Oh So Retro

My 8-year-old spent some of his allowance on a collection of "Sonic the Hedgehog" games for our Gamecube. I watch him and the other kids play these older games, and I realize that their enjoyment does not depend on pixel density, polygon counts, or anything else the console manufacturers would have us spend money on. It's about PLAY. A little less retro: I got a copy of Thief: Deadly Shadows for the XBox (for $3.71 -- what a bargain!) and noticed that the animation and control was kind of clunky compared to other, newer XBox games I've got. But the game has PLAY -- it engages me. The story is interesting, and while the interface has more than its share of klunk and kludge, I'm not going to complain about a three-dollar and seventy-one cent investment that has captured 250 minutes of my time so far. (Well, I am going to complain, but that's because I was up until three AM last night, and I've got work to do today.) (Edit: Did I say 250 minutes? It's more like 1200, but who's counting?) I'm not saying I don't enjoy the newer, faster, higher-resolution games, too. I guess my point is that I don't feel a pressing need to have the latest console or the latest titles. I play to relax, I play to escape, I play to have fun. None of that is affected in any way by what anybody else happens to be playing.