never got THAT fucking worked up, you know? I just find it hard to relate to a grown man getting worked up because he bought a game he knows sucks and hadn't even heard of as a kid.

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Anyone can create their own brand of nostalgia or flavor of association with the good times. It just won't be identical to what it was like in the 70's and 80's. It will be their own flavor. There is no right or wrong, no good or bad. I only cringe when they claim it is the same and that you can buy it now. True nostalgia takes time to develop. It does not happen with one trip to a store.

 

Also as kids we never really payed attention to politics too much. I certainly didn't listen to Carter or Regan barking about whatever it is they were barking about. I was more interested in building model rockets and becoming the best Missile Commander I could possibly be in hopes that when doomsday came I'd be ready.

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Not much. My first system was an nes, and I prefer playing pre crash systems, especially the vectrex. I dont really buy into the nostalgia idea of gaming. I think people have fond memories and want to re live them, but mostly I think great games will always be great. I also think people want to belong to a group of some kind, and usually they want to be with the popular group. The word retro and nostalgia seem to be merging these days.

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Anyone can create their own brand of nostalgia or flavor of association with the good times. It just won't be identical to what it was like in the 70's and 80's. It will be their own flavor. There is no right or wrong, no good or bad. I only cringe when they claim it is the same and that you can buy it now. True nostalgia takes time to develop. It does not happen with one trip to a store.

 

Also as kids we never really payed attention to politics too much. I certainly didn't listen to Carter or Regan barking about whatever it is they were barking about. I was more interested in building model rockets and becoming the best Missile Commander I could possibly be in hopes that when doomsday came I'd be ready.

 

But they really don't give a damn about living in 1980. No one wants to go back and start over then. It'd suck. Where would we find our niche porn? There'd be no smartphones and worse, we'd only have Atari and it'd be fucking expensive to get one cart. It'd be SHIT. ;)

 

They're "nostalgic" or yearning for a time in gaming would have been more relevant to them and what they like. This is about gaming, music, movies... media. None of these people really give two shits about the actual 80s. Like I posted earlier, I'm definitely less nostalgic than the average classic gamer, so I don't even care that someone thinks I can't go back to '80 because I was born in '85. That's fine by me because as I said before, I'm totally cool with getting 5 extra years of the future rather than the past I can explore currently. But, with that said, like AdamChevy posted just after me, I'm an NES guy who really digs the older stuff too, especially the Vectrex. As a kid I was always into arcades, this would be after their moments in the sun, so I still feel I can perfectly identify to the Atari age who had ports of a lot of games I'd want to play in arcades. And I don't think I have ever been able to play a vector machine to this day besides my Vectrex. But since I was around back then begging my parents for quarters and like these style of games, I just don't see how a person younger or older than me can't have this same feeling towards a game. The 16 year olds talking Atari nostalgia are likely saying it because they're not articulate enough to express what they're truly feeling, which, in my opinion and as above, is the kindred spirit we all share for retro games and what we adore about that time. It's not that they think old farts are anything special. I have a certain affinity for the 50s (ironically through 80s movies set in the 50s, but I just naturally loved the music as a young kid in the 90s and a love of drive-ins I actually did have as a small child and I love leather jackets, etc), I feel like they feel about games. But I don't wanna fuckin' go there! I'll take my faux nostalgia and leave the practice of being taught to hide under your desk in case of a nuclear apocalypse in school to them.

 

My main comparison is this vs. music and movies. I've talked with hundreds of older fans of music and movies about stuff that was out before I was born. I have never, ever, not once had one of these people say to me I didn't get older music because I never lived it. I've never once had someone say, "pssssh, you weren't around in the 1950s, you can't appreciate what Bergman was doing in his religious films". This is strictly a self-centered thing I've only ever encountered in "video game nostalgia". These kids are feeling this way towards 80s games, you're actually feeling this way towards the actual 80s. I don't care where you exist at any point in time, if you play Super Mario 3 for the first time, you just get that feeling. It's the same for everyone who has ever been into it. We all have our own unique experiences, that's great, they're yours, they're mine. But I think it's ridic to try to take anything away from anyone else feeling positive. These creations are timeless. Old grannies aren't the only ones who can say they truly get Wizard of Oz, no?

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But they really don't give a damn about living in 1980. No one wants to go back and start over then. It'd suck. Where would we find our niche porn? There'd be no smartphones and worse, we'd only have Atari and it'd be fucking expensive to get one cart. It'd be SHIT. ;)

 

They're "nostalgic" or yearning for a time in gaming would have been more relevant to them and what they like. This is about gaming, music, movies... media. None of these people really give two shits about the actual 80s. Like I posted earlier, I'm definitely less nostalgic than the average classic gamer, so I don't even care that someone thinks I can't go back to '80 because I was born in '85. That's fine by me because as I said before, I'm totally cool with getting 5 extra years of the future rather than the past I can explore currently. But, with that said, like AdamChevy posted just after me, I'm an NES guy who really digs the older stuff too, especially the Vectrex. As a kid I was always into arcades, this would be after their moments in the sun, so I still feel I can perfectly identify to the Atari age who had ports of a lot of games I'd want to play in arcades. And I don't think I have ever been able to play a vector machine to this day besides my Vectrex. But since I was around back then begging my parents for quarters and like these style of games, I just don't see how a person younger or older than me can't have this same feeling towards a game. The 16 year olds talking Atari nostalgia are likely saying it because they're not articulate enough to express what they're truly feeling, which, in my opinion and as above, is the kindred spirit we all share for retro games and what we adore about that time. It's not that they think old farts are anything special. I have a certain affinity for the 50s (ironically through 80s movies set in the 50s, but I just naturally loved the music as a young kid in the 90s and a love of drive-ins I actually did have as a small child and I love leather jackets, etc), I feel like they feel about games. But I don't wanna fuckin' go there! I'll take my faux nostalgia and leave the practice of being taught to hide under your desk in case of a nuclear apocalypse in school to them.

 

My main comparison is this vs. music and movies. I've talked with hundreds of older fans of music and movies about stuff that was out before I was born. I have never, ever, not once had one of these people say to me I didn't get older music because I never lived it. I've never once had someone say, "pssssh, you weren't around in the 1950s, you can't appreciate what Bergman was doing in his religious films". This is strictly a self-centered thing I've only ever encountered in "video game nostalgia". These kids are feeling this way towards 80s games, you're actually feeling this way towards the actual 80s. I don't care where you exist at any point in time, if you play Super Mario 3 for the first time, you just get that feeling. It's the same for everyone who has ever been into it. We all have our own unique experiences, that's great, they're yours, they're mine. But I think it's ridic to try to take anything away from anyone else feeling positive. These creations are timeless. Old grannies aren't the only ones who can say they truly get Wizard of Oz, no?

Quoted for truth. :thumbsup:

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The 16 year olds talking Atari nostalgia are likely saying it because they're not articulate enough to express what they're truly feeling, which, in my opinion and as above, is the kindred spirit we all share for retro games and what we adore about that time. It's not that they think old farts are anything special.

 

I've never heard anybody that young talk about "nostalgia" for games that pre-date their own birth, but if they're using that term, then I think you're right--they're misunderstanding what that word means.

 

I'd imagine it's no different than when I was 16 and digging through my parents' record collection, jamming to all kinds of new-to-me classic rock that was released before I was born. The music was/is quality in its own right, but the yellowing record sleeves, the porn mustaches, and analog hiss all added up to an alluring "mystique" because it was from a different time.

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My main comparison is this vs. music and movies. I've talked with hundreds of older fans of music and movies about stuff that was out before I was born. I have never, ever, not once had one of these people say to me I didn't get older music because I never lived it. I've never once had someone say, "pssssh, you weren't around in the 1950s, you can't appreciate what Bergman was doing in his religious films". This is strictly a self-centered thing I've only ever encountered in "video game nostalgia". These kids are feeling this way towards 80s games, you're actually feeling this way towards the actual 80s. I don't care where you exist at any point in time, if you play Super Mario 3 for the first time, you just get that feeling. It's the same for everyone who has ever been into it. We all have our own unique experiences, that's great, they're yours, they're mine. But I think it's ridic to try to take anything away from anyone else feeling positive. These creations are timeless. Old grannies aren't the only ones who can say they truly get Wizard of Oz, no?

 

I have to nitpick a bit here, just because I think it's very interesting and relevant. To a point, yes, you didn't have to 'live it' to enjoy old music. But there's clearly no way to fully understand the impact and relevance of it if you didn't.

 

My most obvious example is the British Invasion. I love plenty of the music from that era, and recognize that it was very influential in shaping modern music. I enjoy listening to it for the reason most people like music; it's enjoyable. Good harmonies, structures, whatever. But I don't get it. All I get is some grainy black and white footage of girls fainting in front of 20 seconds of a mono Beatles performance. At the time it was a cultural phenomenon, and everything about the music, the style, etc. all represented that. To me it's just more music. I cannot even fathom it being 'controversial,' let alone a radical shift in popular music, style, etc. I was too young to truly appreciate the gravity of it, but the grunge movement in the 90s is another obvious example. Even to a much smaller, less overall important degree, I still remember the first time I saw The Strokes first big breakout video on MTV. I still like some of their music, but there was a revolutionary aspect to that music. In a world of Limp Bizkit and Staind, these kids come out with plinky raw guitar sounds and this vintage vibe, and it flew in the face of what was popular. For a few years, it changed modern tastes.

 

To use your Wizard of Oz example; sure I think most human beings enjoy that movie. But I know that I cannot appreciate the sheer magic of Dorothy first stepping into Oz when it was a cultural and technological milestone, using developing technology to blow people's minds (and enhance the experience) It is close to timeless because of the storytelling, the catchiness of the songs, etc. etc., but I still feel there's a whole important aspect to it as a piece of culture that many people (myself included) can't really grasp.

 

Some would argue that with the benefit of time we can finally judge these things objectively. I think that's silly, because I don't think we can eliminate the context, and I don't think we're at all judging them 'objectively' now, we're just judging them in our own, modern context.

 

 

To bring it back to video games from this way-too-long tangent; I think there is plenty in the world of art, music, gaming, everything, that is essentially timeless (or much outlasts its contemporaries) for a variety of reasons but I don't necessarily think that makes them objectively better. Low hanging fruit example is, say, the Colecovision port of Donkey Kong. It was an achievement and great, but there's not much reason for it to be particularly appreciated in a modern context. To bring it back to the original LoZ, it was (supposedly) designed to encourage player collaboration, it eschewed hand-holding entirely, etc. (I picture kids meeting in the lunch room trading tips and secrets they discovered the weekend prior) Through modern eyes that seems silly (and with modern technology it's almost moot since you can just google every answer, location, secret, etc) but it's not necessarily a poor design choice, just one that might not resonate or make sense to a modern gamer. (I do still hate with a vile passion the blue candle. Once a screen? Seriously?)

 

I think this basically just comes down to one question; are there objectively 'good' games, or even objectively 'good' aspects to games? I'm not sure the answer to that, though I lean toward no. I think most of the time when we call something 'timeless,' we're basically just saying that such-and-such from a prior era happens, perhaps entirely coincidentally, to fit into our current tastes and values as well.

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I have to nitpick a bit here, just because I think it's very interesting and relevant. To a point, yes, you didn't have to 'live it' to enjoy old music. But there's clearly no way to fully understand the impact and relevance of it if you didn't.

 

My most obvious example is the British Invasion. I love plenty of the music from that era, and recognize that it was very influential in shaping modern music. I enjoy listening to it for the reason most people like music; it's enjoyable. Good harmonies, structures, whatever. But I don't get it. All I get is some grainy black and white footage of girls fainting in front of 20 seconds of a mono Beatles performance. At the time it was a cultural phenomenon, and everything about the music, the style, etc. all represented that. To me it's just more music. I cannot even fathom it being 'controversial,' let alone a radical shift in popular music, style, etc. I was too young to truly appreciate the gravity of it, but the grunge movement in the 90s is another obvious example. Even to a much smaller, less overall important degree, I still remember the first time I saw The Strokes first big breakout video on MTV. I still like some of their music, but there was a revolutionary aspect to that music. In a world of Limp Bizkit and Staind, these kids come out with plinky raw guitar sounds and this vintage vibe, and it flew in the face of what was popular. For a few years, it changed modern tastes.

 

To use your Wizard of Oz example; sure I think most human beings enjoy that movie. But I know that I cannot appreciate the sheer magic of Dorothy first stepping into Oz when it was a cultural and technological milestone, using developing technology to blow people's minds (and enhance the experience) It is close to timeless because of the storytelling, the catchiness of the songs, etc. etc., but I still feel there's a whole important aspect to it as a piece of culture that many people (myself included) can't really grasp.

 

Some would argue that with the benefit of time we can finally judge these things objectively. I think that's silly, because I don't think we can eliminate the context, and I don't think we're at all judging them 'objectively' now, we're just judging them in our own, modern context.

 

 

To bring it back to video games from this way-too-long tangent; I think there is plenty in the world of art, music, gaming, everything, that is essentially timeless (or much outlasts its contemporaries) for a variety of reasons but I don't necessarily think that makes them objectively better. Low hanging fruit example is, say, the Colecovision port of Donkey Kong. It was an achievement and great, but there's not much reason for it to be particularly appreciated in a modern context. To bring it back to the original LoZ, it was (supposedly) designed to encourage player collaboration, it eschewed hand-holding entirely, etc. (I picture kids meeting in the lunch room trading tips and secrets they discovered the weekend prior) Through modern eyes that seems silly (and with modern technology it's almost moot since you can just google every answer, location, secret, etc) but it's not necessarily a poor design choice, just one that might not resonate or make sense to a modern gamer. (I do still hate with a vile passion the blue candle. Once a screen? Seriously?)

 

I think this basically just comes down to one question; are there objectively 'good' games, or even objectively 'good' aspects to games? I'm not sure the answer to that, though I lean toward no. I think most of the time when we call something 'timeless,' we're basically just saying that such-and-such from a prior era happens, perhaps entirely coincidentally, to fit into our current tastes and values as well.

 

In terms of understanding the cultural effects of music, I kind of disagree, if only because to use your very example, though I was young at the time, I loved the bands that came before grunge, but I hated and always will hate grunge aside from Nirvana. So I'm a guy who lived it and didn't care for it, so you don't necessarily have to be in that time to understand it - people can still not get it or think it sucks in the real time. I understand the impact grunge had, I lived in the era, but I don't know why anyone liked that garbage music. I also don't know more than a handful of Beatles songs, but with a little research, I can get the cultural significance. I can compare it to a situation today or in the past. It's not as good as first hand experiencing it and being into it, yet at the same time I can understand someone wishing they could be around a bunch of Beatlemaniacs and talk about their favorite band all the time when they were popular, though they were born 30 years later. I lived the Limp Bizkit era... and I was into that shit. So was everyone else I knew. Nowadays no one I know gives a damn about Limp Bizkit. No one is having nostalgia towards them. Because they were the drizzling shits and I was too dumb to know better.

 

Anyways, this all goes back to all of us retro gamers young and old just being kindred spirits, and I think we should all easily understand the perspectives of one another. We're all just into the same thing. I think humanity as a whole, even the really smart people are thinking very philosophically small right now, kind of like we are in 1982. We have the ability to contact the whole world with a few strokes of a keyboard. I don't think we understand that magnitude yet. Mankind has went through years and years of technological advances and suddenly we now have actual footage, recordings, real word for word interviews, you name it of times gone by. This stuff just was barely possible even 80 years ago and everything is censored, dated and worn to shit. There is just SO much to consume from media and art these days, in color, in stereo, whatever that I think the future of the world is going to be vastly different than people liking whatever's popular like we've done before. Sure, the mainstream will always be that, but there's gonna be so much shit so readily available, time is going to become a bit of a melting pot. Imagine years from now when tens of thousands of HD movies from our era are available in the public domain, not degraded whatsoever.

 

Scientists tried for years to find out what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, archaeologists dig up old cities, it's human nature to discover the past. We can't necessarily LIVE it, but again, I don't see anyone ever saying they want to. It's just the difference between now and the past is now if you truly are into the 80s, for example, you can really dive in full force. You can watch movies in great quality, listen to all the tunes, look up old photos, whatever, and it's readily available by the time you're old enough to spell online. And they were moments that defined history that we today really can't have. What revelations in the arts have there been in the last 10 years? None, because it's all been done before. If it's all been done before, we have to go back into history to find the sources. Sometimes it doesn't hold up, sometimes it does. I guess what I mean is technology has evolved to a point where you can really easily replicate the things of old and experience them in ways that's never been possible before, and I think that has to tie in with the way we interpret how we all perceive the not-so-distant past.

 

To use some personal scenarios, the one most relevant would be when I got Activision Anthology. If you're not aware, it has 45 Activision 2600 games, 80s music and even your own virtual 80s bedroom with your boombox and 2600 cart rack. Not to say I imagined I was in this room, but I did think to myself if I could be happy, even in '05 or whenever I played this, in 1982 with just 2600 games. None of my NES platformers, endings, and certainly no 3-D PS2 stuff. I figured that I enjoyed it enough that I could, it was fun. Not that I know a damn thing about disco, but there are discos out there today. There are still arcades. There are movie theatres that play 35mm prints of old films. So even though these people have experienced these things, why would they not count? Again, everyone can trump me on the "well, you had to be there to truly understand this or that" BUT, then what does that say about today? Just because we have the modern technology and interest to have all this, in 2116, are us 2015 people thought of as never having been to a disco or an arcade just because they weren't mainstream relevant? That's kind of what I mean by melting pot, because from here on out, there's no stopping anyone from getting into anything they want with amazing accuracy. It's not gonna be cut and dry anymore. Over time I've learned exponentially about classic video games, my first hand directly in the time knowledge would be slim to none. I don't think it's fair for Billy Joe in 2015 with 700 Atari carts to be talking about nostalgia towards all these games and lovely '82 when he only owned 15 as a child. Or for instance, my sister used to live in the same apartment complex as me and when her friend came over, she'd send her friend's kid down to my apartment and I'd let him play whatever he wanted. Oftentimes he'd want to play the Bandai VFD tabletop Gunfighter, which came out 5 years before I was born, let alone this child. He's 7. Sure, he has a PS4, but he's a kid who doesn't know anything. So a kid in 1980 who doesn't know anything can write the book on Gunfighter, but a kid who doesn't know anything in 2014 can't be taken as seriously? They're both dumb kids who don't know anything. They're at the same point in their young lives and they're having a helluva time with it.

 

For the most part, most people who consume any media are pretty ignorant to everything that goes into making it. I don't see how one person's opinion from the past really trumps anyone's from the future. You might not get the Beatles. Fair enough. But an old guy from the era could add the rose tint to history's glasses. So we're all full of shit anyways, no? As far as I'm concerned, if you're lying on your bed with Green Day playing and some Genesis going, you've pretty much struck childhood gaming circa 1995. We're talking about 1980, not the first time people got to ever see a real photograph. I guess what I'm saying is playing video games in your room in 1980 is very, very easy to re-create because it's not that big of a deal. And a kid today can listen to the same music, play the same games as before. Does he really need to hear mommy upstairs getting nailed by the mailman while dad's at work on a waterbed to be 1980? The 80s just aren't far enough away that it's not easy to relate to. You'd swear some of these people talking about 1980 like they were Egyptian Pharaohs or something. :D

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Well, the original Legend of Zelda is what got me into retro gaming, I played it when I was 8 and I thought it was great. Now I'm 14. It has nothing to do with nostalgia for me. I discovered Zelda and the NES, then got into Ultima through Exodus and found CRPGs and the Apple II, which lead to the Commodore 64, my favorite platform. Somewhere along the line, I got into the 2600, which I also love.

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...stuff...

 

Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but I think we probably fundamentally agree on most of the concepts being discussed here, if for no other reason than the line "So we're all full of shit anyways, no?"

 

Because yup, we are! Entirely, totally, and thoroughly. All of us, really, when it comes to stuff like this and I think the world would be a much more enjoyable place if we all realized and accepted this.

 

I think my main point, to try to shorten it, is that cultural context and our own bullshit opinions need to be taken into account. I might enjoy Dragon Warrior 1, because I grew up with grindy RPGs with little plot. A kid born in 2000 might hate it because the whole idea of grinding being 80% of gameplay is stupid and foreign nowadays. Are we both right? Are we both wrong? Probably 'yes' to both questions.

 

But I appreciate, or at least accept, the game because I grew up with that stuff. Just like I probably have more of a positive opinion on grunge music because I lived through it and really enjoyed it, you probably have more of a negative opinion because of very similar, yet very opposite, reasons. I'm not saying that older stuff can't be appreciated if you didn't 'live through it,' just that 'living through it' has a very real impact on how you view it, and I don't think that's a bad thing. I love some Motown music, because it's great music. My Mom loves most Motown music, because it's great music, and because it was a cultural touchstone during her teen years that reminds her of her youth, and at the time represented a fundamental sense of rebellion against musical stereotypes and a sense of liberation and acceptance of so-called "black" culture that her parents despised. For me it represents catchy tunes and melodies and great James Jamerson bass lines. For her it represents all that, plus youth and rebellion and god knows what else. I don't think you can ever really judge anything outside of your OWN cultural context, and because of that there's aspects of everything that I feel like, yes, you DID have to 'live through' in order to really grok it.

 

The real question is, why are we thinking this hard about video games? I feel like I've contributed to making this thread way too serious and I apologize. I DO recognize that video games have become a valid and important art-form and therefore, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see if I can pause the game at the right time so I can look up Chun-Li's skirt.

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Well, the original Legend of Zelda is what got me into retro gaming, I played it when I was 8 and I thought it was great. Now I'm 14. It has nothing to do with nostalgia for me. I discovered Zelda and the NES, then got into Ultima through Exodus and found CRPGs and the Apple II, which lead to the Commodore 64, my favorite platform. Somewhere along the line, I got into the 2600, which I also love.

 

It's funny, Exodus was one of the games that just totally immersed me and drove me to love gaming as a kid... even though I literally could NEVER get ANYWHERE in it. I bet Zelda did that for a lot of gamers too; it wasn't about the game mechanics, it was just that there was this whole entire world waiting for you. There was something magical about that.

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Retro games are timeless. Going forward, we probably won't have much access to anything beyond 8th gen due to DRM and the death of physical media. Unless CPU tech gets massively more advanced (and it seems silicone tech has hit a brick wall in terms of raw speed and computing power, besides throwing in more "cores"), 8th generation systems (and 7th gen besides Wii) will probably be notoriously hard to emulate. Android and iOS apps will be pirated/emulated to some extent, but not the core consoles.

 

The mobile revolution is dumbing down everything, with emphasis on being smaller and more efficient rather than bigger and more powerful. Looking back, retro gaming, whether by emulation or by real hardware, will likely be seen as a great era for some time to come. I even imagine people might study it in school as a form of Arts and Humanities, much like we read and reenact Shakespear plays to this day. Same with Classical music being presented by a live orchestra or prerecorded for mass consumption.

 

"Classical" games from the first seven or eight generations of video games spanning 30 years will likely have covered far more ground than we will in the next 200. That is something big. It is part of history. And the nostalgia machine will continue as future generations play and experience these games for the first time, just as the original gamers did.

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Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but I think we probably fundamentally agree on most of the concepts being discussed here, if for no other reason than the line "So we're all full of shit anyways, no?"

 

Because yup, we are! Entirely, totally, and thoroughly. All of us, really, when it comes to stuff like this and I think the world would be a much more enjoyable place if we all realized and accepted this.

 

I think my main point, to try to shorten it, is that cultural context and our own bullshit opinions need to be taken into account. I might enjoy Dragon Warrior 1, because I grew up with grindy RPGs with little plot. A kid born in 2000 might hate it because the whole idea of grinding being 80% of gameplay is stupid and foreign nowadays. Are we both right? Are we both wrong? Probably 'yes' to both questions.

 

But I appreciate, or at least accept, the game because I grew up with that stuff. Just like I probably have more of a positive opinion on grunge music because I lived through it and really enjoyed it, you probably have more of a negative opinion because of very similar, yet very opposite, reasons. I'm not saying that older stuff can't be appreciated if you didn't 'live through it,' just that 'living through it' has a very real impact on how you view it, and I don't think that's a bad thing. I love some Motown music, because it's great music. My Mom loves most Motown music, because it's great music, and because it was a cultural touchstone during her teen years that reminds her of her youth, and at the time represented a fundamental sense of rebellion against musical stereotypes and a sense of liberation and acceptance of so-called "black" culture that her parents despised. For me it represents catchy tunes and melodies and great James Jamerson bass lines. For her it represents all that, plus youth and rebellion and god knows what else. I don't think you can ever really judge anything outside of your OWN cultural context, and because of that there's aspects of everything that I feel like, yes, you DID have to 'live through' in order to really grok it.

 

The real question is, why are we thinking this hard about video games? I feel like I've contributed to making this thread way too serious and I apologize. I DO recognize that video games have become a valid and important art-form and therefore, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see if I can pause the game at the right time so I can look up Chun-Li's skirt.

 

My thought process is why does something like Nintendo or AC/DC get pigeonholed to one era when it continues on strong as ever to the modern day? Really, this is more of what I'm getting at because I think in the long term future, the world is gonna be a mixture of the times in terms of old and new art because all this stuff is so well preserved and readily available. That and history has always played a part in every generation to begin with. Already by the early 70s you had American Graffiti and all the movies that ripped it off paying homage to the 50s, essentially bringing those days to cultural significance of those (then) current times. Look at Guitar Hero, a massive cultural phenomena... with tons of music that came out before people playing the game were born. I think nostalgia, cultural significance, etc. can't be looked at as so cut and dry. A lot of us weren't around for the Civil Rights stuff in the 60s, but we can all 100% relate to what happened and that's why we would never want to go back on it. We have evolved into a more accepting society towards all, and that's awesome, but culturally we don't have a big event to stamp us in the history books. We're still very much a part of these progressive movements, though.

 

But yeah, my comparisons of music/movies to games is more of a timeline of how old games could be perceived and still played in the future. I think music and movies have a lot more significant cultural impact (I'm sorry to all those people out there who think video game stories are good) and speak volumes about the actual times a billion times more than video games. This is why, like I said above, I don't think it's so hard to replicate the 80s Atari experience. It was huge even in history, but they are just games, time passers, hobbies, it's for fun. It doesn't seem outrageous to me that someone can pretty accurately re-live what you would have done 30 years ago for a weekend listening to REO Speedwagon, playing Atari and watching Chuck Norris movies. It's like emulation vs. original hardware. It's so unimportant that it's a joke. The game is exactly the same.

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