top of page
  • Writer's pictureRob George

Week 4: Initial Research + Plan

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Thesis: Life of A Retro Gamer


To reveal the truth of what it means to be a retro gamer in the contemporary United States and to preserve the culture’s current state of social interaction. It will provide the explanation of who these retro gamers are, what influences them, how they socialize, and the history of gaming that has a major role in the culture today. It will help people who are unfamiliar with the hidden details of this culture/community discover a better understanding of today's gaming subculture in the United States.


Retro Gaming is considered to be any arcade game, console, or computer game that is 20+ years old and is either obsolete or discontinued. To clarify, most people think of the gaming consoles from the 1970s through 1990s such as Pong, Atari, and Nintendo 64 or even classic arcade games such as Pacman and Galaga. Retro Gaming is basically the preservation of a nostalgic era that only the people who lived in the 1970s through 1990s have a pure memory of. I feel it is important to preserve their current state because this subculture of gaming in the United States has become very popular once again these past few years and there has recently been a spike of interests by younger gamers. Retro gaming may not be the same 20 years from now due to the newer generation growing up with next gen consoles and games. The younger generations, such as myself, don't and will never have the same nostalgic experience as the people who grew up during this era. So how can one capture the essence of what it means to be a retro gamer for these younger generations? What part of this culture reflects these important details that could be used to explain the nostalgia of retro games? What is it about these details that should be passed on to the younger gamers who are interested in this culture?

It would be great if the retro gaming culture of the United States had something that captured the lives of its current gamers visually to share with newer generations. Through detailed research and analysis, I hope to reveal their current behaviors, language, and social interactions through social platforms to provide a documentation of what it means to be a retro gamer in the contemporary United States. Social interaction and the sharing of a common interest is how this nostalgia is being preserved. I want to learn more about the culture itself and what their main influences are as well as provide an opportunity for others to discover these details as well.

I hope through a visual representation of this I can provide younger and future generations a design that not only captures the essence of nostalgia and personality of retro gaming, but the information they will want to know about what it means to be a retro gamer.




I began doing some research this past week but would like to clarify my plan for research first and what the timeline for this will be. The timeline will be posted on the main page of my blog as well. Week 4 (this week) will be the official start of my research. It will be broken into two researches with their own categories. A general research with the categories: History, Who are the Gamers, Language and Behavior, and My Relation. A design research section that currently has one category: Retro Game Artworks and Designs.


Week 1 (Due Sept 2): 3 Thesis Topics

Will be posting: September 4 as "Proposal Part 1"

Come up with three topics I would like to choose from. Topics that I would be most interested in and would like to work with the entire semester. One will be chosen from the three next week.

Week 2 (Due Sept 9): Revised Topics and Mind Maps

Will be posting: September 24 as "Proposal Part 2+3"

Take chosen topic and revise to narrow down to specifics. Make mind maps.

Week 3 (Due Sept 16): Thesis Proposal

Will be posting: September 24 as "Proposal Part 2+3"

Details of my anticipated investigation and address the potential implications of my proposition. A description of my topic and what I will be doing.

Week 4 (Due Sept 23): Initial investigation + Plan

Will be posting: September 23

Thesis proposal is clarified and narrowed down. Some research should be done by now. A plan is written out for research and posted to blog.

Week 5 (Due Sept 30): Research: Who Are The Retro and Contemporary Gamers? + Establish A Clear Purpose For My Project

Will be posting: September 29

What I hope to get out of this research: A well defined analysis of who the retro gamers of the U.S. are and who the younger generations of gamers are. I want to compare and contrast the two types of gamers. The ones who grew up with retro gaming and the ones who didn't. Why? To get a better understanding of who is a true retro gamer that experiences the nostalgia of retro gaming.

Week 6 (Due Oct 7): History of Retro and Contemporary Gaming

Will be posting: Oct 6

What I hope to get out of this research: A clear understanding of the consoles, arcade games, and computer games that were popular from the 1970s to the 1990s as well as the popular consoles and computer games from 2000 to present. I hope to compare the visual aspects of the games themselves as a visual research. Why? To use as reference in my thesis design project.

Week 7 (Due Oct 14): Language and Behaviors of Retro and Contemporary Gamers + Blog Is Updated +

Will be posting: Oct 13

What I hope to get from this research is where, when, why, and how retro gamers communicate through social platforms in modern day. How they may influence the younger generations to play retro games. What are the positive aspects that should be passed on? What language or terms the retro gamers use that they learned from their nostalgic experiences? What language or terms are found in the retro games themselves? How this has influenced the younger generations and their social experience in modern gaming. What do both the retro generation and younger generations talk about?


Week 8 ( ):

Week 9 ( ):

Week 10 ( ):

Week 11 ( ):

Week 12 ( ):

Week 13 ( ):

Week 14 ( ):

Week 15 ( ):

Week 16 ( ):


What is behind the retro gaming craze?

by Old School Gamer, Aug 19, 2020


People who grew up with these games between 1970s-1990s are now around the age of 34. They are the people who are most interested in the retro gaming culture. Of course there are people younger who are interested probably because they are influenced by the older generations and like the simplicity of the bitmap games. Everyone knows how to pick up and play these games. They are simple enough to learn but challenging with problems to solve.



Rediscovering Retro Gaming The pleasure and pitfalls of a gamer’s mid-life crisis

by James Burns Jun 22 2020


Some great points:

1. Brian wasn’t able to play most of the retro games as a child, now has money as an adult to buy these games to rediscover and discover the games of his childhood.

2. He is collecting and as he collects he is seeking out other retro gamers to become friends with.

3. Mentions companies that create new consoles to play old games on modern TV’s -Analogue and Pixelcrib

4. Uses the term CIB (Complete in Box)

The reason there is a surge in retro gaming lately is because the people who grew up with these games now have the money to rediscover and discover the games that they either forgot about or didn’t get to play. As they collect these games they are looking for new friends and people to talk to about the same interest.

#WhoAreRetroGamers #Nostalgia

#Behavior #SocialInteraction


“What are the biggest issues, problems and obstacles that retro gaming faces right now?”

Posted by u/amoore2600 in 2019 on Reddit


People are just saying that preservation of the physical games is in danger due to the internet providing new ways of making retro games easily accessible through emulators. The loss of nostalgia.

#Behavior #Nostalgia



New Survey: 2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry Three-quarters of all U.S. households report at least one player in the home.

NEWS PROVIDED BY Entertainment Software Association Jul 15, 2020, 10:00 ET


214 million Americans play video games

75% have at least one gamer in their household

65% of gamers play with others

Average age of a gamer is 34-44

Many players over 65 have been playing for over 10 years or less (46% men 63% women over 65)

79% of gamers say it provides relaxation and stress relief

#Data #WhoAreRetroGamers


Collectors Are Spending Thousands on Video Games They Will Never Play Interest in factory-sealed video games has soared in the past year, and collectors have been able to quickly flip the most coveted titles, making a substantial profit.

By Jason M. Bailey Jan. 27, 2020


Hottest investments = NES

Donald Brock Jr. spent $50,000 on vintage video games since March 2019

One sealed NES game costs nearly $1500 and he sold it for $12,000

Eric Naierman bought dozens of sealed games for $1Million

A Nintendo world championships gold copy - one of the rarest NES games


1. They are pleased and want these video games to be recognized and preserved in sealed containers.

2. Others say the high prices are exaggerated and it raises ethical concerns

Retro gaming industry trying to pull in comics collectors

WATA Games - provide grading system for rarity and quality like comic books

Collectors went to online forums to complain about inflated prices due to this.

The real gamers are the ones who feel the market is driven by nostalgia and not the price or value of the product.

The nostalgia is more valuable than the price

#WhoAreRetroGamers #Behavior

#SocialInteraction #Collectors #Nostalgia


Feedspot: Top 100 Video Game News Websites and Gaming Blogs To Follow in 2020

Last Updated Sep 21, 2020


List of places that retro gamers go to communicate with each other and learn.

Ones to note: IGN|Video Games, Nintendo Life, All Gaming Blog, Reddit|Gamers, Polygon, Kotaku, Pixelated Gamer.

#SocialInteraction #Internet



Complete Guide To Retro Gaming In 2020: The Best Consoles, Controllers, And More. With all of the retro game consoles, controllers, and adapters out there today, there's never been a better time to play retro games.

By Mat Paget on September 2, 2020


Modern Retro Gaming

FPGA-based consoles - consoles and handheld devices that are made to play the old classic gaming cartridges and disks.

Preloaded consoles - comes with classic games built in such as the Sega Genesis Mini. Retro USB’s AVS - replicates the NES



The State of Gaming in the USA and Europe in 2020. The data is in, and now we have some evidence of COVID-19’s impact on the game industry.

by Brian Finck Aug 7 2020.


Current General Gaming in U.S.

Positive feelings among those who play.

Large percentages reported feeling happier and less isolated.

People over 55yo reported playing more and feeling mentally stimulated.

Parents play more with kids-educational value and to connect with them.

65% of U.S. are gamers (almost 215 million people).

70% of U.S. kids and 64% of U.S. adults.

59% male and 41% female

65% play with others (online and in person)

50% say it helps them spend time with family.

80% say it provides mental stimulation and stress relief.

30% say they have met good friends or partners through gaming.

“Gaming has become the new social media and meeting place for all sorts of people”

What they play on:

61% smartphones: casual games = most popular genre

52% consoles

49% PC

Consoles and PC are much higher market in U.S. than anywhere else

Half or all gamers say they have picked up gaming within the past 15 years or less: PS3, Xbox360, Nintendo Wii - still have retro games to discover

#Stats #WhoAreRetroGamers

#Behavior #SocialInteraction

< Back to Research Page

88 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page