Obviously, I’m not saying that video games were better in the 80s – I’m old but I’m not mad. I’m saying that they really understood the anarchy inherent in rejecting bleakness. While city rich kids and Wall Street yuppies flashed their brick-sized phones, the commodity the rest of us traded in was fantasy – not as escapism, but as statement.
The casuals, the New Romantics, the goths, the grebos, the whizz kids, the geeks, they weren’t retreating, they were attacking. No thanks, keep your jobs in the city and your braying Sloanes. Let’s play Bubble Bobble and read Smash Hits. Our heroes are pop stars, hip-hop artists and Japanese game developers. At least that’s how I felt.
A wonderful read.
Somewhere in this piece, I was reminded of the role post-hardcore played in the wake of 9/11; a seemingly counter-culture voice saying, “don’t retreat. Understand this new world. Things are different.” Only after understanding could we sling-shot back with the dream-pop anthems swirling in our streaming playlists today. However, it was this “new world” that fostered the then middle and high-schoolers who are now developing today’s games. It’s time for games to sling-shot back.
Mario Kart anyone?