James Matson spots a beautiful woman from across the room and gets totally miffed that she’s blocking his view of the even more beautiful Sega MegaCD behind her.
When we think of sexy hobbies, the mind tends to immediately conjure up images of super fit bodies doing crazy things outdoors or indoors that make them sweaty and expose their, er, fitness. You know the stuff; mountain climbing, fixing cars, pole dancing or wrestling Cougars to the ground shirtless while smoking a cigar. Yeah, those are the things we think of as sexy hobbies.
Notice that nowhere in that impromptu list did we mention guys or gals boarded up in their spare bedroom or den amassing an ever growing collection of circa 1980s/90s video gaming equipment? That omission might lead the untrained mind to assume that somehow retro gaming and retro game collecting isn’t considered a sexy hobby. It might even lead the casual observer to form the opinion there is no lust, passion or raw bodily-fluid inducing beauty to be had from a pile of Megadrive cartridges or within the reflection of a Midway arcade cabinet CRT.
If you know someone of this misguided opinion, it’s time to set them straight. It’s time to tell them that they’re wrong.
Great Giana Sisters intellectual copyright infringement wrong.
Those people have obviously never laid eyes on an Atari Jaguar. The specifications hint at it being a games console, but just take a moment to visually drink in the unit itself. Dark grey – almost black – plastic, aerodynamic lines, the word ‘Jaguar’ splashed across the unit in claw-mark font. It’s deadly, it’s sleek, and if you you met it at a local bar you’d be falling all over yourself to buy it a drink. Hell, even the box is sexy! Those big yellow Jaguar eyes staring out at you, beckoning you to open the box and experience a games console that Atari proudly proclaimed was 64-bit only by virtue of it passing 32-bit instructions via 64-bit ALUs. If aliens invade earth, they’ll come in spaceships that look just like Atari Jaguar’s, mark our words.
These same people also can’t begin to understand the pure lust that is a fully decked out Sega Megadrive. We’re talking Megadrive, MegaCD (1 or 2) and Sega 32X all put together in a menacing tower of Sega-ness. So hot is the sight of this tower of gaming glory, that women and men alike have been known to faint dead away in its presence. Such beauty, such power, such form. Someone, fetch ice water – quick!. Sure, it’ll cost you your first born, six goats and your eternal soul to own a Megadrive, MegaCD and 32X but that’s a relatively minor concern, you’ll be able to issue powerful rays of sex appeal on command merely by revealing the fact you own one.
Not hot enough yet? Consider big box Amiga games. These days we’re treated to banal and lifeless plastic cases holding a game disc and little else. There’s no beauty, no substance. Nothing to really grab onto. Back in the heyday of the Commodore Amiga ‘big box’ games were all the rage. Giant cardboard cartons awash with beautiful cover art giving way to thick lustrous manuals, copy protection wheels, disks and posters. It’s so much stuff, so many gorgeous things, you almost feel guilty for not having paid more. Big box Amiga games were – and still are – so seductive they should be escorts.
Also, ever single arcade cabinet ever made is hot. Ever. Period. Don’t even argue, we’re not listening.
There’s sexiness to be had in every corner of a retro gaming collection, at every angle. Ever witnessed a Vectrex fired up? Just try and contain yourself when those vector lines start firing across the screen. It makes you feel so damn retro that you might as well be published by Psygnosis. Sometimes you don’t even have to play the game in order to be affected in the pants region by its unadulterated beauty – you just need to be near the cartridge. Famicom games are a prime example, each one a vibrant affirmation of the ability of the Japanese to thrill us with their art and design some 27 years after the machines original release. Gaming magazines in the 1980s and 90s were infinitely better looking than their modern counterparts. Absolutely bursting with page count and content, retro gaming magazines were fun and free and had a certain rebellious edge simply missing from today’s publications. They had loose morals and no inhibitions – what’s hotter than that? (You sicko – Ed)
Even the collectors, the retro gamers themselves have an element of sexiness about them that’s hard to deny. Have you ever seen the look on the face of someone who has – with only seconds to go and after a seat-of-their-pants bidding duel – won an eBay auction for that boxed, rare game they’ve been wanting since they were a kid? That look, that look of satiated relief mixed with the still present fear of how close the whole plan came to coming undone. That’s sexy. Or the sly grin of someone who has spotted the corner of a Super Nintendo buried in a box of AV cords and old cameras at the local market. The face of a winner, the face of a hunter who has caught his prey unawares.
We’re going to assume that you’re not even reading anymore, that you’ve passed out – overwhelmed – from the sheer sexiness that is retro gaming. When you wake, you’ll do so enlightened. Now you know that while it might seem like you’re just collecting old games and playing ancient game systems, the truth is when people look at you they see a Cougar-wrestling, cigar smoking sexual beast with a SNES controller in their hand.
Or that’s what we’re going to keep telling ourselves at least.