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Old Timers – Casual Gaming Column Introduction

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Casual Retro Gaming

Alright… um, welcome to the first LazyGamer Casual Gaming column. I’m Matthew Vice, formerly the editor of Play Tech Magazine and gaming editor for Otaku Magazine. I work for LazyGamer now, and rather than providing you with more news, seeing as how we have a number of members who are far better at that than I am, my job is to provide you with interesting and entertaining features.

The reason we created this column was, firstly, to give LazyGamer readers something interesting – but not too drawn-out – to read, and secondly to discuss issues regarding gaming in general. I’ve been a gamer since damn near the beginning, and the first game I ever played was Space Invaders. I’ve loved video and computer games of all types for as long as I can remember, and I’ve never been the type to champion only one platform… OK, well, except for a small stint in my teens when I believed that PCs were some transcendent gaming platform. But I got over that quickly.

So what will we discuss here? Well, just about anything gaming related, as I mentioned before. I’ll try my best to come up with something pertinent, or not so pertinent, every week. If you have any suggestions about something you’d like to hear discussed, I’m always open to ideas.

It mystifies some younger gamers how some of us older gamers can still play Excite Bike.

This time round, I got my inspiration from the first few Retro Gaming columns I wrote not a few hours ago. I’m going to talk about old-school gamers. You know what I mean? The old fogeys, like me, who have been around since the dawn of gaming and constantly harp on about the “good old days.” The question I have is: were the good old days really that good? We’re fond of telling the younglings, kids who only started gaming when the term “pixel shader” was commonly heard on school playgrounds, that they don’t know what they’re missing, or that they’ve got no room to talk because they haven’t played the previous 15 titles in the series. I’m sure that annoys them, and I think that might be part of the pleasure we derive from it; but doesn’t that kind of remind you of your grandparents, constantly telling you to stop listening to this awful rock/punk/rap/rave music and get a dose of some real, classical music for a change?

I know it’s fun for us old-school retro gamers to play our old favourites again and again – after all, we grew up with these games, so we’re used to the limitations. But what about younger gamers? Is it fun for them to go from playing a game at 720p with pixel shaders, HDR, bloomed lighting, rag-doll physics and multiple real-time shadows on each object to a game running in 320×200 resolution with 4 colours and PC speaker bleeps for sound? For them, it might be like when our well-meaning grandparents took us outside and drew lines in the sand with sticks to teach us how to play hopscotch when all we wanted to do was get back in front of the TV so we could bust some more skulls in Double Dragon.

Double Dragon can be considered a distant ancestor of games like Devil May Cry.

Your thoughts?

Last Updated: March 12, 2009

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