A lament for a lost video gaming era

For a long time I have been lamenting why computer games aren’t like the ones I loved to play in the late ’90s/early 2000s… games like SimCity 2000 and Age of Empires. Even the über-nerdy version of Scrabble I had on my computer back then, with tournament rules and rankings, etc.

Oh, the descendants of those games certainly exist, but they have lost all of the things that made them interesting to me. And there are no new games that really capture that spirit effectively anymore. (Even the new ones that ostensibly try to evoke that spirit… don’t. At least not for a purist like me.)

Finally today I realized why. Because back then the video game market was way smaller than it is now, and it only catered to hardcore nerds like me. These days, it’s so much bigger, and so much broader, that there’s (comparatively) no money to be made on the types of games I liked back then.

And the real tragedy for me is that I can’t even play those games I loved anymore, because I don’t have any hardware that can play them. There’s emulation, but these games seem to exist in a technological gap. Emulators are great for even older games, mostly console games, but I haven’t really been able to find a decent way to emulate these games that required more computing power. Then again… maybe I just haven’t been trying hard enough.