All of my friends enjoy playing video games, and so do I, but there's a problem. You see, I still play the games of my childhood—Frogger, BurgerTime, Tetris, Duck Hunt, Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, etc. The console doesn't matter; as long as it supports games made between the early '80s and the early '90s, I'm all for it. As is deducible, my friends' gaming concerns are more modern. They like LAN parties and play popular games like WoW, Halo, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. To them, the vintage two-dimensional games I play are a novel joke compared to the superior graphics and gameplay embodied by their favorites. I like video games and I like my friends, but I fear that being stuck in the past is compromising my relationships. But I just like helping Peter Pepper make those burgers so much! Brenda, what should I do?
--Oldfangled in Albuquerque
When it comes to tense and squishy Frogger, the mezmerizing falling squares in Tetris, the tactile shooter action of Duck Hunt, the utterly classic status of Mario Bros., and the respectable yet wannabe classic nature of Sonic the Hedgehog, I'm right there with you. Those games are great, Oldfangled. I think most people look back on them with nostalgia, but find their technical inferiority a hindrance to fun.
It's true, most gamers prefer gaming on modern games. Finding a lovable Luddite such as yourself, so dedicated to the vintage charm of yesteryear's gaming consoles, is rare. While I consider myself to be "with it" when it comes to modern gaming technology (being the proud owner of a Level 70 Tauren Shaman with full season three arena gear, ahem), sometimes I still like to come home to my Power Pad for a little World Class Track Meet excitement. Shit, every few years I'll even play Rygar until I beat it. Who cares if I can't tell what the hell his weapon is? Slick graphics aren't everything. (But seriously, what is that thing? A star on a rope?)
What I'm saying, Oldfangled, is that you should neither be ashamed nor worried about your love of antiquated gaming technology and subsequent reluctance to participate in the present. I don't expect you to take on any MMOGWs and I'd hope that your friends, if they're true friends and not LCD-addicted droids posing as your companions, wouldn't either. Besides, what would today's games be without their predecessors? Where do you think Call of Duty got all of its ideas? That's right: Rush'n Attack.
However, I would advise you to do some Internet sleuthing in the interest of expanding your horizons. There are multitudes of new games out there that just might appeal to your side-scrolling senses. And maybe you should give your friends' games a shot. What have you got to lose other than half of your money and that prostitute you were about to score?
In the end, you could be missing out, but if making those 8-bit hamburgers while being chased by hot dogs, pickles and eggs is what gets you going, don't let your friends hinder you from being the arcade-style gamer you really are.