12.17.12

Recreating the recreated arcade experience

How do you emulate an experience? That's the question that Rantmedia Games is trying to answer with their Vectrex Regeneration, the iCade recreation of the Vectrex, the 1982 vector-graphics system that itself aimed to recreate the arcade experience at home. This piece at Ars Technica is fascinating, and not just for its profound techological ironies (faking a fake arcade experience on a fake-retro arcade peripheral). The makers of the Regeneration are actually building vestigial imperfections back into the emulator:

And then there are the little bits of retro authenticity that don't come from intentional design, but from the physical vagaries of the old hardware itself. "One of the things that's evident on the original system is, due to the bad design of it, a lot of them will hum—you turn them on and there's this kind of constant hum," Faulconbridge pointed out to us. "We were talking to the guys following us on Twitter and through the web site and we said 'Do you want the hum in there?' and about 95% of them said yes. So we've made it an option. It's not on by default, but you can turn it on if you want it."

There is no option as of yet to climb back into the womb.