Is Retro Gaming Just All About Nostalgia?
Recently, the game industry seems to be experiencing a surge in gamers playing older games. In fact, this has been going on in the background through the years that the activity has been coined as retro-gaming and playing old-style retro-games.
The main reason being pointed out as the culprit for the phenomenon is nostalgia or the older generation simply wanting to re-live their past by playing the old games which makes one remember one's younger days spending hours and hours of fun playing video and computer games.
It may be true for them but then, it doesn't seem that nostalgia is the real and only reason why gamers play old games because younger and younger gamers are finding it fun and entertaining to play these so-called retro-games. Unlike the seniors, the younger generation does not have the nostalgia to fall back on and yet they still keep playing the good old games. With that in mind, let's examine some other probable reasons as to why a gamer (regardless of one's age) would enjoy playing retro-games.
To begin with, retro-games have the creativity of gameplay to address the limitation of the then-current technology.
Older games relied more on creativity and innovative gameplay to keep the player immersed as graphics and sound were severely limited at the time. They didn't have the hardware required to create the super jazzed-up in realism AAA titles that we have today. The gameplay mechanics have to be a match for the game design which is not dependent on higher technology to be fun to the user or player. Even with the limitations of the time, game developers were able to make their games addictive as can be for gamers to play.
Many of the current games are 3D based and rely on an actually dated game design concept. This makes even the newer games redundant with that particular 3D design issue as to why many gamers are looking back to the old games to experience and enjoy the varied forms of game design and gameplay mechanics which are only possible with games relying on the designs of that era. 2D games for example present a totally different game mechanic in so many different ways that 3D realistic simulation games lack. Gamers are just looking for something new in the gameplay which they ironically find in the old retro-games.
Many retro-games are loads of Fun.
As mentioned, nostalgia is a strong factor for older gamers to go back to retro-gaming and re-live their past. However, many today who play retro-games are of the younger generation. Again, they cannot use nostalgia as a reason, and yet they keep playing retro-games for the simple reason that they get immersed playing them good ol' games.
Many retro-games deliver a good quality of experience.
There are so-called outdated movies and Music that people continue to watch and listen to. Like in this day and age there are still a lot of people jiving to the tunes of the Beatles or watching such classics like "An Affair to Remember" with actors, singers and performers all long gone. A mention of Audrey Hepburn is enough to peak the emotion of many an old film aficionado and start humming Moon River. Nostalgia may play a big part in it, yet many fans were born much later after Ms. Hepburn's career and when they see her movies they learn to appreciate and get glued to them. These may be old films but the quality that Audrey Hepburn presented in those movies is gold and that is what her fans of today are after. Place this in the light of retro-games and you will see that many of these old-school games just like Audrey Hepburn are gold.
Retro-Games are usually simple to play.
Newer contemporary games use game designs and technologies that have been built up through the years of the gaming industry. As such, they have become a lot more sophisticated in order to deliver the much-touted realistic factor in gameplay. With the sophistication in graphics and sound quality, developers had to upgrade the game mechanics and the overall design in order for all the pieces to fit and match together.
Usually, there are now many things to take into account when playing or experiencing a game like a myriad of options to choose from or controls to adjust. However, this may take out the fun for the newer gamers who just simply want to have some immediate good gratifying entertainment. Flying a plane in old arcade games simply relied on simple controls. Press this, push that and you are already flying in the game.
As games became more sophisticated, so many features and needs were added to simply fly a plane in a game. You are now looking at near realistic cockpit controls of a WW2 P-51 Mustang or the super sophisticated controls of an F-18 Hornet. For one, you just can't fly and shoot without knowing what you're looking at. With old games, you're already up in the air in the midst of combat.
Retro Games require a more personal interaction for multi-player gameplay.
One endearing feature of the old game consoles like Intellivision, Atari 2600, Nintendo Famicom and others of the era was that it provided a personal multi-player option. Usually, it was limited to two controllers but then you could play with someone in two-player mode. This provided a social interaction feature for family and friends as there was no online option at the time.
Today, though the advanced X-box and PlayStation consoles do provide a multi-player mode, most players end up playing on-line. Playing via the internet, though there is a social factor involved, lacks the personal touch of having to play a game with someone seated close or next to you. In most online games, you barely know the person so it isn't as personal that if you screw someone around with your trash-talk, the person can simply stand up, move over to you and give you the upper-cut you deserve.
This made retro-gaming way more lots of fun.
Retro-Games surprisingly have more in terms of longevity.
The thing about Retro-Games is that they are still around in one form or another. Whether you are still able to buy an old functioning game console and some old games that work with it, you can have access to some retro-gaming fun. Another option would be to run emulators on your current PC and download the old games from archive sites that still carry them. DosBox alone has a gamut of available retro-games that it can run and you can still enjoy today. Nowadays, many new titles are multi-player based and run online via servers. The disadvantage is that when the game is no longer popular and the servers no longer operate, the game practically disappears. An old game will always be there and available if one knows how to find it.
There are probably more reasons as to why a gamer should choose to play retro-games but by examining the reasons given above, we can then conclude that nostalgia despite playing a huge part in retro-gaming is not all to blame for the retro-gaming craze computer and video gamers are experiencing nowadays.