This weekend, I visited the REVIVAL: For The Gamers 2020 to relive many memories from my own gaming past as well as experiencing new ones on computers and consoles I never owned. The event, which was held near Walsall UK, featured a treasure trove of hardware, arcade cabinets, pinball machines and games, going as far back as the Atari 2600 and Vectrex to more modern revivals including the new ZX Spectrum Next.
One of the many things I love most about these events though are the parents bringing in their children to share their own childhood memories. An 8 year old playing a SEGA Mega Drive with a wide smile on their face is a truly magical experience for both the child and parent. For many of us who wish to share this gaming joy, these retro gaming and computing events are essential for establishing an interest for those who never got to experience it at the time the hardware and games were first released. If we want to see this rich gaming heritage survive another 30 years or more – we need ensure we are inspiring the next generation too.
Thanks to the Internet, there is a mass of knowledge for sourcing and repairing the original hardware as well as adding mods to improve the output for modern televisions, but we still need the avid retro gamer to keep it alive while ensuring there is a hobby and commercial interest.
That is why parents everywhere who have any love for gaming from the past, need to pop along with their children and visit one of the many events around the country, so everyone can experience first-hand the magic and history of these gaming giants, many no longer in operation, but have laid down the foundations for the hardware devices we can so easily take for granted today as we ramp into console 12 teraflop territory.