Answer this honestly: who has played Super Mario Brothers? Most everyone has. So what do you remember about the game? For me, it's my dad trying to figure out how to work the NES controller, which was very primitive back in the day. It was only a D-pad and two buttons, but for my dad, it was like handing him the Rosetta stone.
Ah, the memories. I used to play games until the wee hours of the morning in high school when games were primitive and made by only a handful of programmers. Yet, these were the games that I most enjoyed due to the fact that these games made me stop and wish for the good old days when games were not competitions.
That's the thing: games used to be played for fun. Before the advent of internet and MLG, gamers got together under one roof and played to see who can get farther in one level in Mario. I remember one night when my next door neighbor came over and did a speed run on Mario to the amazement and bewilderment of my family. Inspired, I spent the next month constantly trying to beat him. Nowadays, people get mad if they lose a one vs. one match on Call Of Duty to a far superior player. Heck, I've seen players act as though they are a professional gamers with their gamer picture as an MLG picture and playing COD constantly.
And when you look back at those games, they would be long forgotten in the sands of time.
Again, does anyone remember the first time you played Super Mario Brothers? Almost anyone who has played ANY game has played Mario so it's easy to remember your first time. How about Tetris? Zelda? Pong? Of course you do. Who hasn't? It was those games that were special. It wasn't about the graphics, the sound, any of that. It was that they were simply so much fun. Those first generation games had nostalgia factor.
So what changed? In my opinion, it was the changeover from a fad to a legit medium. Before, people played games to pass the time. They were not so glued to the TV so much as that there wasn't anything on TV, so why not fire up the Atari 2600 and play some Pong. When the first Playstation released, people saw that this was more than just a fad, it was here to stay. However, the jump to mass media came with the advent of internet with games. No longer were games confided to one console with multiple controllers playing one game. Now, you can play one game with someone from around the world. Heck, I played games with people from Germany, the UK, Japan and Australia. With that said, people won't remember these games due to the fact that these games now are a dime a dozen. How hard is it to find a Modern Warfare 3? Not very. How hard is it to find a first generation Metal Gear Solid? Harder than diamond.
It's all good, though. I love to fire up a Battlefield now and again to savor the sweet tank rides and satisfying kills. However, I love the games that I played as a kid and still do just for the fun factor.