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Retro is a swearword

"Poker is an old-ass retro game, and it is so simple that every game of poker is practically similar. There's no replay value at all, unlike new games. Current games are much more complex and advanced than poker, chess, go or football, and therefore only some retrogaming enthusiasts who live in the past are interested in them."

"Wow, is this a television set? I watched a lot of TV when I was a kid! It still gives me nostalgic vibes when I think about it - Knight Rider, MacGyver and all that - and, oh gosh, you always needed to watch several minutes of commercials before you got to see the show itself! Those were the times... I've heard some guys still actually watch TV and some even make new television programs! I don't really see any point in this. I very much respect all the achievements of the past legends, but I would rather let television rest in peace rather than try to beat MacGyver. You know, we already have the Internet that is much better than TV, so why isn't everyone using it instead?"

"Only retro-enthusiasts who know nothing about current trends want to make music with acoustic instruments such as guitars and drums. The sounds they give out are so limited that everything that can be made with them has already been made decades ago. True musical innovation is possible only with the latest synthesizers and the hottest new computer hardware, so retro-music buffs are just nostalgic about their lost times of glory and keep repeating their old riffs all over again."

"Those who use pens and pencils to draw pictures are either totally insane or just clueless about the latest developments such as Photoshop and 3D Studio. It is just a waste of time to do the perspective and shading all by yourself, because current computer software can do it for you. Besides, the programs are able to make effects that are impossible with those clumsy stone-age tools. Therefore, only some stubborn retro jerks prefer to draw anything manually. Maybe they get some nostalgic kicks from it, I don't know."

These analogues may help you understand why I often despise the use of the "R-word" for referring to the creative use of vintage computing hardware to do something that has never been done before.

There's nothing "retro" in modern 8-bit demos, except that the hardware is no longer manufactured. There's no "bringing back the old times", "being driven by nostalgia" or "being stuck in the past", at least for me. My driving force has always been doing things that have never been done before, trying out totally new and mind-boggling concepts and exploring new frontiers. An old piece of hardware is just an instrument that shapes the esthetics of the pieces made for it and provides its own unique challenges for the creator. It does not really matter very much when the instrument was invented and manufactured or what kinds of things were done with it in the "golden times". It is good to know, of course, but the creative process does not revolve around it.

It wasn't too many years ago that the only politically correct excuse for liking the games and music of older computers was the feeling of nostalgia. It was simply out of the question that someone actually enjoyed the stuff for esthetical reasons. The mainstream computing culture was thin and immature, and many of its attitudes were (and still are) dictated by marketers who want to make everything that is a couple of years old look totally obsolete and untrendy.

The situation is getting better, however, and appreciation of "vintage computer esthetics" can be found in surprising places nowadays. For example, square-wave bleeps can be heard in random radio pop every now and then, and probably everyone is familiar with Timbaland's use of C-64 music. I'm sure that this trend is going to stay for some time in a form or another, and I hope it will also help people rethink and improve their attitudes regarding the relationship between creativity and technology.