The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
kknd
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It's okay to be you..

by kknd Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:12 am

Would you be surprised to learn that people cop a bit of flack here or there for collecting retro gaming stuff? Probably not. It’s one of those hobbies that from time to time draws negative attention and no small amount of snickering from the crowd.

A bit like collecting toasters or shrunken heads.


Now that I think of it collecting shrunken heads probably wouldn’t net you any bad reactions because people would be too afraid that you’d visit them in the middle of the night, chop of their head and shrink it, thereby adding a new item to your collection and depriving them of their head.

Unfortunately collecting old gaming cartridges presents no such threat to the general population, so they’ll often feel free to throw in a few verbal jabs – good natured or otherwise. Don’t stress though, it’s just a case of simple ignorance. Collecting retro or vintage video gaming paraphernalia is actually a noble endeavor, with a respectful nod to a noble art-form. I own 23 consoles and God knows how many games, and every single one of them is a landmark piece of history. The evolution of gaming is the intricate story of humanities foremost interactive art form. It is the tale of countless designers, artists, pioneers and entrepreneurs and every machine collected is another piece of the storytelling. The diversity of system designs and alternative approaches to the same basic premise of providing digital entertainment to the masses creates a collecting hobby that’s near infinite in its variety and depth.

What other form of collection allows you to actually engage the collected items in a meaningful way? I can’t play coins, stamps or pez dispensers. I suppose I could make up some kind of game with stamps, flip them upside down and try to guess which stamp was which underneath, but that’s just creepy and sad – and likely (in conjunction with dressing up like a Clown and spying on people from their attics) to get me locked up for life.

When you collect video game systems, you get to enjoy them beyond a static item on the shelf. You get to power them up, chuck a game in and get lost in a piece of history. When you get your game on with a NES, Master System or Intellivision, you’re able to recreate the same sounds, images and feelings of the era the game was released in. That’s powerful.

But beyond how cool it is to collect something you can use and have fun with, the most important thing to remember is where we started this conversation, that gaming – all gaming – is a noble art form. Up there with Film, Theatre and any other art form you care to mention, gaming is a finely honed form of human expression. Collecting pieces of that art form, doing something to preserve and capture the long and inspired road from the first archaic gaming systems to todays high definition powerhouses, well – that’s something special.

And if – for some reason – it’s not your thing, that’s okay, there’s always collecting shrunken heads.
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Retro Gaming & Self Indulgent Musings @ http://mygurumeditation.wordpress.com
Ivo
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by Ivo Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:58 am

People should not care so much about what other random people think about them or about what they do.

It is a pity that there are so many judgemental people out there that think negatively of someone else for the most ridiculous reasons (such as "he collects old videogames", as if that was a character flaw). But they are out there so just do what you want to do and let the others make the remarks they want to make - well don't do what you want to do if, for example, that involves severing people's heads :) The shrinking is not the problem there, incidentally ;)

Also, there are plenty other collections that can be "interacted" it and enjoyed - it's not like video games are the only kind of games.

Ivo.
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by AppleQueso Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:39 am

I have never gotten flack for collecting anything.
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BRIK
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by BRIK Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:45 am

People seem to instantly dismiss retro games because the graphics aren't comparable to the COD's and GTA's of today. I think this is extremely vain, kinda like not talking to someone just because you think they're ugly.
Fuck graphics, I guess we all have our reasons why we choose to play retro games. Mine are because the gameplay is not comparable to the newer, mainstream struck games of today.
Last edited by BRIK on Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Retro Game On << Please check out my retro gaming blog. Includes reviews, news, articles, videos and just plain awesomeness.

Retro Game On's YouTube Channel << Featuring reviews, features and repair videos.

Breaking Into The Industry <<Also my development blog (with video game related posts)
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by o.pwuaioc Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:47 am

BRIK wrote:People seem to instantly dismiss retro games because the graphics aren't comparable to the COD's and GTA's of today. I think this is extremely vain, kinda like not talking to someone just because you think they're ugly.
Fuck graphics, I guess we all have our reasons why we choose to play retro games. Mine are because the gameplay is not comparable to the newer, mainstream stuck games of today.

I'm not sure I want to compare retro games with good gameplay to ugly girls who are good at foreplay. Or did I read too much into that. :P

I've never received any flack either, but I have encountered many who don't get it.
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by AppleQueso Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:50 am

Actually I think the closest I've gotten to 'flack' is getting an occasional 'why don't you just emulate/download' kind of question. I just say I'd rather have physical items. Whether they think that's a good answer or not, they usually don't bug me about it.
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BRIK
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by BRIK Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:55 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:Or did I read too much into that. :P


Hahaha I think you did.
Interestingly enough some of the people who did think it was a bit weird thought they were absolutely brilliant after giving them a chance.
Retro Game On << Please check out my retro gaming blog. Includes reviews, news, articles, videos and just plain awesomeness.

Retro Game On's YouTube Channel << Featuring reviews, features and repair videos.

Breaking Into The Industry <<Also my development blog (with video game related posts)
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Bradtemple87
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by Bradtemple87 Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:42 pm

Most of my friends are impressed with my collection and vast gaming knowledge. Years ago I told myself I have nothing to hide and have always been proud of this hobby. I say if people don't understand it and give you a hard time, then say screw 'em!
MY Sale/Trade Thread
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by RyaNtheSlayA Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Heh, I've never gotten any real flack for it. Some friends have thrown good natured jabs at it, however, most are/were quite impressed with my collection. That said I don't really care what people think about my gaming hobby.
I'm still not sure whether I'm a kid or a squid now.
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Czernobog
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Re: It's okay to be you..

by Czernobog Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:44 pm

I haven't really received any flack for it either. Actually, most of my friends seem to consider it really fascinating and often enjoy trying out my older games. I actually have a few friends who have become really fond of the Turbografx-16 because they had never experienced it before. I've also had friends hand me old games and say they were better off being taken care of by me then ending up in a garbage heap somewhere.

That being said, I've met several people who look for any excuse to insult other people's interests, hobbies, appearance, etc. so it wouldn't surprise me if someone did insult my collection or call it abnormal. Usually these are people who have self-esteem issues and and think putting others down to make themselves feel better is normal behavior, not realizing it may only perpetuate their own negativity while also making someone else feel bad.
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