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Old games, arcade games, Sega games, Nintendo games, obscure Japanese games and the hardware that powered them. This is Retro Otaku. Or something. Whatever.

But you probably want to know something a bit more descriptive than that. Something about me. I can help with that.

Growing up in the 80s was a great time to be a gamer in Australia – we had a healthy supply of cocktail cabinets and LAI lowboys doing the rounds, and a round of arcade gamage was just a fish and chip shop away. Saturday afternoons at the local footy/cricket/whatever club meant that your Dad could show off his Boony mo and drink beer while you plied him for 20c pieces shared between your siblings so you could play another round of Moon Patrol, or if you were lucky, your brother would help you onto a bar stool so you could have a round of pinball. The yeasty waft of spilled beer fermenting in the carpet and lingering cigarette smoke completed the picture. The 1980s were truly good times.

When not at the local fish and chip place, community club, arcade or mall (or arcade at the mall), there was always the Atari 2600, and as the decade drew to a close, we had the C64 to entertain ourselves with, complete with 34cm colour TV to plug that RF cable in.

Fast forward to the 90s, and things start changing. The dingy ghetto arcades with names like “Electric Dreams” that probably haboured all sorts of undesirable behaviour made way for the family-friendly Timezones, or the hybrid ghetto/family fun park like Magic Mountain (or if you were a Karate Kid, Golf’n’Stuff). New games started setting you back 60c, and soon the likes of Daytona, in all its’ 24k resolution glory, was costing you a at least a dollar, maybe two.

At home and in the school yard it was no longer C64 vs Spectrum or Atari ST vs Amiga, it was all about the Master System and the NES (we were a bit slow in Australia), followed closely by the Mega Drive and the SNES. A world of polygons descended on the home in the wake of more powerful arcade boards, a movement that would spawn the Playstation, dedicated 3D accelerators as standard-issue in PCs, the beginning of the hulking beheamoth that has become the FPS and the death knell of one of the industry’s Japanese stalwarts.

At the turn of the millennium, the arcade followed in the footsteps of the Hollow Men and exited the stage with a flaccid whimper. The world had moved on, and the home was now the purveyor of innovation, change and stagnation. The proverbial mantle changed hands between adversaries old and new as the world became irreversibly inter-connected, we entered an era where our hardware has desperately attempted to move into HD (with only limited success – native SD resolutions upscaled as a final raster != HD), and we all started whinging about it in our blogs and on social media sites.

So here I sit, a child of the 80s and apparently, as someone who falls into the Gen Y category, I’m also apparently selfish and a blight on society. Nice.

Still, I find video games, especially retro games, a lot of fun. According to the internet, I’m not the only one.

With this blog I’m hoping to achieve a number of things, including documenting hardware modifications, reviewing old and neo-retro games, standing on my soapbox and having a whinge, and my love of arcade games and the cabinets that facilitate them.

So if you enjoy basking in the warm light of a CRT and appreciate the iridescent change in pitch as the refresh rate jumps from 50hz to 60hz, as well as the associated nerdy commentary, you may well find something interesting here to distract you from something more fulfilling in life. You know, like paid employment or raising children, both of which are probably more productive ways to spend your time.

Or watching The Karate Kid on Blu-Ray. Because you’re the best. Around. And nothings gonna ever keep you down.

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