Retro Wrap-Up: Online Edition

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

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Satellaview for Super Famicom | Retro Wrap-Up

These are wonderful times we live in. With constant access to the Internet, we have information at our fingertips, as well as services that can make our lives easier. Well, sometimes…

This past week, my Internet connection has been on the fritz. Whether it’s faulty Wi-Fi, congested broadband, or something else, I got a chance to be like those of us who don’t live in areas with stable, reliable service. There are some places in the U.S. and around the world where people can’t just log on at a moment’s notice. And in our connected society, that can leave people out in the cold. What I found out, was that without access to the Internet, access to many other alternate activities were shut off as well. Watching TV or movies from streaming services wasn’t possible, and many mobile apps require a background connection. When it came to gaming, I couldn’t log into my Steam account, nor could I continue my recent obsessions with the Wii U’s Splatoon and Super Mario Maker.

I know this sounds like a lot of “first world problems”, but gaming’s tendency to need online access these days is a hindrance for many potential players. In the past, online services were considered bonus features, not requirements. They were extra things that you could do if you had the capabilities. Sometimes, those capabilities came in the form of peripherals you could buy for your system. And online gaming is older than you think, going back to the early ’80s, when even the Atari 2600 had a dial-up distribution service, called GameLine, where you could download games for a fee.

So, for this edition of the Retro Wrap-Up, the oprainfall Retro Commercial Research Team–in other words, me–will present TV moments from pieces of gaming history that require an Internet connection. Between all the once-available download services, social platforms, and online games, which ones do you remember? Did you use any of them?




Also, don’t forget to check out Operation Recap on our YouTube channel for an alternate take on this week’s news.

And, as always, if you have any ideas or suggestions for retro commercials, let us know either through Facebook, Twitter, or just leave a good old-fashioned comment below.

About Eric Chetkauskas

Eric has been playing video games for longer than he can remember. His interests skew toward retro games with an emphasis on Japanese RPGs like Chrono Trigger and the Dragon Quest series.