Video games, Where I Read

Retro Gaming – What We’ve Learned So Far

So, I’ve been doing my “Where I Read” posts for a little over a month now – now for a brief review to go over a few things we’ve learned about the evolution of this magnificent (heh) hobby we call gaming, from the various magazines I’ve read. I’ll be be doing similar installments every few months, as the series (plural) go on.

As for now, here’s the first 3 things we’ve learned.

  1. Manufacturer’s change, Consoles change, Developers change, but Fanboys are forever: Pretty straightforward – throughout EGM’s run (and we’ll see similar things to come in GamePro, I suspect), we see fanboys wanting more coverage for their favorite system or, alternatively, less space for the competiations system because they think it sucks. While this passionate hatred became more visible during the 16-bit era, when Nintendo and Sega co-opted the vitriol (“Sega does what Nintendon’t”), it was going on well before then. I’ll need to do some research into it, but it’ll probably continue afterwards.
  2. If you make it and don’t publish a version stateside, they will import it: From the 8-bit era on, once magazines like EGM and GamePro started covering games in Japan, people wanted to start importing games, and they’d be willing to break off chunks of their consle and otherwise void their warranty to get it to work. Once we got region-locking on the CD-Rom systems (Sega-CD), users became willing to void the warrenty further and install mod chips. Once you’ve modded your Sega-CD, you’ve pretty much got the confidence to mod your Playstation, Playstation 2, and so on. Only recently have console manufacturers started to recognize this – specifically Sony, which doesn’t region lock PS3 games, and even if they did, Japan and the US share a region.
  3. Game critics will always be placed under high scrutiny: A corrolary of #1 – fanboys like their favorite system, or developer or designer. As time went on, a more and more vocal minority of game enthusiasts began crying foul when a game from their favorite system, developer or designer got poor scores, or something from a system, developer, or designer they don’t like gets good scores.  This one has become more of a big deal recently with Gerstmann-gate, but it’s gone on for quite some time.