COLUMN: Retro Gaming is getting a comeback


If your childhood went anything like mine, you’ll remember the immediate craze that went along with the release of the DS Lite in 2006. 

Every kid in school had one. It was revolutionary to connect to the internet to play with your friends. Can you think back now and remember the first video game you played or the first console you owned? 

Maybe it was the Xbox 360, PS2, Gameboy Advance, or like me, the Nintendo 64.

The first video games we ever loved are now considered “retro.” Playing Spyro on the PS2 or GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64 may seem like a waste of time for some people. Many of older games like Pokemon Ruby for the Nintendo Advance have remakes with better graphics and gameplay. 

Additionally, Nintendo has offered many games from Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Sega Genesis to be emulated right from your Nintendo Switch. It’s unbelievable to play so many games in one place, but these emulated games still leave something to be desired. Something is lost in translation. 

Many of us have lost, broke, or sold off our old consoles and video games through the years. What you may not know is many of those relics are still valuable and in some cases worth more than when they were originally released. 

Numerous stores are popping up to sell these artifacts along with their games and accessories. Maybe you’re wondering why these games and consoles would still be a draw for so many people when the same games can be played on newer consoles. 

Even though I own a Switch Lite, I find myself playing my Gameboy Advance SP or GameCube instead. I venture to the local Game On every week to see what treasures I can find. They carry games for the PS2, Wii, Original Gameboy, Nintendo 64 and so much more. If someone is interested in buying or selling “retro games” Game On is the best local place to go. 

The best part is not knowing what you will find. No matter what generation you’re from, you can find a little bit of your childhood here.

Ultimately, “retro” gaming is nostalgia in its purest form. It's hearing the static-filled and crackled Zelda theme song come out of fifteen-year-old speakers. It’s buying a trading cable for your Gameboy Color so you can trade Pokemon with your friends again. It’s going out of your way to replacing a console that you broke in your childhood. 

In a world where everything is smooth and perfect, clear and crisp I think I’ll always go back to my Pikachu Nintendo 64 to play Mario Kart. Somehow, the grainy graphics and the glitches that have me yelling at the screen bring me right back to when things were a little more simple. 

So, why not pull out your old DS Lite or go buy a used one and enjoy a little nostalgia when classes get hard? 

With so many new games and consoles coming out, I think it’s important to remember where they came from. Let's remember and appreciate the games we had when we were young, even if you couldn’t play them in the dark. 

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy playing your old games.