Coming up with a name for this blog was a struggle. A lot of what I originally thought of contained some version of the phrase “classic gaming.” The more I thought about this, the more I realized “classic gaming” is a bullshit term. As is “retro gaming.” Mainly because what counts as “retro” or “classic” is largely a generational thing. It can also lead to a bunch of twenty-somethings having a “back in my day” conversation, which is a fruitless and stupid enterprise.
Even people my age (I’m 24) have different opinions when it comes to classifying classic gaming. Not surprisngly, this is dictated by what system you could get your hands on as a kid. One of my close friends explained that his first prolonged exposure to video games happened when his family got a Nintendo 64, originally released stateside in fall of ’96.
He also told me he missed out on 8-bit gaming because he traded his mom’s NES with a bunch of games (complete with the NES Zapper!) for some Pokemon cards. As someone who works with kids who often have learning challenges, I try to avoid using the word retarded. But after telling me about this trade, I called him retarded like it was my goddamn job.
But these are my 8-bit and 16-bit childhood biases which are, again, dictated by the consoles I had access to as a kid.
Cool story. You should tell it at parties (read: don’t). So what?
I’m going to revist the 8-bit and 16-bit games from my childhood and see how they hold up. Historically, a lot of modern gaming conventions can be traced back to these formative years. I’ll be looking at the innovations these games were making with the hardware available at the time.
Naturally, I’m going to try and avoid looking at these games through rose-tinted nostalgia goggles, but no promises there.