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Playing an old game makes me feel lonely, but in a good way.


Droo
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The dungeons on Phantasy Star on the Master System are especially scary as you can be pretty sure that at any given time you're probably the only person in the world traipsing through them. That's how I felt back when I was 12 and playing through it anyway. Maybe I was just a dark child.

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I also miss my mates when I play old games/emus.

Rarely did I ever play console games by myself, my brothers or mates would always be around.

From Sunday morning in my friends house playing Alex Kidd while his mum blasted Dr Hook to get over her hangover.

Saturday mornings bringing toe jam n earl to my mates house and playing it for the whole day

EA hockey after secondary school on the megadrive, I lived beside the school so we'd all pile in for an hours game on it and end up punching each other :)

Tekken on the PS1, 10 of us playing winner stays on (I lasted 22 rounds at the start as no one else had a PS1!)

Timesplitters 8 man / 2 TV's multiplayer on PS2 in a freezing flat with no heating, everyone sitting in sleeping bags!

Now, Monday night sitting on my own playing BF3.... but not for long as the Party Chat fills up with mates, some from back in the master system days and some in the family. Its nice, recaptures the old feeling.

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I get that feeling from online games in their last days.

Phantasy Star Online kept the European servers going long after the Dreamcast died. I remember logging on right at the end to find only a couple of people (a couple more than I was expecting I suppose). To think the hubs used to bustling with people, but alas, no more.

When Star Wars Galaxies died I did the same thing. That was probably a bit more tragic due to the thoughts of what could have been if Sony had not ballsed it up so much.I ended that game where I began years earlier, digging in the sand looking for treasure.

At least with offline games you can always go back for a nostalgia trip. With the online ones, once they end, they end. Game over you might say.Deep stuff.

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I also miss my mates when I play old games/emus.

Rarely did I ever play console games by myself, my brothers or mates would always be

If I ever get round to playing N64 GoldenEye again, I'll miss sitting with my brother and schoolfriends after school at my house, playing multiplayer, then taking turns attempting to acquire all the unlockables. Haven't seen many of them in years. :( We played the game on and off until early 2001, last time was at a friend's house one Saturday early afternoon, in the front room with the curtains drawn. Can't remember ever playing Perfect Dark multiplayer as avidly, however. Most likely because none of our friends owned the N64 RAM expansion, and us having finished secondary school and we were all doing separate things during weekdays, you know how it is at that age, when your lives start to dissipate after years of stability.

A few weeks after 9/11, at a friend's empty house, dark early evening with rain pouring outside, my brother and friend and I sat round the PlayStation 2 utterly captivated by a games experience that certainly felt 'next generation', to echo the Edge cliché. An illusion of a living city, seemingly open ended. Couldn't help argue over who would get to next to attempt a mission... Playing the iPhone conversion of Grand Theft Auto 3 recently transported me back there.

Last time I loaded up Rogue Leader for the GameCube (on New Years Eve 2009!), I was reminded of the initial launch fever my friend and I had for the 'Cube. Rushing after college or work before the shops shut to buy our reserved consoles on launch day. Immediately swapping our bundled games, so I could get Super Monkey Ball, and my friend the Star Wars game with the impressive graphics. Was the last time I felt that dizzying surge of excitement from a console launch that you got during an extravagant childhood birthday. These days I'm all worn out and jaded. As it turned out, my friend neglected his GameCube within a year or so, spending more time with his PS2 and Xbox. Haven't seen him personally in six years, actually... Worryingly, I haven't had such a strong gaming buddy since.

(Finally, whenever I pop into visit the two Minecraft servers I used to frequent, I get the ghost-town, visiting remains of an extinct civilisation feeling... Spine-chilling nostalgia, from a game I first played in August 2010, which was only properly released about six months ago. <_< )

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  • 2 years later...

I feel that way all the time. every time I play PN03 or something like that I say to myself "I bet I'm the only fucker in the world who is playing this right now". It's easy top get a huge feeling a loneliness when you play older games, I love playing old 90's era fighting games but I'll be damned if I can find someone else who wants to play these games with me.

I thought when I went to uni this problem would be rectified a bit. In a uni with 10,000 students it seems everyone only wants to play counter strike and league of legends. Only game that is a big exception to the norm is smash bros melee but even that isn't what it was when I was a kid, it's like playing a completely different game now because we all know about wave dashing and shit.

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I'm a bit of a strange gamer in that I never liked multiplayer, sure I played a couple of times on FIFA with my cousin and playing Turtles in the arcade with a random lad but apart from that I've never had that, loads of friends pile into a room and take it in turns on games thing.

You could say in quite a selfish gamer, I like everything to be my way, If I thought that someone had loaded up my save from an RPG and even ran round for 2 minutes before saving and turning it off I'd have to start the game all over again. I suppose gaming has always been a very personal thing with me. Which is why in later years going round mates houses that have said do I want to play 2 player, I always said "nah I'll just watch you" as that's what I honestly prefer to do. I've probably missed out a bit in never really getting into multiplayer in my youth, I've made up for it now, a couple of years ago me and a few mates (some of which are on this forum) had a few decent sessions on Left 4 Dead and I play a lot of COD / Titanfall with one of my mates. But I can honestly say I'm happiest when I'm on my own, load up one of the epic RPG adventures and fully immerse myself into the game.

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Playing an old game often makes me feel lonely in a bad way. Modern gaming has definitely had a negative effect on retro gaming in this regard for me. Even in single player mode, modern games give you a feeling of connection, whether it's leaderboards or unlocking achievements/trophies that others can see or even just the fact that friends can log on and see what you're playing. With retro gaming on the other hand, you finally beat that damn boss on level 4 of Space Mega Shmup and ... tumbleweeds.

I'm exaggerating for effect and still love playing retro stuff, but I do sometimes wish we could retrofit into those ancient systems at least some aspects of modern gaming.

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I've often felt like that but for modern games, having leaderboards and multiplayer does not always make a game feel more connected, just more lonely.

I was a massive fan of the Sega Racing Studio developed, 2007 version of Sega Rally and it was a gutting experience, playing that game a year after release.

The developer was clearly a fan of the original game, it had a simple but complex control system, Sega touches like planes flying a few metres above your car, great circuits and the brilliant terrain deformation system. Only problem was no one brought it and Sega closed the studio down before they completed anything else.

The game was a nostalgic dream, evoking the 90's Arcade games I loved, but had a compelling single player, a Time Trial mode I played for years after work as a way to relax and some great leaderboards action. But a big part of my memory of that game is tarnished as the online was almost non-existent. It felt like this wonderful game had not a single fan and it was my purpose in life to keep playing to keep its memory intact. On the rare cases that I found someone online to play with, you felt a connection with them, you added them as a friend, but they would stay for a race or 2 then bugger off. The online lobby fell silent once more and this game that cost millions to develop, was played by literally no one but me.

It's odd to feel like that but I do have that feeling from time to time. Playing on my Dreamcast the weekend before it switched off, an old PSone game like Ridge Racer Type 4, me and a mate playing a match of Age of Empires 2 on a bank holiday weekend or me and my brother having a 2 player match of 1080 Snowboarding. It feels like we're the only ones enjoying this experience right now.

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I've never really been a big fan of online multiplayer. Sure, i have had some good times but generally i always have preffered local multiplayer.

Unfortunetly, not many games ever seem to support split screen or even local system play which is a shame.

So anyway, i have got good memories of Nintendo consoles due to fantastic multiplayer - N64/GC and to some extent Wii U. Smash bros melee/brawl kept me and friends entertained for hundreds of hours and i honestly miss those days i would meet up with them and we would sink a few hours a time into the game.

I really wanted to play Mario 3d world with extra players, but any of the people that would play it with me have kinda gone their own ways now so i'm left with single player only most the time.

Most of my teens i played single player games on my own and i really enjoyed the quiet time. I find nowadays if i am playing single player with people around i feel im being judged and seem to die more often than i normally would!

I remember actually playing the new giana sisters and the music just brought back all the memory of when i played the amiga original and what my life was like at the time. Brought a tear to my eye!

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I used to get weird creepy feelings playing text adventures late at night as a lad. What was the one with the screaming mandrake again? I couple that with my mates sisters bad perfume as I'd play it round his which stunk of it. Now whenever I encounter mandrake or the perfume in my everyday life a chill runs up my spine.

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See for me connected games with online leaderboards are a real hindrance to me. They only serve to show me how shit I am at a game. At least with old games you can beat your high score and feel like a proper god, even though in the grand scheme of things you're rubbish.

Apart from a spell at uni, I very rarely ever played same-room multiplayer with anyone, so going back to old games isn't too difficult, although years of modern games have made me soft.

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Sat and watched videos of old BBC games for about an hour on the TV via YouTube the other day. Strange feeling, nostalgia, mixed with childhood longing, timeout from the modern world and the present time. Things that were.

Definitely feeling that 'virtual emptiness' you get traipsing around old game environments. Dobuita always felt like that a bit.

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Playing an old game often makes me feel lonely in a bad way. Modern gaming has definitely had a negative effect on retro gaming in this regard for me. Even in single player mode, modern games give you a feeling of connection, whether it's leaderboards or unlocking achievements/trophies that others can see or even just the fact that friends can log on and see what you're playing. With retro gaming on the other hand, you finally beat that damn boss on level 4 of Space Mega Shmup and ...

...post a screenshot to Miiverse and get some Yeah!s on it!

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'The Edge' multiplayer map from Quake 2 - my secondary school had the game installed on every PC thankfully and this map was played most lunchtimes (and whenever else) in the very late 90's, before new machines came along with UT. I wandered around the empty map and remembered how busy and fun it used to be with the computer club geeks and the odd unknown from another classroom - it is now deserted and silent, quite apt really.

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On 22/03/2012 at 14:19, Hambury said:

At least with offline games you can always go back for a nostalgia trip. With the online ones, once they end, they end. Game over you might say. Deep stuff.

This is what I love about dabbling with unofficial WoW servers. You can enter the old Vanilla/Burning Crusade areas which don't exist anymore, vast halls, deep and complex cavern-like dungeons, dense jungles, areas that were once heavily populated, and you can be pretty sure that you're the only person (or one of an extreme few) experiencing that game environment in the entire world. It does hold some kind of value I can't quite put my finger on. :)

You feel like Bilbo Baggins, sneaking into a dungeon knowing that some huge boss is at the end who is potentially holding onto some nice loot that is totally unobtainable without twenty-four other experienced players.

If I won the lottery I'd invest 95% of the winnings, and with the dividends I'd 'employ' twenty-four friends to play through all that content with me once again. I'd maybe get another twenty-five for the opposite Ally/Horde side so that we could compete for cash bonuses dictated by what loot is won. It's the only way I'd be able to get people together today with consistency.

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Sounds like a wish of folly though, reminds me of Sarah's fake room in Labyrinth. "If I had money I could pay to make people pretend." :(

Why not pay football team of players to play with you and always pass you the ball? Or a pub full of 'friends' playing board games.

It's all fake and forced. The very point of these empty old virtual spaces is that they are empty for a reason, the world has moved on. Hence the feelings of loss, longing etc.

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I see both points, one - to relive old feelings, even if it costs authenticity. The other, understanding the emptiness and loneliness to be a part of the fact you're reliving the places in memory.

It's a bit like visiting your old house... You could get your whole family back in the place, but you'll never experiencing actually living there again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just seen this for the first time... Great thread. Like Sir Stiff One I often find myself watching old game clips on YouTube - Saturn, N64... It is a strange feeling, as discussed in here, a very much a set of mixed emotions as I very rarely remember just a game by itself, always the where, when and who I played it with as well.

I actually think it has a stronger nostalgic effect on me than music... I am very jealous of Vita owners who get to relive PS One games so easily, I wish there was a Saturn alternative! I think I will get a Vita to play through the PS One era as I lived it through my friends who had them - I never felt jealous at the time but I would love to play MGS, FFVIII, etc now... All games that I'm sure will remind me of sitting at my mate's houses watching them playing.

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  • 8 months later...

Just a quick return to this thread. I've been trying to hunt down (with absolutely no luck...) an old 486 PC for some nostalgic fun.

Last weekend I spent all day trying to get windows 95 running in DOSBOX. It was a nightmare, but reminded me of the fun I used to have trying to force stuff to work on my old 486.

I made that baby last way into the first gem pentium years.

I did play through a few games though, jazzy jackrabbit (yup!) pretty awful, but there I was transported back to my old house, playing a crappy platform we on my first PC...

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I'm playing Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance 2 at the moment on Xbox. I know of at least one other person still playing it because I sold the PS2 version to my cousin and he's about 3 hours ahead of me. We've sending each other little text messages about different parts of the game as we play through it.

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I've often felt like that but for modern games, having leaderboards and multiplayer does not always make a game feel more connected, just more lonely.

I was a massive fan of the Sega Racing Studio developed, 2007 version of Sega Rally and it was a gutting experience, playing that game a year after release.

The developer was clearly a fan of the original game, it had a simple but complex control system, Sega touches like planes flying a few metres above your car, great circuits and the brilliant terrain deformation system. Only problem was no one brought it and Sega closed the studio down before they completed anything else.

The game was a nostalgic dream, evoking the 90's Arcade games I loved, but had a compelling single player, a Time Trial mode I played for years after work as a way to relax and some great leaderboards action. But a big part of my memory of that game is tarnished as the online was almost non-existent. It felt like this wonderful game had not a single fan and it was my purpose in life to keep playing to keep its memory intact. On the rare cases that I found someone online to play with, you felt a connection with them, you added them as a friend, but they would stay for a race or 2 then bugger off. The online lobby fell silent once more and this game that cost millions to develop, was played by literally no one but me.

It's odd to feel like that but I do have that feeling from time to time. Playing on my Dreamcast the weekend before it switched off, an old PSone game like Ridge Racer Type 4, me and a mate playing a match of Age of Empires 2 on a bank holiday weekend or me and my brother having a 2 player match of 1080 Snowboarding. It feels like we're the only ones enjoying this experience right now.

Poignant. If it makes you feel any better, a mate and I dust down some version of 1080 from time to time and comment all over again about how cool the lighting was.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think about this fairly often. When I was a kid I remember looking at the cassettes my Spectrum games were on and trying to picture how there was a whole world inside that cassette to explore. I remember being frustrated that there were parts of it I couldn't see, because I wasn't good enough at the games to reach them. So it sort of seemed like the cassettes had some sort of magic wonderousness locked inside them. When I think about it now, I think about how all those worlds which brimmed with excitement and possibility are all just sitting there, empty now and for eternity probably. Millions of empty fantasy worlds where the hero is never going to turn up to save the day, and millions of winged pigs guarding the halls of decaying mansions which Willy is never going to tidy up.

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Going OT here, I was the same as a kid but with walls. I'd see a high wall and imagine what was on the other side, usually as some amazing thing. There was this wall near the local shop, it had these huge trees behind it and it really fired my imagination, I wanted to see behind the wall. Went down that road recently and they'd replaced the wall with railings - what a let-down. Just some crappy garden.

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