I had a bit of a think a few days ago. This brief moment wasn’t about anything too deep but it did involve retro gaming (as quite often happens). I started to think about my attitude towards consoles & games back in the early 90’s & compared to today. So I thought I’d share it with you guys through one of my articles.
Article by Darren Cater
Back in the early 90’s (1990 to 1993) I had consistently moved forward (or sometimes side stepped) with computers & consoles. I had gone from my C64 & NES on to a Sega Master System (a side step there - but a good one) and then on to a Sega Megadrive before getting my Super Nintendo Street Fighter 2 bundle in 1993. Over these few years all I really wanted was the next big thing. I had 8-Bit machines in 1990 going into 1991, but I was desperate for some 16-bit action & got my Megadrive for Christmas 1991.
A few years later the hype for Street Fighter 2 along with the reviews made me desperate to get hold of the Super Nintendo cartridge along with the console to play it on. My mates were the same, we all tried to get our hands on what we could depending on the generosity of our parents as obviously we were kids & most of these things were usually birthday or Christmas presents.
The result of this was that come late 1993 I had a collection of consoles with a small collection of games for each machine, as games were expensive back then as they are today (excluding the Commodore 64 of course what with all the great budget labels).
Going back to my earlier statement about having a think. This is where I thought - “I could have built up my NES collection rather than getting a Master System” and “I could have built up a decent Megadrive collection rather than getting a Super Nintendo”.
Now these are all sensible thoughts from my older more mature self and I bet some of you reading this may have thought the same thing too. I guess we get older & hindsight is a wonderful thing, but when I was younger new technology in consoles was quite frequent in the 90’s & exciting whereas nowadays I have no urge to own a PS4 or Xbox One.
My son has a Wii U which I hardly play on and my brother-in-law also gave my son his old Xbox 360 which again I don’t really touch. Why you might ask? Well my interest is very much retro and being a working family man my time can be limited and retro fills up my spare time without throwing any current systems into the mix.
Nowadays I think about what I should be buying & trying to even out my different games collections. I consider which system I should be paying a bit more attention to and try not to ignore any of my other systems for too long. A more 'sensible gamer' some might say - or maybe a boring 'old fart 'to others! But I suppose when you really think about it your youth - it's when you chase after new things and experiences.
Thinking further about it though I wouldn’t want to change that first experience of playing Street Fighter 2 on my shiny new Super Nintendo or showing off my Megadrive to my mates during the Christmas Holidays of 1991.
All these systems hold good memories which is why I went out and bought them all over again to add to my now well established retro gaming room at home. If arcade machines hadn’t given me so many great memories (see my last article) I wouldn’t have added a modded Xbox to my collection to play those arcade favourites at home. To be honest I probably wouldn’t be writing this article.
In summary then my younger self strived for the new technology whereas now I look back at the old with fondness & an aim to collect as well as play. I think a bit more nowadays before I buy (most of the time) when back in the day I was spending my parents money most of the time so I was more interested in what I could get my hands on.
As an adult I have amassed a much larger collection of systems to play. My younger self would probably be very jealous.
So maybe I haven’t changed that much at all but I just think I have?
I guess I don’t worry about the new stuff anymore but there is still plenty of retro to buy when the bank balance allows me to. I guess I still want more stuff, but I’m just not as desperate as my younger teenage self was.
I could have done things differently (couldn’t we all) but what I did do was have fun which started the love affair that continues today with all those great games & systems. The love is still there but the habits have just changed slightly.
Article by Darren Cater