TVG: 2.02 – Cathode Ray Tube Gaming


It’s 2021. Your grizzled veteran hosts now occasionally find themselves working together with interns and young colleagues that were born in this century. We’re not talking babies and kids here, these are functioning adults, and these creatures didn’t even exist when DeForest Kelley and Gene Siskel were doin’ stuff. Or, um, alive even. Just how wretched are these souls that missed the great CRT era? Just how much pity is appropriate for those whose eyes don’t even light up at the mention of those three letters? Really though, what is it that the “I don’t even know what that is” crew is missing? Let’s explore ...

Some callouts this time around:

  • * We kick things off revisiting our own youth when CRTs were plentiful and haircuts were more uniform.
  • * 6:50 – Less than seven minutes in, and we’re talking about Mega Man again. Specifically, it’s an example to observe for one of the main benefits of keeping your CRT around- lagless gaming!
  • * 7:30 – Does Shovel Knight have lag? The cool kids think so. The grizzled veterans know so.
  • Cyber Shadow, Celeste, Dark Souls – how are these modern games designed for the inherent lag in moderns game setups?
  • * 14:30 – Mega Man X 4 through 7. How do these stack up to their older cousins?
  • * 17:00~ – Some more examples of games designed around, and even intentionally introducing input lag – Red Dead Redemption 2, Prince of Persia, the GTA series
  • * 19:30 – Smash Bros Melee
  • * 22:00 – Here, we touch on using upscalers to recapture that lagless, “blurry” feel of yesterday’s game setups on modern hardware. All the big modern upscalers get callouts: OSSC + OSSC Pro, Retrotink + Retrotink Pro, Framemeister
  • The @crt_pixels twitter account is the place for some CRT pixel eye candy.
  • * 30:00 – CRT hardware in detail – what sets were the best? Why do scanlines exist? What did the raw pixels look like? Is it something that can be reborn in the modern era?
  • * 46:00 – A touch on techniques for cable hiding. Important for you kids that have 20 systems set up next to your TV(s)
  • * 49:00 – Some more chatter on crazy setups. Stephen details his setup needed to stream game video on older consoles, and the difficulty of having it work with multiple systems.
The Vagabond Gamecast is a podcast by Stephen Tucker and Matthew Langille that covers gaming from the perspective of nomadic parents.
The Vagabond Gamecast
TVG: 2.02 – Cathode Ray Tube Gaming