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Authored by: Michael Thomasson

The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533324
eBook ISBN: 9780203114261
Adobe ISBN: 9781136290510


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In the modern age, most people play games on contemporary consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (2005) or Sony’s PlayStation 3 (2006). Portable smart phones, tablet computers, and mobile music players, such as Apple’s iPod or Microsoft’s Zune, have also emerged as viable gaming platforms. New games are constantly being added to the platform libraries and are sold in multiple retail outlets, thus making them readily available. Retrogaming, also commonly referred to as old-school gaming, pertains to the use of retired hardware that is no longer being produced and no longer receives software support from the original manufacturer for gaming. Retro games encompass games initially played on vintage home gaming consoles, personal computers, or even coin-operated arcade games. Fortunately, the fun did not end when the original hardware and software manufacturers closed shop or moved on. While many old consoles and games have been relegated to a box in the basement or attic, a great deal are still actively being used and the trend seems to be growing. In fact, using the original hardware is no longer even necessary in some cases, as time and technology have created other means of resurrecting games long since forgotten.

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