This week, we don’t want to hold down the B button as we talk about fans of retrogaming with special guest, Mike, from Lost Without Translation!

Next week, we’ll be continuing the feel-good beeps and boops to talk about Chiptunes!

Where can I learn more about Mike?

Mike is an avid collector, but also part of a YouTube channel that reviews and runs retrospectives on games… without an English translation. If you want to check out their work, visit YouTube.com/lostwithouttranslation!

Episode outline

Fandom Facts

History and Origins:
Retrogaming is the playing or collecting of PC, console, and arcade video games; usually these games are for systems that are obsolete or have been discontinued. To make a distinction, it can broadly be broken into vintage retrogaming (i.e. on the original hardware), emulation retrogaming, and ported retrogaming.

Whether or not they go by the name retrogamers, classic gamers or old school gamers, one thing is clear: there is not a ton of agreement on what constitutes the ‘retro’ in retrogaming (though the first usages date back to 1997 with the RetroGames video game store, and 1998 with the emulation website retrogames.com).

Some commonly used definition include:

  • Consoles from the 70s, 80s, and 90s
  • “Anything older than the consoles that came out when I was younger”
  • “Anything that doesn’t work with my TV”
  • Anything before the 6th generation (e.g. Nintendo Gamecube, Sony Playstation 2)

Search Data:
Based on the search data, interest in Retrogaming has been on the upswing since around October 2012 after generally being on the decline (and in general, dwarfs interest in video game collecting). The most notable spike in interest is probably December 2017 (Christmas after the release of the SNES mini), though it isn’t very dramatic.

The top 10 countries, by search volume, are: United Kingdom, Japan, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Greece, United States, Netherlands, France.

Fan Demographics:
From a 2017 demographic survey on the RetroGaming subreddit. Of the over 600 respondents:

  • Age: The largest group was people ages 25 to 34 (42%)
  • Years Playing: The largest group was people who had played for 26 to 30 years (23%) but its worth noting that only 1.7% of respondents had been playing video games for five years or less
  • Top five retro platforms: SNES (71%), NES (57%), Genesis (47%), N64 (40%), PlayStation (38%)
  • Most prefer to play on original hardware (59%)

Worth noting, the top five platforms more or less line up with Game Stop’s survey of PowerUp Rewards members (all five platforms were in their top 10).

From earlier this year, Ipsos Connect’s GameTrack consumer survey also has some nugget about European retro gamers:

  • 41% of retro gamers believe that older games are better than current ones (23% disagreed)
  • 66% like to revisit games from their youth
  • 38% stated that classic games are never as good as they remember

Last Episode’s Famous Last Words

Classic rock still means music from 70s… is retro gaming the same? Does retrogaming expand as time goes on?

What more is there to retrogaming fandom than collecting?

Why do people bother making their own NES or SNES carts (as in, new games)? Why do they go that extra mile?


The Verdict

G is in. Still loves the SNES, loves retro-style games.
T is in. Got emulator running on a Pocket C.H.I.P. to play Chrono Trigger.
Z is in. Super in.
Mike is in. Obviously. Has been paring down his collection, and loves trying new (old) esoteric games.

This week’s spotlight

Rose Colored Gaming
Do you like showing off your collection, or maybe are looking for some parts to repair your old console? Rose Colored Gaming has you covered!

Games Done Quick

Games Done Quick is a series of charity video game marathons. These events feature high-level gameplay by speedrunners raising money for charity. Games Done Quick has teamed up with several charities in its seven-year history, including Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. We are currently the largest fundraising event globally for both charities!

To date, Games Done Quick has raised over 14 million dollars for charity. We also average over 1800 people in attendance at our events, including staff, volunteers, runners, and attendees just looking to have fun and support the event!
— Games Done Quick

Famous Last Words

This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, Chiptunes!

Is there an artists who treat different chips like different instruments? Is there a band where someone plays Genesis, NES, etc?

Difference between Chiptunes and EDM fans?

These people who make chiptunes… do they care what version of the chips they use are?

A majority of chiptunes do not use chips.

Where can you find us online?

We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:

  • If you want to be part of our podcast (or just want to check us out), we record our podcast LIVE on twitch.tv every Monday at 20:00 Eastern Time!
  • For all the latest updates, check us out on Facebook or Twitter
  • To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on Instagram
  • For our latest convention updates, Let’s Plays, and other in-real-life video, check out our YouTube channel
  • We’re also on iTunes, and Google Play, and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
  • if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try nick@thenickscast.com
  • You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
  • Everything is thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!

What is “Fanthropological”?

How did you read this far without asking this question?!

Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.

Who is “The Nickscast”?

We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative (dare we say, the most creative).


We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.

We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.



Any special thanks to Mike and for taking the time to chat with us, and the whole Lost Without Translation crew for making such awesome content!



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