Lost Games

SkiFreeI grew up using computers at an early age. My primary function on the computer was to play games. Anyone who had a computer growing up probably has the same confession to make – and probably has a lot of games they regret losing. Computers are unique. They are quickly replaced, usually taking with them a treasure-trove of beloved games. A collection of favorite books may last generations, but a collection of favorite games usually dwindles away over the decades.

The loss of a rare find is much more unfortunate than the loss of a mainstream classic. Losing a copy of PacMan or Monopoly is no big deal, since the name of the game can be easily recalled and the game can be repurchased. Losing a copy of a freeware game downloaded off the Internet 10 years ago is a huge deal, since remembering the name of the game is extremely unlikely.

Sonic CD for Windows 95

Sonic CD for Windows 95

Downloaded games aren’t the only flavor of lost games. They could come from a jewel-cased CD, but these hold their own unique curse. CDs get misplaced over the years – who can keep track of every software CD? And the cheaper the game, the cheaper the CD case. To a child, the best games come in flimsy cases. More time may be spent on the expensive titles, but the true classics are the odd and rare (and often inexpensive).

SkiFree's Yeti - Can you outrun him?

SkiFree's Yeti - Did you outrun him?

Even if the CD makes it through the ravages of time and spring cleaning sessions, many old games may not even run on a newer machine.  Those who switched operating systems over the years feel this pain, but even upgrading to a new copy of Windows may leave dozens of games in the dust.

I’ve lost quite a few old friends over the years.  Star Wars: Rebellion and Dogz are incompatible with my machine, the disks to Star Wars: Yoda Stories and the PC version of Sonic CD have been lost forever, and the executable to a fun but cheesy RPG editor has been long deleted.

What games do you regret losing? Post your favorites in the comments.

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