Why Do We Retro?

Apr 9, 2021 gaming retro life

Why do we retro? In this case my meaning is more specifically, why do we retro game? Why do we suffer the indignity of getting old games to work on older machines?

I highly suspect there is no one answer. No catch-all for this specific question. We, the retro-gamer live in a world filled with nostalgia, rose tints and memories of a life that was simply… better. Of course all those reasons are anecdotal at best but maybe that is the whole point of retro in general, in all aspects. If I wear old reading glasses or dress in vintage clothing it is the same as listening to music of a different generation. It speaks to us on very different levels and this changes across the vast spectrum of humanity and, in my humble opinion is why retro is important to all of us, or at least most of us. I would go so far to say that if you are a reader of this blog or not you will at some point look at something in the past and smile with recollection and this dear reader is why the above question is simply impossible.

If I take my own self, the only self I am actually qualified to contemplate then I would answer that I retro because it makes me feel safe. When I play retro-games I tempt myself back to a time that, in the moment, is a good place to be. I would equate it to being in a Cat Stevens song. There are sad moments but even those are a warm memory. There is the prospect of sorrow but one we are prepared for because we already lived it, we are here right now reliving those memories. We beat the game, the video game and the game of life and we can smile inwardly and outwards as we tackle one more level, one more course and godamn it feels good! We listen to recordings of the past and sing along, we read old fiction to get a glimpse of what we miss or what we wish we had missed and it makes us smile.

Those who did not live through that particular game, or generation can still re-live the experience and joy because we as humans are by our very nature empathic to others and their experiences. So when someone tells you that the kids will never experience… blah blah, tell them how wrong they are. Go one step further and show them how to pass on the joy of retro instead of gatekeeping an experience they only feel is for the entitled few.

So, back to the question. I answered. Now it is your turn. Why do you retro? What do you retro? Find me, tell me. I am sincerely interested.