Classic video games and retro consoles are all the rage once again — think Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Super Mario Brothers. So what’s the appeal?
Gen-Xers were the first generation of kids to grow up with video games in their homes. What used to be a special trip to the arcade or pizza joint became a fun, daily habit. Now that these kids are middle aged, video games are no longer seen as just kids’ stuff; they’re just another fun way to relax, like watching Netflix or doing puzzles. (Cut to 30 years from now, and we’ll likely see game consoles in seniors’ homes!)
These ’70s kids are now running big electronic and tech companies, and they are reliving their childhoods by reviving their favourite old video games and consoles, and designing retro-style games for modern systems.
Why Classic Video Games Have Made a Comeback
1. They’re Akin to Art
You read To Kill a Mockingbird in school, right? Your parents probably did, too. Over time, quality art and media endure and are enjoyed by generation after generation. So why not video games? Many people now see a well-designed video game as a legitimate piece of art. Think of Pac-Man as the video game equivalent of The Great Gatsby.
2. They’re Easy to Play
While most popular modern games have a steep learning curve with their complicated controls and multi-layered plots, older video games are tailor-made for bite-size gaming sessions.
In modern games, you spend a lot of time just learning which button does what, scrolling through multiple functions and views, managing a huge weapons arsenal, or stopping to search through a massive inventory. In a retro game, all you really need to learn is how to go up, down, forward, backward, and jump. Maybe throw in an A or a B button if you want to get really fancy.
3. They Bring Higher Stakes
Modern gaming systems have loads of memory, so there is room for saving game checkpoints. If your character dies, you can just go back to a checkpoint and keep playing pretty much where you left off.
Retro games didn’t have that capacity for saving, so players only had a few chances to complete the game. Blow those chances and you’re forced to go back to the beginning. With higher stakes, bragging rights about levelling up are about skill and endurance, which appeals to many gamers’ competitive sides.
4. They’re Oh-So Nostalgic
Nostalgia is another strong appeal for retro video games. Sure, getting the newest, hottest game on the market is fun, but there’s nothing like re-living that feeling of being in your pyjamas on the carpet in front of the TV, eating cereal while battling a barrel-tossing gorilla. Feeling like a kid again can be worth a hundred Fortnite victory dances.
If you’re interested in picking up where you left off 30 years ago, or introducing your kids to your favourite video games, London Drugs has some great gaming options to fuel your nostalgia.