Retrogaming, also known as old-school gaming, is the hobby of playing and collecting older personal computer, console, and arcade video games. These games are played either on the original hardware, on modern hardware via emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations. Participants in the hobby are sometimes known as retrogamers in the United Kingdom, while the terms classic gamers, or old school gamers are more prevalent in the United States. Similarly, the games are known as retrogames, classic games, or old-school games. Retrogaming is often linked to, although not the same as, indie gaming (the hobby of playing games that are not published by any conventional publisher). Additionally, the term old-school could apply to a newer game, but with features similar to those of older games, such as an "old-school RPG" which features turn-based combat and an isometric camera perspective.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2012)|
Among the most popular retro games are those produced around the 1980s and 1990s, and include video games for systems and consoles such as the Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System, Master System, Mega Drive, Super NES, Game Boy,as well as personal computer games for the Commodore 64, MSX, ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, NEC PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, FM-7 and DOS platforms. Arcade games are also popular, especially early games by Konami, Sega, Atari, Taito, Williams Electronics, Namco, Nintendo, Technos, Capcom, and SNK. Games in this era were frequently attributed to individual programmers, and many retro gamers seek out games by particular developers, such as Tomohiro Nishikado, Shigeru Miyamoto, Shigesato Itoi, Bill Williams, Eugene Jarvis, Dave Theurer, Nasir Gebelli, Yuji Naka, Jeff Minter, Yuji Horii, Yu Suzuki, Tony Crowther, Andrew Braybrook, Hideo Kojima, and Hironobu Sakaguchi. Some games are played on the original hardware; others are played through emulation, and in some cases entirely new versions of the games are written (so-called "retro remakes"). As well as playing games, a subculture of retrogaming has grown up around the music in retro games.
In the wake of increasing nostalgia and the success of retro-compilations in the sixth and seventh generations of consoles, retrogaming has become a motif in modern games, as well. Modern Retro games will impose limitations on color palette, resolution, and memory well below the actual limits of the hardware in order to mimic the look of older hardware. These may be based on a general concept of retro, as with Cave Story, or an attempt to imitate a specific piece of hardware (as with La Mulana and its MSX color palette).
Modern retrogaming began to gain traction thanks in part to the independent gaming scene, where the short development time was attractive and commercial viability was not a concern. More recently major publishers have started to embrace modern retro with releases like Mega Man 9 (an attempt to mimic NES hardware), Retro Game Challenge (a compilation of new games on faux-NES hardware), and Sega's Fantasy Zone II remake, which actually used emulated System 16 hardware running on PlayStation 2 to create a 16-bit reimagining of the 8-bit original.
Modern retro may sometimes be more broadly applied to games, made by companies and individuals alike, that feature retro-style designs with more modern graphics (enhanced Remakes), like Pac-Man: Championship Edition, Space Invaders Extreme, Super Mega Worm, or 3D Dot Game Heroes.
When remakes are created by an individual or a group of enthusiasts without commercial motivation, such games sometimes are also called Fangames. Motivation for a recreation is often the missing support for current platforms and hardware when games were abandoned support-wise by the producers (Abandonware). Examples for fan-made remakes are many adventure games like King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown or King's Quest II: Romancing the Stones and other remakes of classical games like Freeciv (Civilization).
The nostalgia-based revival of older game styles has also been accompanied by the development of the modern chiptune genre of game music. Chiptunes are characterized by severe limitations of sound imposed by the author's self-restriction to using only the original sound chips from 8-bit or 16-bit games. These compositions are featured in many retro-style modern games and are popular in the demoscene.
Re-release of Retrogames in the digital distribution
With the new possibility of the digital distribution in mid-2000 the commercial distribution of old classical game titles became feasible again as deployment and storage costs dropped significantly:
[...] we can put something up on Steam [a digital distributor], deliver it to people all around the world, make changes. We can take more interesting risks.[...] Retail doesn’t know how to deal with those games. On Steam there’s no shelf-space restriction. It’s great because they’re a bunch of old, orphaned games
A Digital Distributor specialized in bringing old games out of abandonware is GOG.com (formerly called Good Old Games) who started 2008 to search for copyright holders of classic games to release them legally and DRM-free again.
With the hobby of collecting older video games comes a culture that includes magazines like Retro Gamer, online newsletters like Retrogaming Times Monthly, websites like RetroTunnel,Racketboy, podcasts such as RetroGaming Roundup Retro Domination, and Retronauts, and expos, like Classic Gaming Expo, in addition to numerous videos, songs, forums, etc. You will also find specialist parties run by enthusiasts such as Retro Games Party  where they have many Arcade games of the 1980s, all restored back to fully working conditions. These parties are being run by many other enthusiasts, who all dedicate a lot of time to restoring these arcade machines for little or no personal gain.
Museums and Exhibitions
Retrogames (and retrogaming) are recognized meanwhile by own museums worldwide, e.g. in Karlsruhe (Germany) exists the RetroGames arcade museum founded 2002 or the Computerspielemuseum Berlin founded in 1997. Also video games gets recognized by classical reputable art museums in retrospective, like with the The Art of Video Games exhibition in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012 or as part of the Museum of Modern Art "Applied Design" exhibition in 2013. The Museum of Computing in Swindon (UK) offers visitors the chance to play on a variety of consoles.
- Atari Flashback (plug-and-play system)
- C64 Direct-to-TV
- Capcom Classics Collection (compilation)
- Console emulator
- History of Microsoft Windows (1-ME)
- History of Mac OS (1-9)
- History of video game consoles (1-6)
- Virtual Console
- 3DS Virtual Console
- MAME (arcade emulation)
- Winuae (Commodore Amiga emulation)
- Midway Arcade Treasures (compilation)
- Namco Museum (compilation)
- Power Player Super Joy III
- Video game collecting
- Demakes Remakes of newer games for old consoles and computers.
-  GOING RETRO: 14 Old School Games You Can Play On Your iPhone Right Now
- "NES Classics: retro gaming, at a price: Page 1". arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- Knight, Jason. "Paku Paku - A game for early PC/MS-DOS Computers" (in englisch). deathshadow.com. Retrieved 2013-01-16. "Contents of DEATHSHADOW'S MADNESS © Jason M. Knight unless otherwise noted All code presented on this site is released to the Public Domain. There'll be none of that open source licensing malarkey in here - If you going to give something away, LANDS SAKE JUST GIVE IT AWAY!!!"
- Walker, John (2007-11-22). "RPS Exclusive: Gabe Newell Interview". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2013-06-28. "The worst days [for game development] were the cartridge days for the NES. It was a huge risk – you had all this money tied up in silicon in a warehouse somewhere, and so you’d be conservative in the decisions you felt you could make, very conservative in the IPs you signed, your art direction would not change, and so on. Now it’s the opposite extreme: we can put something up on Steam, deliver it to people all around the world, make changes. We can take more interesting risks.[...] Retail doesn’t know how to deal with those games. On Steam [a digital distributor] there’s no shelf-space restriction. It’s great because they’re a bunch of old, orphaned games."
- Caron, Frank (2008-09-09). "First look: GOG revives classic PC games for download age". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-12-27. "[...] [Good Old Games] focuses on bringing old, time-tested games into the downloadable era with low prices and no DRM."
- RetroGames e.V. (german)
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- Snider, Mike (2012-03-13). "Are video games art? Draw your own conclusions". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- Antonelli, Paola (2012-11-29). "Video Games: 14 in the Collection, for Starters". Inside / Out. A MoMA/MoMA PS1 Blog. Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
http://playboard.me/channel/505088ad4fbd8c857e000001 - list of retro games for Android available on Google Play - by Playboard
http://sourceforge.net/projects/earliestgames/ - early and similar vintage games written in 'c' and 'c' linux ncurses by Dr. John R. Francis