Lunchtime Discussion: The 7th Generation is Retro

Ret+ro- prefix. 1. back or backwards: retroactive. 2. located behind: retrolenta. [from latin retrõ behind, backwards]

In preparation for this article it took blood (literally), sweat and tears to rumble through my attic and find the ancient relic that is: The Collins English Dictionary. The definition above is what my prize returned to me and unfortunately, despite the effort placed into finding the damn thing, it was not worth it. My copy is as old as time itself and, as a result, is clearly unaware of the verb which we now all use on such a regular basis. A quick (and significantly more painless) search of the, younger, hipper, cooler, urban dictionary gave me all that I needed.

retro something that is old fashioned but currently cool!
That indie chick goes for the retro look

It is this definition which applies itself to gaming. Whether it’s Pong, Sonic or Super Mario World we all associate everything that’s either simple, 2D or square as following the retro style. But let’s remember that even those classics were once seen as next gen. Mario only appeared in generation three and sonic in generation four. Which brings me to my point. Are we currently playing a generation which, in as little as two generations, could be seen as “retro”?


Which gets you thinking, if it’s squares, 2D and simplicity that were the staple of “the olden days” then what do we have now? 3D? Realism? Cell shading? Because really, the goal for gaming now is to get as close to realism as possible now that the technology allows it, what sort of majorly new innovations will we see? We’re always heading for more and more realistic graphics, and seeing as we’re pretty damn close already, where else can we go visually? True, pop-out 3D or virtual reality? Will our retro staple simply be the flatness of images? Or perhaps waggle controls? And what happens if you only have one eye?