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Retro Games

I am not absolutely sure that 'Retro Games' is correct title here, after all in the realm of video games, what is today ultra modern and state of the art within current level of GPU and gaming consoles, literally tomorrow we can start considering retro. On the other side, imagination of people in gaming industry is never old and some games from the past, despite obsolete graphics will always be on the top shelf of mine. Not to mention that familiar nostalgia moments when I stumble to some vintage and familiar screen, that always remind me of some happy moments from the past.

To cut the story short, one of those vintage moments triggered the idea for Viktor's and mine new blog-vlog collab to explore couple of old games for his channel and this small cover story. We made an easy deal and divided tasks for me to choose the games and for him to play them in front of the camera. It was interesting enough to see how 12 years old reacts to the old graphics and different nature of old games compared to nowadays not only superb visual effects and large screens but also to the new way of gaming which includes amazing 3D environment along with networked gamer's world with other players from around the globe participating in the same game in real time.

Surprisingly, he liked almost all of 12 games I chose for the event and even installed one of them for later entertainment. The selection was not easy, there were tons of games to choose from various consoles and home computers from the 20th century and it was hard not to be subjective. However, it was not possible to avoid some of the classics so in the first group I chose games that are considered to be the first commercial games invented and put in production including "Spacewar!" and "Computer Space" that originated from the DEC PDP-1 showpiece application and transferred to the first mall game console ever in 1971. It triggered new industry race and the very next year came PONG, the second extremely popular game that soon after occupied first home consoles as well. I also had one in the late seventies when I was even younger than Viktor today and it was spectacular, with almost outworldy experience every time I plugged it on and connected to our old CRT television set!

Following group of unavoidable games were certainly real classics. Games that everybody was familiar with and games that still, even though not played with like before, experience media exposure, especially in movies, YouTube and TV shows. The three games I chose were Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. At the end of the century you could find them everywhere, malls and game shops, home consoles and personal computers. Now, they live their second life in browser emulators and smartphone apps. They are not super popular but they are still here with all of their successors and game alike applications.

Somehow in the same time these classics achieved the medal of popularity, home computers replaced game machines and playground shops and I chose three of those with three game representatives that were very popular in their time. Europe's number one home computer came from sir Clive Sinclair labs and his ZX Spectrum won people hearts almost instantly. Mine too. This was my first home computer I already wrote about on the blog and of all games I owned on audio tapes perhaps the most memorable was "Jumping Jack" which Viktor liked a lot. During my high school and early university days, it's CPU Z80 was the one I wrote my first machine-assembly code for, including emulator for assembly language. Great days they were. But to conclude with this block of games, I also included "Mission: Impossible" from equally popular Commodore 64 and "Prince of Persia" from the first PC's and their DOS environment.

Remaining three games from the Viktor's video were also unavoidable 'Space Invaders' arcades and "Galaga" for their representative, "Tetris", for the choice of the most popular game from the first hand consoles and of course Atari 2600's E.T. to represent the officially worst game ever. I had to stop there, otherwise the YouTube video would be too long and even with these twelve it broke the 30 minutes limit I had in mind. Even though long, it goes without saying that I warmly recommend to watch embedded video - if you belong to the old school like me or new one like Viktor, this story has potential to bring your old memories back to surface or trigger a perspective of how games looked back then in the beginning and I promise you if you follow some of included links to their browser emulators, the gamer's joy will emerge if not once again then only for a brief moments of guarantied entertainment.

References and link to the game emulators:

Spacewar! and Computer Space (DEC PDP-1 computer from 1959 with first game in 1961 and portable console from 1971 influenced by original PDP-1 game)

Pong (aka 'Table Tennis for two players' from 1972)

ZX Spectrum (1982)

Commodore 64 (1982)

DOS Games (1981)

Online emulators (Atari 2600 from 1977)

Pacman (1980)

Donkey Kong (1981)

Super Mario (1983)

Prince of Persia (1989)

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