What do you mean by “retrogaming?”

I was 12 the Christmas of the Atari 2600. We actually already owned a video game when the Atari came to our house, an original Magnavox Odyssey that I can’t believe we sold in a garage sale somewhere along the line. So I’ve been playing these games as long as I’ve been playing games… it’s just that at some point, it became “retrogaming.”

I do still have our first Atari 2600 woodgrain “Heavy Sixer,” and it still runs. I have a page dedicated to my Atari (and assorted other vintage) hardware. But ever since I got an Atari 7800, into which you can insert 2600 cartridges and have them just work, I haven’t revved up the 2600… except every so often just to ensure I can still properly make the claim it still runs. I’ve long played my 2600 games on a different machine from the one for which they were made. There’s a lot of silicon between there and here, but mostly what I mean by retrogaming is emulation: playing those pioneering games on whatever modern gadget we have handy.

The modernest gadget I have handy runs Mac OS X.

Emulation on Mac OS X: online resources

  • Stella – The go-to Atari 2600 emulator
  • Atari800MacX – My workhorse Atari 8-bit emulator
  • Hatari – ST/STe/Mega/TT/Falcon emulator
  • OpenEmu – The best way I’ve found to manage emulators on OS X
  • 2600-daptor – Attach old school joysticks to your emulator computer
  • – Internet Archive Software Collection
  • AtariMania – Atari software archive
  • – Various ROM collection archives
  • – Various ROM collection archives
  • – The internet’s back room

I wrote a short guide for getting started with OpenEmu on Mac OS X.