On the eve of the next generation of video game systems PS4 and XBox One, I find it ironic that you can talk to most video gamers and at some point you almost always start talking about playing games on older systems. I was fortunate enough over the weekend to join the SC3 the Southern California Classic Collectors group that had it’s “meeting” at one of the members Steven’s house in Claremont. Not only were there classic consoles set up to play such as Vectrex, Sega Saturn, TurboGrafx 16, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Atari 2600 and many others. But Steve collects arcade machines and they were set up free play at the party. There were people who brought games and systems to sell or trade and there was a raffle from gamegavel.com where the grand prize was a Vectrex system.
While talking to many attendees it was very interesting that there were discussions of the new systems, there is something about playing older games that still give just as much excitement as they did back in the day. While I admit that this group is definitely skewed towards the older systems it was interesting to find out why. I was talking to one lady who had just gotten an Atari 2600 for the first time from her grandmother and was discovering the games for the first time and was really falling in love with it. While a number in the group are from the first generations of video game systems there were a lot of the newer generation that was just as excited to play the older games as I was. The best part was some very young kids who waited in line to play the Atari Super Sprint and would not stop playing. I found it quite fascinating that even though game systems get more advanced that you can have just as much fun in playing Donkey Kong or Tempest as a new PS3 game. I think that as game get more advanced they don’t create the same type of magic as 8 bit games and other older generation games do. Don’t get me wrong I love playing games like Uncharted 3, Batman Arkham City, and The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, but why is it we can always go back to older game and still enjoy them? Maybe game have become too advanced now days.
The great thing about collecting video game is that you still get to play them. I have most of the consoles that have been made and while I don’t necessarily play them all of the time, I still get that rush of firing up an old system and having just as much fun if not more than playing a newer game. Maybe some people are now discovering classic games because of Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph that had many classic game characters in it. like Q*Bert and Pac-Man. Disney even made the game from the movie Fix It Felix Jr. into real arcade games that you can play at StarCade in Disneyland.
Some publishers are discovering that people really like older video games and have put out collections like Midway Arcade Origins for the PS3 that includes games from Atari, Williams and Midway. Other companies have them as downloadable games like the new HD remastered Duck Tales or the reissue of the Simpson’s Arcade game and have become big sellers. Even pinball has a new life thanks to the Pinball Arcade that recreates licensed tables from the big manufactures like Gottlieb, Williams, Bally and Stern. While emulations sadly do not recreate the atmosphere of going to an arcade, it does allow new generations of gamers learn and discover that if it wasn’t for the early days of arcade and console games that we wouldn’t have the game and systems of today.
As a special bonus I am including pictures from the SC3 event. Some are a bit on the dark side because I didn’t want to use the flash to distract people from enjoying their gameplay. I have included links to the internet database for the machines so you can learn more about them. Just click on the name and it should take to the machines specs. Enjoy!