Five Things Gamers Today Will Find Hard to Understand
Gaming constantly evolves. While elements such as graphics and sound constantly change and improve, there were a few things around the culture of video games that not everyone expected them to go away. But let’s make it clear that no item in this list has totally disappeared, and you can all find them pop-up occasionally here and there, although not at the rate they existed thirty or forty years ago.
In the past, if a game was giving you a hard time, you could input a secret code with the controller, and voila! Infinite lives, level skip, access to all weapons, and much more were hidden within a game’s programming. Pretty much every game had a few of these cheats included, which you could usually find published in a guide (see below). The most well-known of them is the “Konami Code” (Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start), which was part of multiple games made by Konami. One could say that these days’ in-game transactions also give you a boost to win and therefore are “cheats,” but let’s leave this discussion for another time.
Game Rental Stores
Back in the day, there were those big stores in every neighbourhood, and you could go in and rent games for a few days. You had to be a member though, and if you were too young, you had to convince your parents to register. Of course, they also had movies for rental, so everyone could find something they liked. Even though these stores have now closed, you can experience the same feeling at the Arcade Hotel’s lobby, where you can pay a small fee and play a few (or more) titles of the game library.
Magazines, Guides, and Hotlines
Today, if you are stuck on a game or if you want to know more about a future release you just hop on a gaming channel on YouTube. Before that, there was an entire industry that thrived on providing gaming information on printed paper. The newsstands were replete with magazines that provided information on new games and systems. Along with them, there were guides being sold, which had the walkthrough of specific games, tips, and movesets for characters. Apart from those, you could also call a hotline and some expert would give you tips and cheats for various games. All of them now sound ancient, long live the Internet.
Inserts and Manuals
Nowadays, it is mainly the limited edition of a game that includes anything more than just an informational leaflet. A couple of decades ago though, pretty much every video game box included lengthy manuals and extras, such as maps, character profiles, art booklets, and more. PC games, especially, would come in big boxes with elaborate artwork and lots of inserts. Sometimes, in order to combat piracy, these manuals had special passwords written on them that you needed to type to play the game, rendering a copied game unplayable (since pirated games came without the boxes).
We saved the best for the last. In the ‘80s and ’90s, it was very common for young (and not so young) people to gather at arcade halls and play games by inserting coins to specially designed machines. These halls were really big in the USA and Japan (They still exist there.) Sometimes, arcade machines were the only way to play first a game, months-or even years-before it was released on a console, and people would often challenge each other and host tournaments there. Want to get a taste of the arcade culture of the past? Come by the Arcade Hotel’s lobby, and we will fix you up.
So, these were a few gaming features that we grew up with. Yeah, we miss them a lot.