We Asked The Red Carpet: Were Old Video Games Actually Bad? Or Good?

I have a nearly irrational dislike for retro video games. I assume most of the old "classics" wasted my youth with their needlessly bottomless pits and/or a hunger for my quarters.

Do old video games deserve my scorn? Will no one speak up for the quality of these things?

I sought an answer to my question from several video game experts last week. Some of these people are game designers; at least one of them is a comedian. I asked them to set the record straight, and I asked them to do so in a forum known for substantive dialogue: on the red carpet for an awards show. In this case, the awards show was the generally-delightful Interactive Arts and Sciences Awards. They're part of the DICE Summit and are hosted by Jay Mohr, which is why he's in this thing.

Thankfully, the main guy who created Asteroids was also walking the red carpet.

Thanks to all who answered my silly questions, especially Gears of War's Rod Fergusson, who dared to be negative. I'm with you, man!

(Video edited by Chris Person; music: "Laputa" by Henry Homesweet)

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Comments

    Facepalmed at Felicia Day (that's her name, right?) talking about WoW in the same general field as actual vintage games.

    Here come the angry replies...

      It was a joke...

        There is NOTHING to confirm that your theory is true on that.

          Especially when she then brought up Balders gate.

    They were good at the time, we didn't know better! In hindsight, most are not worth your time today.

      Anyone can go back and replay a game they liked as a kid, no matter how crappy it looked or played. The true test of old games is to play one you didn't play as a kid.

      I can go back and replay any game from my youth and still have loads of fun, but games I didn't? Bleh.

    Today on channel 7: Game developers encourage children to steal quarters from their parents.

      I would love channel 7 to report this, and then to have someone point out that no one in the country actually owns a quarter.

        Exactly.

          Uh, *I* have a quarter from the Bahamas. And I'm in SA.

    Been playing Kings Quest 7 with the lady recently and it's been making me think about old games (adventure games at least). One thing I've noticed is they aren't epically long and new games really aren't shorter than them(even though people whinge about games not being long enough).

    I mean it may take ages to get through these games, but that's because you can spend a heap of time going back and forth and being frustrated because you don't know you need to combine X with Y then use it nonsensically on Z. I mean personally I'd like to see some new adventure games of this sort that are as cool as old ones but the gameplay isn't as amazing as people, with their rose-coloured glasses firmly on, make them out to be. Walking back and forth and wondering why you can't use the stick you have to grab the cheese-moon from the pond and getting frustrated isn't exactly fantastic gameplay. I'm not saying everything should be spelled out for everyone, it's just that sometimes these games have such nonsensical solutions for problems that are so obscure it's a matter of "what did the developer think was funny?" Rather than "what will solve this?"

    Anyway I guess what I'm trying to get at is people LOVE to whinge about new games and compare them to old ones while having their rose-coloured specs welded so firmly on that they've infected their memories, but really we aint got it bad at all nowadays. Sure sometimes it can be great to go back and play something old, regardless me and my partner have been loving playing through Kings Quest 7. We've also been loving having a walkthrough ready to read if we REALLY need it because I only want a game to be long if it's cause it's cram-packed full of awesome content. NOT cause the puzzles hardly make sense, or cause they've added 50 repeating corridors filled with the same repetitive enemies, or cause they make you walk unnecessarily long distances, or cause there's a billion miles between save points so you have to play the same level over and over and over and over and...*voice trails off into the distance*

    I find a shorter game with good content throughout far better than a drawn out game with some good content and huge filler sections. Lately I feel I've been playing games with better content and less filler and that makes me very happy.

      To be fair, King's Quest 7 isn't even representative of the best in the series. I enjoyed it, but it's no KQ6.

      It's also generally a much worse series than Sierra's own parody of adventure/RPG: Quest for Glory (which isn't given the credit it deserves.

        I've played a bunch of other adventure games in my time too though and my point still stands ImO. I just used KQ7 as the example cause we're playing it through right now.

        Next one on the list to relive is Day of the Tentacle I think.

        Oh and thanks to your reply I think I'll have to make sure we play through KQ6 :P

          Am I supposed to like Felicia Day because I'm a gamer? I see the sites trying to push her on people like myself but to be quite frank... she sh**s me to tears. That ''vanilla WOW'' comment when talking about ''older'' games really irked me.

          I thought they were talking about classic games, something released 6 or so years ago doesn't quite qualify dearest...

    Robert Bowling knows what a Zelda game is...yeah right.

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