What generation of gamer are you?

The original Star Wars arcade game ruined graphics for you

We had vectors back in 1983. After that? 10 years of crappy 2D sprites before we could finally get back to 3D. After that? Crappy, flat-shaded polygons without a hint of the dayglow neon eye-fizz that made the original Star Wars arcade game such a wonder. If things had taken their natural course, Gears of War would look like Tron now and everything in games would be incandescent and see-through. Instead, everything is brown.

You remember when games controlled like a bank safe

These new-fangled buttons and sticks are all well and good, but whats wrong with a good old dial controller? Apart from the vastly limited options. And anti-ergonomic design. And huge potential for wrist-based RSI. Nothing! Nothing, thats what!

Youve bought a console that literally had only one good game

Namely because it only had one game. And that game was Pong. While the original Magnavox Odyssey home console initially failed to take off due to the newness of games back in 1972, Ataris bat/ball simulator was cleaning up in arcades. There was one ofbious reaction to that. Release a dedicated Pong console. So Atari did. And then so did Magnavox. Several of them. You might moan about the proliferation of casual sports games these days, but back then casual sports games were video games.

You remember when video game graphics settings were made out of cellophane

Nowadays you can spend an hour playing around with a game to make it look better. Tinkering about with antialiasing, texture quality, lighting effects and particle rendering is basically a game in itself. Securing the optimum balance of eye-porn and frame rate is the first boss. Defeat it, and then you can move on to the rest of the game. Back in the 70s though? Just stick a bit of plastic over your TV screen. It might sound a bit ghetto, but compare the modern benefits of tweaking some particles to more particles against the benefit of going from black-and-white to colour. Cellophane wins.

You remember when Activision was the cool, rebellious one

You remember Activision starting out. You remember them as a plucky bunch of in-house Atari designers fighting for developers rights. You remember how they triumphantly left the platform-holder and set up the first ever third-party studio, with creator freedom and respect as their absolute keystones. You remember how they fought off legal threats from The Man as Atari tried vainly to keep control of the situation.

You hope for a Darth Vader-style redemption one of these days.

You're a... Gaming Grandparent

You're the ultimate early adopter. You saw potential in this medium before it even was a medium. You were excited about games when they were little more than abstract blob-shufflers that made the occasional unpleasant noise, and for that we applaud you. You persevered through the likes of the Atari 2600, you survived the great games market crash, and you've seen and played everything that's happened since. You're a wise, slightly wrinkled knowledge-balloon of gaming experience and you deserve the eternal respect and attention of your youngers.

Just don't ever try to persuade us that Pitfall was better than Super Mario Bros. It wasn't.

Time flows like a river...

...and today's gaming becomes tomorrow's landmark. But how accurate were your results on our little test? Let us know.

And while you're here, why not check out some of our related content? 50 things we hope next-gen console gaming improves would be an excellent place to start, and then you'd be wise to head over to The most visually striking games of this generation.

Andy Hartup