Do you have any idea how hard it is trying to convince the damn kids these days that there was fun to be had before the Xbox? That Halo wasn't the first game to feature aliens and guns, and that the internet wasn't created specifically so people could play World of Warcraft?
Last Wednesday, things got a bit easier for us crotchety old-school gamers when LucasArts released a host of their classic games via the Steam downloadable gaming platform. LucasArts plans to trickle games to the service throughout the month of July, but in the end, fans will be pleased to see classic titles like The Dig, The Secret of Monkey Island, Loom, and Armed and Dangerous available, with prices ranging from a mere five bucks to $20 for newer LucasArts games, like 2005's Star Wars Battlefront II.
Though most of these classics have seen numerous re-releases over the years, many don't function that well on modern computers. These latest editions, however, benefit from professional reprogramming—meaning no antiquated copyright protection systems, no graphical glitches, and all the hilarious writing you remember from your childhood.
That's the real boon here: These games were successful not for their shiny graphics or their technological wizardry, but for their humor. In an era where it was stunning for games to have audible sound, LucasArts made gaming fun by employing a team of writers who were genuinely funny. Twenty years from now, Fallout 3 will be seen as a pixilated reminder of crude graphical technology, but by relying on clever scripts and hilarious characters, the LucasArts classics—1990's Monkey Island in particular—are still as fresh and entertaining as ever.
I urge everyone who missed these games the first time—or those simply looking for cheap entertainment—to drop the negligible amount of cash for these games. For the price of a new Xbox 360 game, you can spend a hundred hours remembering why sometimes the old days were as awesome as you remember.