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What exactly are people using to define retro-gaming when they use the tag? I ran into this question while trying to think how best to retag this question about adaptations.

Looking at the layout currently amongst 11 12 questions, we have:

  • 4 5 tagged for applying to Commodore 64.
  • 1 tagged for applying to Amiga.
  • 1 tagged for applying to the NES.
  • 2 tagged for applying to the SNES.
  • 1 asking for acquiring old games.
  • 1 asking for recently-developed open-source games.
  • 1 asking about adaptations of old microgames.

Of these, the last two do not feel like they are about retro-gaming. The former I honestly don't know why it has the tag, while the latter doesn't actually seem to know if the games exist (in which case, how would one know if they were "retro" games?).

So excluding those, we have a bunch of questions with the tag purely by the generation of console, and one about the actual hobby of retro-gaming. The general implication by this usage is that as time passes, what generations of consoles are considered "retro games" will increase in number and we'll have to add the tag as we go along. Is this what we want to see, or is there going to be a defined generation barrier for what is retro enough? In whichever case, we really need to define a list of which consoles/handhelds count as "retro".

Moreover, what about games that are designed to be like retro gaming? For example, this question is about a virtual console game, should it get the retro gaming tag? As well, Cave Story is often cited to be a "retro game" due to its gameplay and appearance as opposed to its age. Do we categorize it as retro-gaming?

I guess my end question is - do we define retro-gaming as the age of the game, or as the design of the game as well? What other factors are being used to define retro gaming currently?

  • I just stumbled upon vintage which also falls into this category... – Zommuter Jul 15 '10 at 9:10
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I'd prefer to restrict retro-gaming to the design, since old games can just be tagged by the console. Although we could (please don't hit me...) introduce era-tags if this really needs to be emphasized for some reason.

Or use another tag like old-games for everything older than, say, 10 years. But that would require retagging every few years :-7

  • Thank you for helping me find old-game and oldware. – Grace Note Jul 14 '10 at 14:27
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    @Grace Note: and I just thought I made it up... Well, there's our first tagmerge I guess... – Zommuter Jul 14 '10 at 14:42
  • Maybe we should use [retro-gaming] and [retro-games] for the two kinds you mentioned – Zommuter Jul 14 '10 at 14:50
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    Would tagging old games processor type be more effective? [8-bit] [16-bit] – Noctrine Jul 14 '10 at 15:51
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    @Noctrine: That would be an idea for an actual implementation of [era-tag], sounds good to me – Zommuter Jul 15 '10 at 6:36
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    I also like the restrict it to design, as a lot of retro games are often re-released on newer platforms (XBLA, DS, etc). – tzenes Aug 16 '10 at 6:00

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