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The Rising Popularity of Retro Video Games

Arts & Entertainment

By Daryl L. Monreau

Over the years, it has been debated in various forums and media outlets that retro video games start with the 16 bit era and earlier. The Nintendo Entertainment system is believed by many to be the quintessential game system of the 1980’s and early 90’s. Many magazine publishers have covered modern games being influenced by games that originated from NES console games.  Other consoles of the 16 bit era also had an influence in new generation gaming such as the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The increasing popularity of retro video games is good because it stimulates the local and national economy, which will create more jobs and expand the video game market.

People are playing and collecting games that are 20 years and older. The games are obsolete and are no longer made, so the value is going up consistently every year that passes. The used market is dwindling and the popularity is growing, causing very high demand for certain games and consoles with limited existing supply. The remedy for the problem was for aftermarket companies to release emulation consoles that can play original game cartridges from the 8 bit and 16 bit era. This has caused a surge of casual players to get into retro gaming with the affordable emulation consoles. FC twin console is a NES and SNES top loader emulation console that has a price of around 50 dollars brand new. The emulator can play either NES or SNES games with a button that allows the player to choose which game system he or she wants to play. There are also “Atari 2600 Flashback” and “Intellivision Flashback” emulator consoles that have multiple games loaded in the console ready to play on television.

Many gamers are looking at modern technology to play retro games such as emulators on their personal computer that can emulate any console in the last 40 years. There are also many homebrew games that have and are being made using technology limitations of NES and SNES cartridges. Some modern game companies such as Electronic Arts and Activision have released arcade and classic game remakes that have a modern twist to appeal to both new and old school gamers. An example is someone who is an old school gamer might like playing a 2D third person shooter and a new generation gamer might like a high definition 3D first person shooter. Often those game companies will blend both styles of games to appeal to both types of gamers. A great website to get information on homebrews and reproduction games is retrocollect.

Game companies also host tournaments with classic fighter games such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. The winners of these tournaments win money and other prizes and are posted online and gaming channels for the world to see. The popularity of these tournaments has become a major influence on new release titles that are remade every few years.  Another popular trend is marathon speed runs such as Games Done Quick, in which the player uses glitches in a new or classic game to beat the game faster than it was intended to be beaten. The results are recorded live in front of millions of people on YouTube and money raised goes to important causes such as the Prevent Cancer Foundation and other  major charities.

In conclusion it can be widely agreed by many that the future of modern video gaming will continue to have retro games influencing its ideas and keep a following of loyal gamers buying future game releases.

Header photo by Dirk Knight (flickr creative commons license)

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