Computers had made it into our living rooms, and although fans had their favourites – the thrust of Street Fighter, the platforms of Super Mario or the simplicity of Pacman – children and adults alike were hooked.The market for consoles has continued to grow over the decades as technology companies across the globe try to get their bite out of the gaming pie. But almost 20 years into the new millennium, passionate players are still looking back in time to find their fix. Mario caps Nintendo’s triumphant comeback
Hopes of a games arcade revival
“While there’s definitely an element of nostalgia, it’s important to recognise how well designed many of those classic games are,” said technology journalist and retro game collector KG Orphanides. “The developers had so little space to work with – your average Sega Mega Drive or SNES cartridge had a maximum capacity of just 4MB – and limited graphics and sound capabilities.” The average game now weighs in at 40GB.
Cheap but cheerful
But these limitations did not stop them from making some memorable games.
Gemma Wood, from Basingstoke, has never put her Nintendo GameCube in the loft – despite having it for more than 15 years. “I love it, in fact I was playing Mario Sunshine and Mario Kart Double Dash yesterday,” she said. “I really could not get on with the controls on the Wii [a more recent Nintendo console] and, with retro consoles, most of the games are cheap because they are second hand. “Newer consoles and their games are incredibly expensive. I understand that a lot of hard work has gone into the design etc, but how can anyone justify £50 to £60 for a game that you might not even enjoy?”For others, it is a chance to show their children the computer games they grew up with.
Howard Gardner, from south London, has revived his love of the Amstrad CPC and cannot wait to see the faces of his sons and daughter.
“Five years ago, when clearing out my uncle’s house, I found another CPC, restored it to working order and re-acquired some of my old favourite games from eBay – and a laughably outdated 3D modelling package,” he said.”I don’t get a whole lot of time to use it, but I plan to show the children the games I used to play and film a reaction video!” Gaming for all Whatever your reason for picking up an old joypad, you are not alone, and it is not just an activity to take part in on your own or with the family at home. There is now a huge community of retro gamers across the country who love to share their passion. The National Videogame Arcade, which opened in Nottingham in 2015, is a centre of all things gaming. It welcomes thousands of visitors every year and runs huge events to make the point that gaming is for everyone.