Blasts From the Past

You could dismiss this as nostalgia, GenX-ers pining for the simpler pleasures of their Cold War youth. But that doesn’t really explain it, because half the people buying these games are teenagers at Urban Outfitters.

No, these Jurassic games are popular for a more powerful reason: They’re the canon of video games, and they prove that keeping it simple still works. Chunky, low-fi games like Pac-Man show us why so many of today’s more advanced games can be so paradoxically dull. —Clive ThompsonBlasts From the Past (Microsoft/Slate)

A good application of a few basic elements of game theory to current consumer trends. (His earlier article on videogames as editorals was more trend-spottingly illuminating.)

Don’t miss the final line: “Video games turn out to be just like sonnets and pop songs. Often it’s restrictions, not freedoms, that inspire creativity.”