O'Reilly
October 25, 2005

Retro Gaming Hacks: Retro Gaming--Recreating the Magic

Sebastopol, CA--"Where is the charm, the wide appeal, the elegant simplicity of the games of yesteryear?" asks author Chris Kohler. "In the never-ending quest to make games more complex, controllers have been packed full of buttons and screens filled with reams of indecipherable information.” The cool retro games are out there, Kohler assures readers--and his new Retro Gaming Hacks ( O'Reilly, US $29.95) explains how and where to find them.

Whether you've just been attacked by Space Invaders for the first time or you've been a Pong junkie since puberty, Kohler's Retro Gaming Hacks is the indispensable new guide to playing and hacking classic games.

"Hacking is often the only way to enjoy the full and complete variety of classic gaming entertainment that once so filled our lives," says Kohler. "If you want to play retro games today, odds are you're going to have to devise some creative solution." In this retro gaming how-to, he delivers eighy-five creative solutions for reliving the golden years of computer and console gaming.

Hacks for every budget, every setup, and every whim, show gamers how to:

  • Find Original, Classic Gaming Systems --Who can resist the allure of a wood grain–paneled Atari 2600? The satisfying rubbery feel of the joystick and candy-like single button? There are hacks on buying classic systems, setting them up, fixing broken hardware, and even finding retro games from Japan and tricking American consoles into playing them.
  • Adapt Today's Equipment to Run Retro Games --Many if not most retro gaming hackers are getting their classic console fix through emulation these days. Emulation techniques (MAME, or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) include hacking a classic joystick for use on new computers.
  • Revive old PCs--For many of us, our first retro game experience wasn’t in front of a console--it was hunched over the keyboard of a classic Apple II or Atari 800XL. Clever hacks bring back classic computers and explain how to set them up or emulate them so readers can, say, play a Commodore 64 just like they played it before--and then like they've never played it before.
  • Design Custom Video Games--Innovative techniques and tools let gamers craft retro-style entertainment with instant results.
  • For all retro gaming experiences--new hardware or original, modern software or classic, arcade games, console games, text adventures, or DOS games--gamers can recreate the magic with Retro Gaming Hacks.

    Additional Resources:

    Retro Gaming Hacks
    Chris Kohler
    ISBN: 0-596-009178, 502 pages, $29.95 US, $41.95 CA
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    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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