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Vintage Gaming Exhibit: 8-bit Is Back at CyberArts

“I consider myself a casual gamer,” Andrew Y. Ames tells me as he guides me around his Vintage Gaming exhibit at 1305 Boylston, an old gas station turned gallery-for-rent. The exhibit, which is a part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival, involves several retro televisions, Ataris, a Wii, and a projection screen. The video-games displayed seem casual compared to plot-intense, graphics-heavy modern games, but these decades-old titles hold considerable interest for gamers who crave a vintage experience. Also, anyone who’s tried to beat a high score on a stand-up in an arcade knows that the classics are not as innocuous as they appear.
Some of the games available for play are relics from the 80s, and others are completely new Atari titles created by independent developers. Turns out you can recycle the cartridges and re-write your own code on them. The developers doing so are committed to mimicking the attitude of 80s originals, right down to the soundtrack stylings. Ames also showed me Bit.Trip Beat, an indie-developed Pong-inspired rhythm game for the Nintendo Wii.
I suggested that someone revamp Duck Hunt, and Ames threw back that he was working on a mod of Space Invaders that removes all of the titular invaders. He’s not sure what that’ll do to the game, but you can go play some games and talk shop with Ames about it yourself -- the exhibit continues until Monday May 4th, or longer depending on whether they can hold on to the space.
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