The meaning of retro is that it is a style, fashion, or design from the recent past. Most people are clear on what is currently considered to be retro or old school when it comes to gaming. But when do the shifts occur? The 1980s may be considered the recent past now, but in another thirty years, it could be seen as ancient.
Arcade games, which were at the cutting-edge of technology in the 80s, have been considered retro for some time. Most people would agree that consoles like the SNES and Sega Mega Drive are now as well. With the mercurial view of what is technologically-advanced and what is obsolete in mind, what needs to happen for the advanced games and consoles of today to be considered retro?
The Time Factor Plays a Big Part
For anyone younger than thirty, arcade games will have always been considered retro. But for people in their forties and fifties who experienced them when they were new, it may have taken a lot longer for these games to become sources of nostalgia in their view. Similarly, someone who remembers receiving a PlayStation console for Christmas in 1994 will have, at the time, thought that it was the most advanced piece of gaming engineering on the planet. A massive shift in the tech landscape has had to occur for these early recipients to now see the device as a retro item.
With the gaming industry moving at such a rapid pace, it is hard to put an exact timestamp on when something could be considered retro. The PlayStation hasn’t yet been around for thirty years, but so much has happened since its release that it feels much older. Perhaps as the speed of advancements in technology increases, the time it takes for something to become retro could be reduced further.
People Experience Nostalgia in Different Ways
Another thing to consider is the way that people experience nostalgia, because retro and nostalgia go hand in hand. The main reason why retro things are popular is because they can evoke feelings of nostalgia.
There has been extensive research into the phenomenon, which has found that powerful emotion can be triggered in a variety of different ways. According to research in Neurology Live, nostalgia can come about through sensory stimuli, conversations, or memory recollection. It brings about good feelings because it activates the hippocampus and other reward centres of the brain. An item such as a game can bring back the positive feelings that were made at the first time of playing.
As nostalgia is triggered by reminders of past events and the positive emotions that originally came about at that time, people can experience it in different ways. The reason why a vast number of people feel nostalgia for video games and other things from popular culture is that when they initially experienced them, they were having fun. Few people would play games if they didn’t get any enjoyment from them. With this in mind, the games and consoles that different people would now consider retro could be the ones that had the biggest impact on them in their younger years.
Today’s Games Will Become Retro After Technological Advances
A prime example of how games become retro quickly has been seen in the online casino industry. Prior to the internet, electric slots had been seen as the pinnacle of the genre. But since the games moved online, these fruit machines have quickly become old school. Looking at the free online casino games, the slots on offer are highly advanced and come in various forms. Additionally, these sites also demonstrate players’ love of retro, as games like Classic Fruits and Retro Galaxy are available to play. Sites pride themselves on having thousands of slots to choose from and use this variation of both new and old themes as a way to attract players with great success.
The same can be said for mobile games. In the early days of smartphones, puzzle games were all the rage. But as the handheld devices have evolved, they are now capable of running much more in-depth titles. Nowadays, more people are playing detailed MMO games like Raid: Shadow Legends rather than simple swiping offerings like Ninja Run.
When virtual reality becomes more advanced, it could quickly make the open world console games of today seem retro as well. While the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 may look highly advanced now, this sort of gaming wouldn’t compare to actually being transported into the game universe with VR.
Gamers’ concepts of retro are changing, and the retro genre now encompasses so much more than just the arcade classics of the 1980s. As technology moves forward more rapidly, the