As my mind was wondering the other day I was thinking how we call this beloved passion retro gaming. Then Pat Contri and Ian Furgenson discussed this very topic on their CUPodcast. You may be asking yourself what is there to discuss? Though this has become the accepted term, is it accurate and honestly, does it even matter either way.
Merriam-Webster defines it as typically referring to styles and fashion of the past, their example being a… retro look, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retro . I think culturally we have adopted it when describing
anything revived from the past, e.g., retro games, retro toys, and retro
computers. However, retro does not specify how retro a
console or game might be. Being someone who loves cars, I began to think about
categorizing retro gaming in a similar fashion.
Cars tend to fall into three buckets, classic, vintage, and
Classic – 20 to 45 years old
Antique – Over 45 years old
Vintage – Over 90 years old
Looking at the consoles I grew up, North American released, 8-bit
and 16-bit cartridge systems, all but the Atari 2600 would fall in the Classic category
with the 2600 being an antique.
Atari 2600 – 49 years old
Atari 5200 – 39 years old
Atari 7800 – 35 years old
Sega Master System – 35 years old
NES – 36 years old
Sega Genesis – 32 years old
SNES – 30 years old
I think Pat and Ian brought up the car thing as well, and also
discussed ranking them similar to comics. I like using the above classifications
because I think these are more universally known and understood compared to the
designations for comic books (golden age, silver age, bronze age, and modern
If you managed to follow my ramblings to the end, excluding
the Atari 2600, we should call playing the NES, etc, Classic Gaming. So, I
guess I need to change my channel to MJClassicGamer or this blog to
ClassicGamerLife. That said, at the end of the day, it is what the community chooses, so
retro on my retro gaming family!