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Tour four decades of nostalgia with the SXSW Gaming Awards

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Last week brought the winners of the second annual SXSW Gaming Awards — Dragon Age: Inquisition bagged GOTY, thanks very much — but it didn't include this slick video, which opened the show. It brilliantly tugs at the evolution of video games and pop culture's nostalgia for them using just sounds and an array of CRT-rendered, low-res visuals.

It's the work of Jeremy Cox, the creative director of Imaginary Forces plus designers Max Strizich and Kris Fortin and animators Sekani Solomon and Hayato Yamane — with a big contribution from Zach Kilroy, the sound designer and editor.

Without using a single screenshot, attract mode sequence or cutscene, it manages to trace 40 years of video game history within the mind's eye. By the time it hits the Green Hill Zone theme, I'm swooning.

A news release for Imaginary Forces says the animations were in fact played on different monitors — a black-and-white portable television, a standard-definition television, and a modern high-definition screen — whose screens then were filmed.

"It was challenging to choose the games that we would highlight since everyone has had such a different experience growing up playing games. We wanted to cast a wide net, while not excluding any major titles or moments," Cox said in the news release. "We had a lot of fun throwing in some Easter eggs to keep people guessing and get some true fans really excited!"

For all of the winners at SXSW's Gaming Awards, see this link.

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