We’ve always played games. Not just since we were children but throughout history.
Remember those games around when you were a kid? Card games like Top Trumps and Go
Fish, board games like Snakes and Ladders and Checkers. While you might have thought
that all those old games that you and your friends used to play are dusty and forgotten in the attic, you couldn’t be more wrong. Even classic computer games have been brought back from the realms of childhood. There are plenty of them to play, and it’s the youngsters that are making them popular all over again.
Changes in the way we play
When we were kids, most of our play was either on the street or in the garden – we only
stayed in when it was raining. That was when the board games came out.
It’s very different now, there’s a computer (or two) in virtually every house in the country, and tablets and smartphones are commonplace for children and adults of all ages.
We now play our games through a screen- but this doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t
communicate anymore. Most games have chat functions and many people play against each other in real time. Tight-knit communities are developed around online games that transcend generations and country borders – it’s a great way to expand your horizons and meet people who you never would normally be able to speak to in real life.
You might not have ever been into playing the Nintendo Gamecube or the Amstrad CPC, but they were amazingly popular for those growing up in the eighties and nineties. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in these old consoles, and people are starting to get hooked all over again. Nintendo has even revived their NES, and SNES consoles with new, modern cases and Atari is bringing out a new one console more than forty years since their first. Retro gaming is big. And this time it’s the adults showing the children how it’s done.
Old Games on new Consoles
The old consoles might well have seen a resurgence of appeal, but the real interest has
been with the re-packaging and formatting of old games for the newer, more powerful
consoles. The older machines were severely limited when it came to capacity; the Sega
Mega Drive and SNES Cartridge’s rarely had more than 4MB, whereas the modern game
comes in at around 40GB, with huge requirements for graphics and sound cards that were
simply impossible to achieve only thirty years ago. Games like Banjo-Kazooie and Animal
Crossing which were made for the old Nintendo 64, are now available in the Gamecube and
Xbox 360 stables. Crash Bandicoot, which came out in 1996 with the original PlayStation, is
now available for the PlayStation 4.
The list is endless – whatever it was that you used to play as a kid has probably been made
available all over again and the youngsters of today are enjoying it as much as you did.
Everyone remembers the American film scenes where the bad guys sat around the table
and played poker before shooting one another; remember Paul Newman in the film Cool
Hand Luke? Nowadays, the world of poker looks a lot different. It’s now a worldwide game
played by millions online with PC’s and smart phones – a whole new generation of new
players and tournaments has made it one of the most popular games ever.
The heart of poker is legal online gambling, and this is the appeal for many players. The chance to win
big! Like doing the lottery, these games offer the chance of an escape from the hum-drum
monotony of a nine to five existence.
Bingo is Back!
Did your mom ever go to the Bingo Hall? Did your grandma? Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, Bingo Halls launched in every town and millions of people spent their evenings with
their book of games, listening to the caller announce the numbers with their memorable
nicknames. Lucky Number Seven, Garden Gate Eight, Doctor’s Orders Number Nine
(apparently the Number 9 was a laxative pill given to soldiers during the second world war). The game even developed its own rhyming slang, which helped people to hear which
number was being called.
While Bingo Halls in the High Street have been closing down for years due to rising rents
and smoking bans, it’s not been the end of Bingo. Bingo is now easily accessible online and
via your smartphone; it has been attracting thousands of new and younger players all over
again. It’s so much more convenient online – you can sit in the comfort of your own home to play and connect with other players. One of the highlights of the old Bingo Halls was that
everyone could have a good natter – well, with the introduction of online chat, they still can.
And they do!
Games have always been part of people’s lives – be they young or old. The mass appeal of
the internet hasn’t stopped this, and we now have access to more games than was ever
possible when we were young. From Bingo to Poker and ‘traditional’ online gaming, the
internet has made the experience as good, if not better than before. We can now play games anywhere and at any time we want, whether we’re waiting for the bus or train, or have a few hours on a Sunday – what a better way to pass the time!