Mallwave is a microgenre of bedroom electronic music and smooth jazz meant to evoke nostalgia for the vibrant mall scenes of the 1980s and 1990s that many of the music's composers are too young to have experienced or at least remember.
Think of Mallwave as a hauntological soundtrack for an Orange Julius-fueled consumer culture where Suncoast, Merry-Go-Round, and Spencer Gifts anchored suburban reality. (Or, in the case of some of the moodier tracks, the kind of muzak that might play in your mind as you wander an abandoned mall in a Ballardian trance.)
“The nostalgia is so real you can cry and wish you went back in time,” reads one comment underneath the video “Neon Wave Mall (Vapor Mix).” “I feel a certain sense of… familiarity watching this footage. Almost like I myself have set foot in these places,” adds a viewer of “Corp Palm Mall.” Under the same video, another person opines: “Why wasn’t I born in this time? This video makes me realize how much things were not as advanced as we have now but it was better. I could be wrong, but sometimes I feel like living around the ‘90s sounds fun. Lifestyle is different, mindset is different and not as much laziness.”
According to writer Joe Koenig, this kind of feeling — a “nostalgia for a past you’ve never known” — is called anemoia. In his ongoing project, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, Koenig describes it as “the desire to wade into the blurred-edge sepia haze that hangs in the air between people who leer stoically into this dusty and dangerous future.”
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Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin, of course) is no longer a boy but has been left home alone again in the same house he was back in the early 1990s. The difference? This time the house is controlled by voice-activated devices so he's able to get stuff done without lifting a finger by talking to Google Assistant.
It's a cute advertisement but remember, ya filthy animal, that EFF has put "creepy, surveillant" devices like the ones featured in the video on the don't-buy list.
Personal side note: My awesome cousin James was the art director on this!
Thanks, Andy! Read the rest
Tiny Emus has in-browser emulators for all the classic 8-bit systems, but also ready links for specific games so you don't have to spend ages tracking them down and configuring them.
The selection's limited but Weissflog's really nailed the "just let me play" UI, so hopefully more's to come. Read the rest
The Welcome To The Internet tracksuit [Getonfleek.com] features a classic image so thoroughly buried in sedimentary layers of meme and merch that it's no longer easy to locate the original through the usual means: the cover of a Scholastic book from 1999 [Amazon].
GenX kids had better toys. Read the rest
Outrun, the classic racer that blew players' minds with its huge colorful sprites, is getting an ususual port: to the monochrome vectorbeam world of the vintage Vectrex console.
Creator Chris Parsons:
A little "demo" I put together today to warm up my coding skills as I get back to developing my second full Vectrex game. I put the Pole Position overlay on at the end as it comes out clearer without it when filming. Check out my Vectrex home brew games on here and at www.vectorrepublic.co.uk
He's gotten the Ferrari, the tarmac and some roadside palms going, but it's missing other vehicles and curves: "Now, should I try to add some game in there???" Read the rest
If you weren't a kid or a nerd in the '90s, these video game advertisements might look strange. Read the rest
Schaefer. Read the rest
The fad for fire-and-forget retro consoles continues with Sony's PlayStation Classic. It's $100, has 20 games built-in, modern connectors, and the original 1995 design—albeit shrunk to the size of the original's controller.
Five of the games were announced: Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms.
The mini console is approximately 45% smaller than the original PlayStation, and it emulates the original’s look and feel by featuring similar controllers and packaging. Long-time fans will appreciate the nostalgia that comes with rediscovering the games they know and love, while gamers who might be new to the platform can enjoy the groundbreaking PlayStation console experience that started it all. All of the pre-loaded games will be playable in their original format.
Do It Again is one of my favorite songs, not least because of the distinctive delay effect applied to the drums by sound engineer Stephen Desper, giving it its weird blend of electronic fuzz and nostalgia ("like something from another planet"). Here it is with the delay effect removed. Being honest with myself, I have to say it's better this way. But then, I wasn't there in '68. Read the rest
The Basic Engine is a tiny but intentionally limited computer platform designed to be like a late-1980s game console or home computer, but with some useful modern benefits. In effect, it's like Pico-8, but hardware instead of a set of abstract and arbitrary design limitations on software.
The BASIC Engine is a very low-cost single-board home computer with advanced 2D color graphics and sound capabilities, roughly comparable to late-1980s or early-1990s computers and video game consoles. It can be built at home without special skills or tools and using readily available components for under 10 Euros in parts, or mass-produced for even less.
Graphics and sound · 256-color text and graphics at resolutions from 160x200 up to 460x224 (PAL: 508x240) pixels · Software sprites (up to 32 sprites sized up to 32x32 pixels). · Scrollable tiled background graphics engine with up to four layers. · Wavetable synthesizer and PLAY command that renders music in MML format. · Loading and saving of PCX image files to and from video memory. · Various text fonts built-in, including an ATI 6x8 font (for up to 76 (PAL: 84) characters per line) and PETSCII. · Direct manipulation of video memory and controller registers possible, permitting higher-color screen modes, custom resolutions and other video effects.
"Why not just use a Rasberry Pi?" is a common question but the answer should be obvious: it's about a nostalgic idea of the perfect thing that never existed, a technological hiraeth, forbidden to exceed the place and time the yearning was born. Read the rest
YouTuber thepeterson makes video montages that pull together clips from pop culture days of yore, highlighting what movies and TV shows the masses were watching, what they were listening to on the radio, and what video games they were playing. In the latest one, June 1998 is put into the spotlight. Prepare to take a (possibly nostalgic) trip down memory lane to see what was "in" twenty years ago this month.
Designed to look like something running on the Commodore Amiga but with all the modern conveniences, Grafx 2 is pitched as "The ultimate 256-color painting program."
GrafX2 has a long history, with the first versions being published in 1996. The development by the original team (Sunset Design) continued until late 1999, when they stopped working on it because no one had interest in running a DOS drawing tool by then. Fortunately, they published the sources so that their work would not be lost.
In 2007, PulkoMandy recovered these sources and ported them to modern operating system. This was the rebirth of GrafX2, which then saw many improvements and finetuning, making it the great tool you know and use today.
Neat touches include extreme custom resolutions (including nonsquare pixels), powerful pallette manipulation (including color cycling) and a prominently pixelated King Tut, as is mandatory for all pixel-art related Amiga shenanigans. Read the rest