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Retro Are you old school? Talk about legacy games.

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Old August 31, 2012
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Gaming About Retrogaming

Retrogaming, also known as old-school gaming, is the hobby of playing and collecting older personal computer, console, and arcade video games. These games are played either on the original hardware, on modern hardware via emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations. Participants in the hobby are sometimes known as retro gamers in the United Kingdom, while the terms classic gamers, or old school gamers are more prevalent in the United States. Similarly, the games are known as retro games, classic games, or old-school games.

Retrogaming is often linked to, although not the same as, indie gaming (the hobby of playing games that are not published by any conventional publisher). Additionally, the term old-school could apply to a newer game, but with features similar to those of older games, such as "old-school RPGs".


Among the most popular retro games are those produced by the 1980s and 1990s. They include video games for systems and consoles such as the Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Super NES, Gameboy, PlayStation, and Nintendo 64. Personal computer games for the Commodore 64, MSX, ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, NEC PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, FM-7 and DOS platforms were also made. Arcade games are also popular, especially early games by Konami, Sega, Atari, Taito, Williams Electronics, Namco, Nintendo, Technos, Capcom, and SNK. Games in this era were frequently attributed to individual programmers, and many retro gamers seek out games by particular developers, such as Tomohiro Nishikado, Shigeru Miyamoto, Shigesato Itoi, Bill Williams, Eugene Jarvis, Dave Theurer, Nasir Gebelli, Yuji Naka, Jeff Minter, Yuji Horii, Yu Suzuki, Tony Crowther, Andrew Braybrook, Hideo Kojima, and Hironobu Sakaguchi. Some games are played on the original hardware; others are played through emulation, and in some cases, entirely new versions of the games are written (so-called "retro remakes"). As well as playing games, a subculture of retrogaming has grown up around the music in retro games.

Modern retro

In the wake of increasing nostalgia and the success of retro-compilations in the sixth and seventh generations of consoles, retro gaming has become a motif in modern games, as well. Modern Retro games will impose limitations on color palette, resolution, and memory well below the actual limits of the hardware to mimic the look of older hardware. These may be based on a general concept of retro, as with Cave Story, or an attempt to imitate a specific piece of hardware (as with La Mulana and its MSX color palette).

Modern retrogaming began to gain traction thanks in part to the independent gaming scene, where the short development time was attractive and commercial viability was not a concern. More recently major publishers have started to embrace modern retro with releases like Mega Man 9 (an attempt to mimic NES hardware), Retro Game Challenge (a compilation of new games on faux-NES hardware), and Sega's Fantasy Zone II remake, which actually used emulated System 16 hardware running on PlayStation 2 to create a 16-bit reimagining of the 8-bit original.

Modern retro may sometimes be more broadly applied to games that feature retro-style designs with more modern graphics, like Pac-Man: Championship Edition, Space Invaders Extreme, or 3D Dot Game Heroes.

The nostalgia-based revival of older game styles has also been accompanied by the development of the modern chiptune genre of game music. Chiptunes are characterized by severe limitations of sound imposed by the author's self-restriction to using only the original sound chips from 8-bit or 16-bit games. These compositions feature in many retro-style modern games and are popular in the demoscene.

Retrogaming Culture

With the hobby of collecting older video games comes a culture that includes magazines like Retro Gamer, online newsletters like Retrogaming Times Monthly, websites like Racketboy, podcasts such as RetroGaming Roundup, and expos, like Classic Gaming Expo, in addition to numerous videos, songs, forums, etc.

References: Retrogaming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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