The C64 and Me

If you are into gaming, whether it’s because you just like to play or because you are a content creator and streamer, you might remember how you came to start playing on your PC or console. (Mine was the “C64”, keep reading to find out what it is!)

And the older you are, the more rudimentary the PCs and consoles of the past looked.

Some PCs, i.e., Personal Computers, were not even called that.

They were then called, as with my very first computer, for example, “C64”, and come from the company Commodore.


In Germany, this also had the lovingly meant name “Brotkasten” (“breadbox”). It came to the German market in 1983 and had an introductory price of 1.495 German Marks, which would be equivalent to more than 1.500 euros today. Later versions, like the one I had, were available for about 500 German Marks.

This home computer had 64 KB of RAM and 20 KB of ROM. No mass storage was installed. For this purpose, cassettes or floppy disk drives were used. 

When a slightly improved (or modern) version of the C64 made its way into my childhood bedroom, I was perhaps just 12 years old.

I remember very well which games I liked to play on the C64 the most and what they looked like. 

I also remember the feeling of how the joystick used for this was in my hand.

That’s how my entry into the world of games began.

I was particularly enthusiastic about sports games like Summer Games, Winter Games, California Games, and World Games. I also loved car races like “Grand Prix Circuit”, “Test Drive” or “Turbo Out Run”.

C64 Games

Source: Moby Games

These preferences have remained to this day and have just been replaced by FIFA, NHL, F1, Need for Speed, or Forza Horizon.

Since the Internet did not (yet) exist at that time, people bought corresponding magazines to find out what great new games there were and whether there was new hardware such as better joysticks or faster floppy disk drives.

The development of home computers accelerated. The successor to the C64, the C128, appeared, later the Commodore Amiga before the actual Personal Computer conquered the market.

I had a lot of fun with my C64 for a very long time and therefore skipped many successor models until I got my very first “real” computer with a 166 MHz Pentium CPU.

Additionally, I got my hands on the first console: a Super Nintendo (SNES – Super Nintendo Entertainment System) from 1992. 

I also have great memories of this grey box and stayed true to my taste: I played “International Super Star Soccer”, NHL and of course Mario Kart.

Maybe it’s the enthusiasm as a child and teenager to play these games, maybe it’s the fascination of technology and graphics that makes you keep such memories. 

In any case, it was a lot of fun to play.

Some may not even be able to understand this today, because the graphics were miserable by today’s standards. But you didn’t know that at the time. You were impressed by what you saw in front of you on the screen and what you controlled with a joystick or gamepad.

And sometimes, like in the C64 game “Decathlon”, the action was simply moving the joystick from left to right and vice versa as quickly as possible. This was called “shaking” and one or the other joystick could break because of the exuberant zeal. And this is completely true.

With this in mind, today’s games have become much more complex, not only graphically, but also playfully and narratively.

Nevertheless, I miss the attention to detail and the fun of my youth, which is deeply rooted in my memory, in the vast majority of modern games. Maybe I’m just too nostalgic and wish for the good (gaming) time of my younger years back.

Nevertheless, I believe that many who read this and can relate think similarly or at least have similar memories and feelings as I do.

C64 Theatre

Perhaps it can be compared to the film industry in part.

According to the motto “a lot helps a lot”, filmmakers rely more and more on CGI technology and bring more and more of it into a film (at least as far as certain genres are concerned) until it just doesn’t look good or even unrealistic anymore. Sometimes even CGI is used where it isn’t necessary to do so.

The story recedes more and more into the background, the “craft” falls by the wayside, and the fascination of the film disappears while watching. 

However, I would like to point out that there are wonderful exceptions to this.

And the bridge between the gaming industry and the film industry is very short.

Movies become games and games are made into movies. There is already a very tight interlocking here.

If you think of Sony, for example, you know that they not only manufacture the PlayStation but also own several film studios.

Financing, production, and marketing of the film and games industry are sometimes closely intertwined and sometimes have a great influence on how a game or film looks in the end.

Maybe one or the other remembers the famous “Bullet Time” technique from the movie “The Matrix”. This technique was popularized by the Max Payne video game series and led to the impressive slow-motion frequencies in the film.

C64 Matrix Games

I could add many more examples here and make dozens of comparisons that show this close interaction and also the quite similar approach to the creation of film and game, but this would go beyond the scope of this article. For example, is a screenplay nothing more than a game concept?

Or the other way around?

But I would like to say one thing:

Today’s impressive technology is one thing but remembering the fascination of playing games (and watching movies) is another. And the latter linger longer in our brains than any game, no matter how great, or any new movie, no matter how well-made. 

If the fun of the game is in the foreground, and new ideas and innovations lead to a good time on the PC or console, then this is one of the reasons for the continuing success of Nintendo. Be it with the SNES, the Wii, or the Switch.

These systems were and are inferior to the competition in terms of graphics. By far. But they are (partly) just more fun.

Some manufacturers have tried to copy this or make it better. But relatively unsuccessful (XBOX Kinect, for example, as a competitor of the way to play with the Wii Controllers).

In the same way, the remake of an older movie, with which one had experienced the enchantment of films, will never be able to trigger the same feelings and emotions in oneself. No matter how well it is done.



No game or movie can take away your beautiful memories. 

Not everything modern and state-of-the-art is always automatically good or better than past things.

Still, have fun with new things. Because they can also bring out something new in you.

Show understanding for people who, like me, like to remember “the good old days”, at least as far as gaming is concerned, and want to share this with you.

We share the fun of gaming. Let’s behave the same way.

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