Did you have to be there

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

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sparky
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Did you have to be there

Post by sparky » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:55 am

It's a question I asked on another forum.

I was wondering if I would feel the same way about retro if I hadn't been part of the mid to late 70's and the exhillarating explosive 80's.

The 80's was a decade that seemed to shape so much, especially with the launch of the Spectrum and C64.

So, did you have to be there to experience it first hand :?:

or maybe Emulators allow people to see what it was like.

Be nice to know how the excitement compares now compared to back then.

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Mayhem
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Post by Mayhem » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:09 am

You can taste what it was like via emulation and the such, but no, imo you had to be there to fully see what impact the old machines (C64, Speccy, 2600 etc) had on the video gaming world in the same way that the current set do.

Generally I find the only young people getting into retro (ie. before the 90s) are either those who have parents who were into it, got a retro console after it was on the way out (look at the sudden bout of new C64 enthusiasts in the early 90s and then again in the mid 90s) or are actually curious enough to see where videogames began as opposed to just being into the latest yearly sports shovelware, racing games where doing up your car is more important than the actual racing, and anything solely involving violence and blood.

(not that I don't, but I don't limit myself to only playing those games!)
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LeeT
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Post by LeeT » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:11 am

I do think that you had to be there - For example, my girlfriend owned a C64 in the early 90's (when she was still very young) and mostly got into gaming through the MegaDrive. So she isn't very interested if she sees me playing C64 games, but if I fire up a MegaDrive emulator, she will happily show me how to get through Sonic 2 quite easily!

Of course there is the odd exception - Soemtimes at Lemon64, a 16 yr old will register and say that he has just got into the C64, usually through parents previously owning one.

But I do think its a case of 'you had to be there' for the most part.

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:26 am

I think there was also a wonderful innocence in games, which has largely been lost. People didn't care that traffic was all driving in the same direction in OutRun—it just did. These days, people clamour for what they think is realism (which, in fact, is a kind of faux realism largely based on television—PES is not like playing football, but it is kind of like watching it on TV), which means anything imaginative is almost always discarded. Witness all the halfwits who complained that OutRun 2 wasn't "realistic" and that you "can't drive like that in real life". Yes, I know! That's why it's a VIDEO GAME, you idiots! And, for the record, your Generic Racer VII's physics aren't actually "realistic" anyway.

Back in the day, none of this mattered. So, yes, you pretty much had to be there
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necronom
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Post by necronom » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:18 am

I agree, you had to be there to fully appreciate the games. Anyone these days playing the C64 versions of Ghostbusters or Impossible Mission cannot really understand how amazing it was to hear the speech and see the amazing animation of the IM character.

Same with the music. When I first saw a C64 at a friends house and heard the Aztec Challenge music, I knew at that moment I HAD to get a C64. I was amazed by the sound.

I remember getting things like Summer Games and thinking that the graphics were fantastic and playing Uridium, Paradroid, The Eidolon or Mercenary. These were very impressive at the time (in different ways) and if people put them on now without ever seeing them before, wouldn't appreciate their greatness.

It's the same with 80's music. I was having a dicussion in the office a few months ago and people under a certain age didn't like 80's music, but almost all that are about my age (34) loved it.

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Post by Morkin » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:22 am

I think you definitely had to be there. Emulation is great, but it never offers the full experience of actually being there.

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andy vaisey
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Post by andy vaisey » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:58 pm

You had to be there! You can appreciate the games/scene/hardware/etc, but never have the full feeling.

A bit like a concert - if you see it live, you soak up the atmosphere and "live" the experience, but if you see it on DVD you can enjoy it but it's never the same...

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Post by Morkin » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:06 pm

Talking of concerts, I always wished that I went with my brother to see Queen at Wembley. :cry:

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Jakeway
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Post by Jakeway » Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:31 pm

Well seems I am younger than most of you guys. The NES was MY first console and the Xmas I ripped open the box was one of my happiest. As was the birthday a few years later when I got Super Mario Brothers 3 (remember the TV advert?) I still have the NES Box, rips and all, its part of my life history and I love it.
Before the NES I had played on the Spectrum but I don’t really remember it very well. My only memory of playing it (back in the day) is waiting (for what seemed like hours) to play a light gun game. I can’t even remember what light gun game it was, but the load screen was black and blue… it might have been clay shooting? As a result I don’t have much love for the Spectrum.

So YES, I’d say you had to be there, I cant see how you can enjoy most of these old games without the memories you had as a kid. I have always had an urged to buy a Spectrum, but have never done so yet.


When the NES GBA first came out, I over herd some kids talking about how they used to love the NES and its games, Mario and Donkey Kong etc. Now these kids must have been about 12 to 14, there is no way they were old enough to really remember the console in its life time. Yet they were talking about it as if they were there. They seemed happy enough, but was it a false happiness I wondered…
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Ash
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Post by Ash » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:08 pm

Of course you didn't have to be there! Did you have to be alive in 1954 to enjoy watching Rear Window? NO Did you have to be there when Romeo + Juliet was first performed to love it? NO

The whole point of a magazine like Retro Gamer (in my opinion) is to get younger people to take an interest in the games they weren't here to enjoy the first time around. To suggest that you have to be of a certain age to appreciate older games is pure elitism to be honest.

I guess it comes down to the nostalgia versus gameplay debate: some people are into retro for the memories and some are in it to learn and experience overlooked gems. I'm in the latter camp...but then I am under 30 so what do I know?

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andy vaisey
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Post by andy vaisey » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:34 pm

Ash wrote:Of course you didn't have to be there! Did you have to be alive in 1954 to enjoy watching Rear Window?
I appreciate your stance but, I'm a big music fan and while I love the Beatles and appreciate the music and the impression it made, I could never understand what it means to be part of "Beatle-mania" and the atmosphere it generated beacuse I wasn't alive to experience it! I just see the results in videos, documentaries and the like.

As for your film, you enjoy it because of the same reason I enjoy my old music - because it's damn good stuff (I prefer "Dial M for Murder", by the way) just like lots of old games are good!

But I don't think that just enjoying old games, or old whatever, is quite the same as being their when it happened the first time.

I dunno... maybe I'm not explaining myself well. I'm not being elitist, I just have old, fond, personal memories that other people, who have only just discovered retro gaming/computers/consoles/whatever, will never have no matter how many games they play.

And isn't that a little part of what retro is? Memories...?

I'm sorry, I don't want an argument and this is possibly the longest post I have ever written on any forum ever. That's just how I see things. Obviously, as with everything is this world, other peoples mileage may vary... 8)

But I do agree that younger people should be encouraged to experience older stuff - it's called learning.

The Universal
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Post by The Universal » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:38 pm

I think you did have to be there, so many game memories are tinged with memories of the people that we shared the games with, secret codes we put into hi score tables, girlfriends, rites of passage etc. Ive actually been speaking to Darran about this a lot lately, hes yet to be convinced mind. I Robot plays okay now, but seeing it in an arcade in its day, it was imtimidating. And for all the home conversions playing hang on or space harrier in an arcade when the sound was maxed and it was going to draw attention took a certain amount of bravado, getting in or on the cabinet was a huge commitment, because a crowd would always gather, Kudos or embarrasment could follow. (Not the same as the nipper's "what ya playing?") when mame fills the screen.

Rear Window is a vague analogy, watching it today most of us know the history of the actors, the director, what went before, where it stood and what came after. This obviously provides us with a context for it. Something many games lack
Just where is Mickey T?

The Universal
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Post by The Universal » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:44 pm

Have a read of this, I firmly believe this is what Retro means to must of us, love it hate it, let me know what you think. Forgive typos and grammar;)

Two twelve year olds are walking home from the bus stop
“My legs are killing meâ€
Just where is Mickey T?

The Universal
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Post by The Universal » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:47 pm

He glances at the portables screen, its black. Its obvious to him now, his dad has taken the tape before it finished loading.
“You busy boy?â€
Just where is Mickey T?

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Jakeway
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Post by Jakeway » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:30 pm

Nice Story The Universal… but bloody long.

Ash, Hello, I am also under 30 too, under 25 even!
I bet my older brother enjoyed Star Wars far more then I did, and I bet my Dad enjoyed Rebel Without A Cause far more than I did. It was part of their growing up… their generation.

Anyway, Games are not like films, there are technical boundaries that hinder almost every aspect of a game, from the atmosphere to the way the story is told. Do you still find Resident Evil on the PlayStation as scary now as you did back then? And the older it gets the more of that atmosphere fades. Another thing (and I hate to say this) But the graphics at the time added an extra layer of excitement to it.

Also your mind set changes the older you get, I must say I don’t enjoy games as much as I did when I was 10, I don’t get half as excited anymore, and real life pulls me away from the games far more… ho hum…
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