Ars Technica: How hobbyist hackers are preserving Pokémon’s past—and shaping its future

Ars Technica: How hobbyist hackers are preserving Pokémon’s past—and shaping its future. “While Nintendo, the games’ publisher, hasn’t worked to make older Pokémon games accessible on modern hardware—or affordable on older gear—a certain demographic of dedicated fans has taken it upon themselves to not just preserve legacy Pokémon titles but to actively improve them. These volunteer ROM hackers and preservationists work to keep the passions of an aging generation of Pokémon masters alive, all while fighting occasionally brutal legal crackdowns from Nintendo.”

Pixel art comes to life: Fan upgrades classic MS-DOS games with AI (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Pixel art comes to life: Fan upgrades classic MS-DOS games with AI. “Last night, a Reddit user named frigis9 posted six images that featured detailed graphical upgrades to classic MS-DOS computer games such as Commander Keen 6 and The Secret of Monkey Island. The most interesting part is how they did it: by using an image synthesis technique called ‘img2img’ (image to image), which takes an input image, applies a written text prompt, and generates a similar output image as a result. “

“An Intense Hobby”: Meet the People Making New Retro Games (How-To Geek)

How-To Geek: “An Intense Hobby”: Meet the People Making New Retro Games. “It’s easy to think that consoles like the original NES, Sega Mega Drive, or even the Atari are nothing more than museum pieces, mere footnotes in video gaming history. However, there’s plenty of interest in retro gaming: And people are even making new games for these old consoles. Nowhere was this clearer than at Gamescom 2022 in Cologne, Germany, where a decent-sized section of a massive hall was dedicated to retro gaming.”

WIRED: The Creators of ‘King’s Quest’ Are Back With a New Game

WIRED: The Creators of ‘King’s Quest’ Are Back With a New Game. “Ken and Roberta Williams are the cofounders of Sierra Online, the company behind such classic computer games as King’s Quest, Space Quest, and Quest for Glory. Their latest project, Colossal Cave: Reimagined by Roberta Williams, is a remake of the genre-defining Colossal Cave Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods.”

MakeUseOf: 5 Sites Where You Can Download Old PC Games for Free

MakeUseOf: 5 Sites Where You Can Download Old PC Games for Free. “Modern gamers have an unrivaled bounty of free games. Many of the most popular online games use the free-to-play model to entice users. There are free games on Steam, in your browser, and on your smartphone. However, you don’t always want the latest AAA title or free battle royale. You want to scratch the nostalgia itch. Luckily, there are a host of websites dedicated to precisely this: the love and preservation of old games. Here are the best sites where you can download old PC games for free.”

Kotaku: Retro Computer And Game Museum In Ukraine Destroyed By Russian Bombing

Kotaku: Retro Computer And Game Museum In Ukraine Destroyed By Russian Bombing. “A large, privately-owned, and operated museum dedicated to retro computers and video games was destroyed earlier this week in Ukraine as a result of the ongoing and horrific invasion of the country by Russia. While a museum being destroyed doesn’t compare at all to the thousands dead and injured, it’s still a sad loss as over 500 pieces of computer history spanning decades has been destroyed.” The owner of the museum is reported to be safe.

Gizmodo: A Determined Hacker Has Brought Google Maps to the NES

Gizmodo: A Determined Hacker Has Brought Google Maps to the NES. “Almost a decade before the world finally realized how tedious April Fool’s Day pranks are, Google revealed a farcical 8-bit port of Google Maps for the iconic Nintendo Entertainment System. The prank was quickly forgotten, but not by one maker, who, nine years later, has made the NES version of Google Maps a reality.”

Boing Boing: Norman’s Sky, tiny low-res No Man’s Sky pastiche, gets an update

Boing Boing: Norman’s Sky, tiny low-res No Man’s Sky pastiche, gets an update. “No Many’s Sky was an eagerly-awaited, initially-disappointing and ultimately astounding space exploration game. Norman’s Sky was an ultra low-res pastiche released by nothke before its original launch. Just as with the real thing, Norman’s Sky now benefits from a range of updates.”

The Register: UK’s National Museum of Computing asks tunesmiths to recreate bleeps, bloops, and parps of retro game music

The Register: UK’s National Museum of Computing asks tunesmiths to recreate bleeps, bloops, and parps of retro game music. “The UK’s National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) is running a competition aimed at recreating the bleeps, whistles, and flatulent squawks of video game music from years gone by. It’s all in honour of the 40th anniversary of the BBC Micro, which, if memory serves, was not really a ball of fire in the sound department when put up against the Commodore 64 Sound Interface Device (SID) chip.”

Nerdist: You Can Get Vintage Video Game Magazines Sent To Your Door

Nerdist: You Can Get Vintage Video Game Magazines Sent To Your Door. “Before the internet, gamers turned to magazine stands to learn more about their favorite titles. Now the world wide web has made it possible for you to own those retro publications again. The Video Game History Foundation is working to preserve vintage video game magazines with a subscription service that puts certified copies in your hands.”

Make Tech Easier: A Guide to Emulation with RetroPie

Make Tech Easier: A Guide to Emulation with RetroPie. “Emulating video game systems and computers is one of the things that the Raspberry Pi has always been good at, right from the start. You can do this with your own Raspberry Pi using RetroPie emulators. RetroPie is easily one of the best all-in-one plug-in-play retro gaming solutions. Even with systems that don’t work flawlessly, it’s not too difficult to tweak them to work right.”

SUPERJUMP: An Appeal Through the Nostalgia Glasses

SUPERJUMP: An Appeal Through the Nostalgia Glasses. “Any perusal through social media will show you that gaming’s appreciation goes far beyond whatever the most recent release is. Gamers love to talk about old games, and not through a fond ‘do you remember when’ anecdotal sense, but through a ‘I just played this very real game on my very real PlayStation 2 last week’ sense. It can be expensive for companies to leave their servers live and allow gamers to buy games that are ten, fifteen, twenty years old, but maybe this finally needs to be accepted as a sacrifice for the historical curation of the medium — or, maybe, we need to figure out a better way to make virtual consoles and re-releases viable that go beyond a complete obliteration every couple of console cycles. “

North Carolina State University: Tracing the History of Mobile Games

North Carolina State University: Tracing the History of Mobile Games . “NC State’s Mobile Gaming Research Lab is launching the Retro Mobile Gaming Database (RMGD). The RMGD is an online, publicly searchable database of early mobile games, intended for use by game scholars, students interested in games, and game enthusiasts. And if there are games missing from the database, we want you to tell us about them.”

Internet Archive: The Legend of GayBlade

Internet Archive: The Legend of GayBlade. “The recently released video game documentary High Score includes a sequence in the third episode about a game called GayBlade. GayBlade is one of the first commercially-sold LGTBQ-themed video games, a role-playing romp for Windows and Macintosh occasionally referred to as ‘Dungeons and Drag Queens’. Once thought to have been lost, the game’s software was recently discovered and preserved—and is now available in the Internet Archive!”