Things an Old School Gamer should remember

To keep it simple we will classify an old school gamer as someone who has been gaming from the time of the Atari 2600 to the release of the Playstation one and all the computer innovations in-between. Personally I believe a true gamer plays both PC and Console so this list will encompass both sides of the gaming coin.

Coaxial cable
Coaxial cable

1: Coaxial Cables

This may be super geek to some, but before the smaller thinner Ethernet cables we use today and long before wireless, people who wanted to network had to use coaxial cables. These were direct PC to PC connections using the cables and only offered 10Mbps of transfer speed, but for the games of the time it was more than enough.

2: The NES Advantage Controller

NES Advantage
NES Advantage

First off it looked and felt like the controllers at the arcade and when the first fighting games made its way onto the NES this controller was perfect for them. The advantage featured adjustable turbo buttons, a slow motion feature (that mostly didn’t work) and you could share it in two player games since it plugged into both ports and you could select Player 1 or Player two on the controller.

3: The Atari 800 Floppy Drive

Atari 810
Atari 810

There was a war of sorts between the Atari computers and the Amiga ones and then you had the snobby Commodore 64 folks. (I kid, I kid) Before I got my Amiga my cousin gave me his Atari 800 computer the floppy drives and a boat load of games, I was in heaven.

The floppy drive used single-sided 5 1/4-inch floppy disks, holding 90K of data on a disk. The data was transferred in serial format at 19200 baud. When this first came out it was priced around six hundred dollars.

4: Sears Tele-Games 2600 (Atari 2600 clone)

Sears Video Arcade machine
Sears Video Arcade machine

Back in the day Sears sold everything under their own name and in 1975 Sears released the Sears Video Arcade. It was identical to the 2600 and you could play Atari 2600 games on it and vice versa. Sears and Atari worked together so it wasn’t anything underhanded. In fact Atari made some games exclusively for the Sears system under the Tele-Games name.

It was often an insult point to attack someone who had the Sears version and not the original Atari 2600, but we were stupid kids. By the way I had the real one so pfffft!

5: Voodoo 2 in SLI

STB Voodoo 2 SLI card
STB Voodoo 2 SLI card

Sure today you can get more than enough gaming power out of a sub one hundred dollar card, but back in the day if you wanted to be a badass you had dual Voodoo 2’s in SLI mode. For those that don’t know the Voodoo 2 was a 3D graphics card from 3dfx interactive. At the time the Voodoo series of cards were the must have for any PC gamer. When the Voodoo 2 came out everyone wanted one and if you had the money you would get two and connect them together in what is called SLI.

It was the Voodoo 2 that introduced Scan-Line Interleave or SLI to the PC gaming universe. When you connected two Voodoo 2 cards together they would each draw half the scan lines for the screen, this meant much more power and better 3D acceleration for your games. However, most of the games at the time it was first released didn’t really take advantage of the SLI mode. There was a difference, but it wasn’t a game changer, but as newer more graphic intensive games came out it showed its worth and power.

Did I miss something?

Oh there is much more to come, this is only a small sample of the things an old school gamer should remember. Stay tuned for the next addition, but in the meantime what do you think should be on this list?

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.

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