Gamer Nostalgia: While these East Coasters still love playing the video games of their youth, gaming isn’t “the same” anymore

Bridget Driver grew up playing Mario Kart 64, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, and Guitar Hero Legends of Rock.

The Charlottetown, PEI woman played these games both at home and at her friends’ houses on different gaming platforms: Mario Kart 64 on the Nintendo 64 and Guitar Hero Legends Of Rock on the PlayStation 3.

“Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 was played on the original Xbox, which I still have and it still works,” says Driver.

She appreciates all of these games for different reasons. When she was young, she and her mother played Mario Kart 64 before bed most nights.

“When I was older, I appreciated Tony Hawk for the sandbox approach to character mods as well as the soundtrack,” he says.

Guitar Hero Legends of Rock, however, remains Driver’s favorite game, which he says subliminally taught him how to play the guitar.

“I played that game every chance I got,” he says. “Thanks to the images in the game, I can continually unlock things about my guitar and piano playing, all thanks to this game.”


One aspect of Pony Boat that immediately stands out is its arcade, something Charlottetown hasn't had in years, featuring games new and old, from Guitar Hero to Pac-man and even Skee-Ball.  -Cody McEachern
One aspect of Pony Boat that immediately stands out is its arcade, something Charlottetown hasn’t had in years, featuring games new and old, from Guitar Hero to Pac-man and even Skee-Ball. -Cody McEachern

What makes these games so beloved, says Driver, “is that they were part of a time when co-op play could happen on the couch with a single console. Now playing co-op is quite different.”

Driver is still a player today, but he doesn’t play as much. She “enjoys playing Skyrim and Fallout 4, along with any racing game when I have the time.”

But it’s those video games that he loved so much that mean the most.

I grew up playing in arcades

Randy Cormier of O’Leary, PEI grew up playing Megamania on Atari, as well as Mortal Kombat II, Killer Instinct, and Ms. Pacman on the arcade.

Although he had an Atari system growing up, Cormier says it was the arcade he gravitated toward.


Randy Cormier of O'Leary, PEI says he grew up playing in arcades.  Nostalgia for the games he loved prompted him to create a mini game room in his own home.  - Contributed - Contributed
Randy Cormier of O’Leary, PEI says he grew up playing in arcades. Nostalgia for the games he loved prompted him to create a mini game room in his own home. – Contributed – Contributed

Fortunately for him, all of his favorite games are emulated to run on today’s modern machines.

“The camaraderie of playing with friends and family, and the nostalgia factor, brings me back to a simpler time in my childhood,” he says.

Cormier is still a gamer today, but his love remains for the games of his youth.

“I collect retro consoles, from the Atari 2600 to the Vectrex, Nintendo and Sega, from the ’70s to the ’90s,” he says.

“I have also invested in several modern arcade cabinets to have my own personal arcade at home.”


“The camaraderie of playing with friends and family, and the nostalgia factor, brings me back to a simpler time of my childhood.
“The camaraderie of playing with friends and family, and the nostalgia factor, brings me back to a simpler time in my childhood,” says Randy Cormier, who preferred playing in arcades as a child. – UNSPLASH

a simpler time

Brenden Fraser from Charlottetown, PEI misses playing games like the original Animal Crossing and Pokémon Yellow.

“I also played the original Spider-Man on PlayStation 1 a lot. When I was a teenager, I started playing Minecraft, but a lot has changed since then,” he says.

“There used to be an element of surprise and adventure that I don’t experience with the newer versions.”

Growing up, Fraser mostly played video games at home on his Game Boy Color, the family desktop computer, or a Play Station 1 and GameCube that he shared with his older brother.


“There used to be an element of surprise and adventure that I don’t experience with the newer versions.”
— Brenden Fraser


It is those same games that he played as a child that he likes today, and he has found a way to play them.

“All the games I used to play can be run through a program on the computer called an emulator and played with a mouse and keyboard. However, for some games, you are required to pay for the files to get the game,” he says.

Like Cormier, Fraser says that playing these video games brings him back to a simpler time in his life when he didn’t stress out too much. And he’s still a great player, he adds.

“I compete in a PC real-time strategy game called StarCraft II and have been working on mastering the game since 2015,” he says.

“The closest thing I can compare the game to is a much more exciting version of chess. I play in tournaments against the best players in the world. I personally rank in the top 500 players in the world, but I’ve beaten several of the top 10 best players in a series in those tournaments.

cartridge king

Mitch MacDonald is from Cape North, Cape Breton, but is better known by his nickname: “Cartridge King”.

Some of the games he misses are Super Mario All-Stars, Street Fighter 2, and Doctor Mario, which he played at home with his brother on the Super Nintendo growing up.

MacDonald says you can get some of the games today, but they’re not the same versions of the game you had as a kid.

“I loved these games when I was a kid because it was something I could do with my brothers. Today, online multiplayer is king and, well, I miss the old couch co-op,” he says.


Mitch MacDonald playing video games with his son Jimmy.  - Contributed - Contributed
Mitch MacDonald playing video games with his son Jimmy. – Contributed – Contributed

Compared to today, MacDonald says that “people don’t leave their houses to play with their friends because they gather in online lobbies instead of getting on their bikes to play with friends at home or go to the arcades. games (to play) retro games. . It’s not the same anymore”.

MacDonald is still a gamer today, teaching his children how to play video games and helping them improve.

“I livestream specifically retro games to Facebook like ‘Cartridge King.’ I speedrun and enjoy co-op games with a couple of close friends through a program called Parsec and use Discord for voice chat,” he says.

But, he says, he misses the old days.

“It’s not the same. I’m not on the couch, side by side, rubbing each other, but it takes away the itch.”

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