First steps: Defining „retro“ to me

If you try to look up what retro means you will be confronted with tons of pages describing what retro means, where retro ends and nostalgia begins, about retrofuturism, retrotronics and everything related to retro. I was not able to find one single definition of what retro means – so i decided to find my very own retro definition.

For me, retro means something that touches me in a way that i smile when i think back about it. This could be my very first e-cigarette (Ego-T for those who are interested) which is only six years old apparently, or my very first car (Mercedes W124 200D) which is a bit older but not old enough to be considered an official old-timer.

It’s the same for PC Games, and especially for them because gaming was always something i loved. When i think back to my teenager days i think about spending hours in Black & White, throwing people around, playing Splinter Cell and Thief: The Dark Project for the first time and it brings a smile to my face even if those games are not really considered to be retro as maybe The Oregon Trail from 1971 or Doom from 1993.

So I had to decide what does bring a smile to my face – and i came up with the late 90s and the early 2000s games. Unfortunately i was not able to really enjoy all those games the way you could have enjoyed them due to a severe lack of competent hardware and money to buy it. Now, around 20 years later, i would be able to afford them but almost everything from that time period has become so cheap lately (Because it’s not officially retro i guess), so that this hobby seems to be a rather cheap one.

As stated – Old Hardware from the late 90s and early 2000s is cheap now, so that’s where I started…

Do you remember?

Some days ago I was sitting in my office, as usual for a working man in his 30s. On my desk i see two 24″ high definition displays, a smartphone capable of doing better graphics than my beloved Playstation 2 and a Macbook, so tiny and neat but also so powerful… and I used all this technology to google for games like Deus Ex, Age of Empires II and Half Life 2.

From time to time i feel a bit nostalgic when thinking about my time as a teenager, always looking for the next best PC game to play with my friends or alone. Certainly, not a single one of the real top notch games would have been working on my PC then, but i was kind of addicted to the idea of playing all those fancy games when reading the latest PC Gaming Magazine. (As I am German i didn’t have something like GamePro or PC Gamer, but Gamestar and PC Games instead)

So what did i do with all my nostalgic feelings? I went to the basement, rifled through IKEA Cartons, old christmas decorations and a massive amount of moving boxes to find some of my old games. I’ve never been a collector or anything like that, but i kept a few of my games or at least the discs. I decided to go for Deus Ex which was not in a good shape at all and didn’t seem to be running on my Windows 10 PC. After googling something about how to get it going on a modern PC i discovered an article in the steam community, describing all the necessary steps to get it working on a modern PC. (Deus Ex Setup Guide for modern systems)

Really? So much needed for just having fun with some older game? Thanks to Windows 10, yes. Almost every game from the 90s and early 2000s does not function on a Windows 10 PC and if it does, it feels weird to see those old and charming graphics on a modern Full-HD LCD Display, it simply does not feel authentic.

So I decided to have the authentic feeling again…and that’s were my journey begins.