I fear for the future of gaming sometimes. I really do. Just like we’re all required to read literature classics in high school, we should all encourage younger gamers to play arcade and NES games. It allows the legacy to live on.
As a self proclaimed nerd, I do reddit. I’m noticing more and more that these younger gamers have a slight hatred towards retro games. There’s not enough blood or violence or the graphics aren’t good enough. I shouldn’t be feeling old at 23 when I remember how violent and bloody Mortal Kombat was when it came out. I remember my mother banning me from this game and later sneaking over to my neighbor’s house to play it. Has the culture of gaming really been passed on to fifteen year old twats who teabag every soldier they kill?
Those of us who do remember how difficult Pacman was are lucky. I was born a couple years after Super Mario Bros. for the NES was released, but I was lucky enough to play every Mario game since. I may have a huge bias towards Nintendo (at least I admit it), but that’s because I enjoyed the simplicity of these games. I remember the frustration of getting a game over in World 4-1 and having to start back at World 1-1. Things weren’t as easy. I thank God for respawning in games like Halo, but sometimes I feel like my skill isn’t developing as much as I’d like it to. I like to think that I got good at Mario because I played World 8-3 a million times before I finally got to the castle.
No one can take that feeling of achievement away. That final moment of success when you’ve realized that all your hard work has finally paid off. I still get that in a few games today, but I have yet to find a platformer as satisfying as Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda.
We saw those games fade away; then the internet happened. All of a sudden we could relive our best childhood moments. It was glorious, and then it was heavenly when we discovered what a save state was with emulators. All of these games are accessible to anyone with a computer. This up and coming generation should examine the roots of games like Call of Duty by playing Doom. These older games are classics because they are a work of art in their own way. Hipsters may be taking it to the next level, but they are appreciating a fantastic era.
I’m not saying that these classics are better than newer classics like Portal, but we call these games classics for their legacy. If I could give a message to all these younger gamers, it’d be this: give these games a chance, learning how far we’ve come in gaming technology is half the fun. If anything, we can all laugh at how pixelated the older games are compared to now. You should probably get on that too before SOPA passes. One day you’ll be having the same problems. The games we have right now are already awesome, so why not try something different?