Recently I was reminiscing with a friend about the games we used to play and of gaming in the 80’s, for me it was Pacman on the arcade gameplay and sitting around in my neighbors living room playing Duck Hunt and The Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo. It then got me thinking, What happened to those times? What changed from my generation to the current generation and why has the age of gaming become so different?
Okay so let’s take it back to a time before what I consider to be the golden age of gaming. Up until the late 1970’s all gaming was only ever played down at the local arcades where kids from all over the suburbs would meet up with friends and play the various arcade machines like Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and Pacman to name a few and battle it out for supremacy and legendary game hero status.
Only a couple of years later at the beginning of the 1980’s saw the release of the Nintendo and Atari and the commencement of what I consider as the golden ages of gaming. Children and adolescents were no longer gathering in arcades to catch up with friends and play their favourite arcade game but heading indoors to the comfort of living rooms.
Games like Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt and The Legend of Zelda were playing on screens in homes by children and teenagers all over the world. I can remember as a child running next door on weekends with my two sisters to my neighbours house ready to battle it out and dominate on the Nintendo often playing Duck Hunt or Super Mario Brothers. My neighbours became one of the popular hang outs for us kids on our street for many years after, mainly because they were the only house on the street that actually owned a Nintendo.
I can still remember the thrill and adrenaline rush when it came to my turn of playing Duck Hunt aiming for a top score and overall bragging rights, but at the same time trying to stay focused and not become distracted by the shrieking, heckling and banter from my sisters and friends sitting and watching from behind me. At that stage gaming was still quite a social time, yes gaming had moved from arcades to homes but children were still coming together and making it a social gathering with laughter, competitive spirit and bonding.
From here the gaming evolution quickly took off with the release of the Game and Watch systems and shortly after the Nintendo Game Boy. Gaming was no longer fixed and a social interactive time with friends but a transportable yet socially isolating time as you were no longer restricted, you could game when you wanted, where you wanted and at anytime. This I believe saw the birth of gaming and technology revolution which it now is today and the closing off in my mind the golden age of gaming…