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February 2017 Retro Gaming Article


February 24, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Discovering 7 Earth-like planets is intriguing, but what kind of video games do they have?

NASA has discovered seven Earth-like planets
It would be interesting to discover another civilization and find out they easily evolved without our pitfalls.
While it's exciting that NASA has discovered seven Earth-like planets, they are much too far away to save us from ourselves, so the next logical desire would be to discover what sort of life might exist there. We hear stories of inter-galactic battles with other lifeforms who are less interested in befriending than conquering. Instead of trying to compare ourselves to them, let's imagine a peek into their world for what it may be.

The quest for knowledge is endless and the things one might want to know about another potential civilization are massive. So, let me take a shallow stab at how another civilization might tackle video games. Too often we assume an alien society would be far more advanced that we are, causing us to fantasize about the insanely advanced technology they must have.

Maybe they aren't so far ahead of us, but simply took a different tack.

Suppose as we rounded out the 1970s with Atari bringing an 8-bit game console to market with interchangeable game cartridges, our alien pals across the galaxy did the same. With some sort of CRT display, they too discovered those sitting in front of the screen could interact with it and control on-screen sprites. They too were not satisfied to sit in front of an idiot-box. See... they don't necessarily have to be light years ahead of us, tech-wise.

I like to think an alternate Earth exists where video games are revered.
But where we veered off and chose dispensing with the old as new things arrive, our alien compadres didn't abandon the things they love - they respect their creations. My alien fantasy has them maintaining standards, not replacing them every few years. Thus, their version of 8-bit gaming never stopped! It has always been a part of their gaming industry.

Sure, they have progressed, but they respect the fun had with 8-bit gaming and consider it equal in importance to newer photo-realistic games that blend gaming and film experiences. We have retro gamers, but they have no such thing.

We dig through yard sales and auctions in search of our childhood games. The aliens never abandoned them. They love 8-bit games and their Atari 2600 equivalent has a game library of 8,425 games (and counting). As newer game systems evolved, they were sold next to the 8-bit systems.

Our Earthbound homebrew coders have done wonders to create compelling content for beloved systems of yesteryear. Imagine how many Atari 2600 games there would be if we didn't live in a disposable society! Maybe we can learn a thing or two from aliens afar.

If you lack lack an open mind and distaste for sarcasm, why are you still reading this? :)

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