A Critique of Retro Gaming or Shut up and play something in colour.
Nerds like to reference things. When I was a kid, we would desperately try to work lines from Movies into conversations. The moment we got it out of our lips we would grin like idiots and look around seeing it anyone noticed. They always did.
Then, when I became an adult I did not, like my ancestors ‘put away childish things’ instead, I revelled in them. It’s an odd thing, the reverence of the past. I’m not sure it’s entirely healthy either.
I’m 39 years old as I write this and I have been casually obsessed with 80’s and 90’s media since, the 80’s and 90’s. I used to think that people loved the 80’s because it was a retro fix and nothing more.
It’s normal for any generation of people to enjoy the music, Movies and of their youth. Usually, when they hit their 50’s (ish) they get a little reluctant to experience new things and then bed down in the things that were cool when they were in their younger years. It’s not healthy but it is normal. Most people know that a fish has to keep swimming forward so it doesn’t die. People are basically just big land fish, and we have to emotionally swim to stay alive. Anyway, I digress.
The 80’s has proven to be oddly more attractive than simply being in the past like anyone else’s youth. It’s been embraced by people who weren’t born until it was long gone. I have satirically argued that culture peaked in the 80’s and has been getting shittier ever since. Thing is, the more I think about it the more it seems like it maybe an empirical fact.
I know, people reading this are now thinking that I’m being grumpy and old about it and am literally doing the aforementioned bedding into my past. But I’m honestly not. I’m a socially active person, I watch new things, play new games and I an constantly hungry for new ideas. I don’t feel like I’m slowing down or curling back into the 80’s but culture as a whole does seem to be obsessed with its own past. I have a few theories about this later in this post.
I should also take a moment to talk about nostalgia vs references. Most humans are nostalgic and quote movies they love, because they love them and the movies are in their brains. They like things that remind them of the comic books and games they play because they love them. The nostalgic leaks that they allow themselves to indulge in are referential as a side effect. Also, you may notice that it’s the classical Geek types that do this the most. Well, the reality is (and I speak from experience) the geeky kids watched these movies more than most because they had little else do to in a pre-internet world.
Here are my thoughts, in no specific order…