Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Ron Mobido remembers playing chirpy old video games on his 16-bit Super Famicom game console like it was yesterday.
Come to think of it, it very nearly was.
“I just played Donkey Kong all day long,” says Mobido, 35.
Mobido still buys games for his Super Famicom, which is the Japanese version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System from the early ’90s. He also covets his Mega Man games from decades past for the original Nintendo Entertainment System from 1985.
Mobido is just one of many gamers who enjoy the way-back fun of retro gaming, a thriving movement where video games of old get an extra life.
Retro gaming mainly covers games from the 1980s and ’90s, from cartridges that clicked into an Atari 2600 or NES to discs that dropped into a Dreamcast or the first PlayStation. Games for old computers such as the Commodore 64 also get thrown into the retro-gaming mix.
And like they did so many years ago, retro gamers still gather to get their game on - be it at special conventions such as the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas or specialty stores such as Game Over Videogames, a Texas-based chain where regulars like Mobido buy, sell and trade their old electronic adventures.
“There’s always that place and time where it takes you back to when you were a kid,” says Game Over CEO and president David Kaelin. “In a bigger sense, I would say that retro gaming in general has gotten a lot bigger.”
It’s certainly grown for Kaelin. Since he opened his first Game Over in Austin in October 2005, he has expanded his mini empire to a store in Round Rock, Sunset Valley, San Antonio and a new location he opened in Houston in October.
Houston store manager Brandon Boucher sees everyone from hard-core gamers in search of import titles to casual passers-by who saw the Atari joystick logo outside and had to poke their heads in to see the real thing.
“It’s actually been people from the entire spectrum,” Boucher says.
A walk through Game Over is like a stroll through video-game Valhalla, or at least an older gamer’s garage. Cartridges abound with the likes of Super Mario Bros., the ‘85 hit that made Mario a video-game icon, along with the 1982 jungle treasure hunt Pitfall! and more titles that beeped and booped to life on the family TV back in the day.
“Every time there’s a new platform, you inevitably see versions of these games on it,” says Bill Loguidice, managing director of the video game and computer history website Armchair Arcade. “There’s just something timeless about these games.”
Full article: http://www.chron.com … o-gamers-2346606.php