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Since people ask about my hand problems frequently: At this point, my hands ache and I have no idea why. My doctors have gone down the entire checklist, from carpal tunnel to MS, and everything comes back negative. The small upshot is I'm tentatively cleared to play games, as it doesn't seem to be making things worse, but I try to play in short bursts/hands-free ways to limit my pain.
Instead of trying to keep an increasing number of older consoles hooked up to my TV, I now emulate older games I own instead of using the original hardware. The way I list games in the Backloggery has changed because of this, as I find it more useful to list games under their original system regardless of where I bought them. Ex: I have Wild Guns listed under SNES (VC) when I bought it on Virtual Console.
This has had the added benefit of offering me many more controller and accessibility options to help minimize hand pain.
Digital Honor System v2.0
I prefer buying games and building a select library of games, so I'm not interested in just grabbing all the games ever, despite using emulators. I like supporting developers and I find the buy-in price makes me more likely to give a game a fair chance.
Since I emulate, it seems wasteful (of both money and the physical game) to collect old cartridges and discs and never use them. So instead I've come up with the following system.
If a game isn't available digitally, I can emulate it if I:
- Donate $5 to a charity
- Mark the game's ownership as Other on my backlog
- Buy the game if/when it becomes officially available digitally
Going digital via emulation has made the world of arcade games much more accessible to me. The same purchasing rules apply as above, but beating them can be a bit less straightforward. It's just no fun to hit the "insert coin" button on MAME until a game is beaten. On the other hand, arcade games are almost always designed to be brutal. Eating quarters was the name of the game. Additional continues and other aids are sorely needed. I'd like to be encouraged to learn a game without having to dedicate my life to it to get anywhere. So here are my personal arcade game rules:
-Difficulty is set to normal
-Starting lives set to a max of 5 (if possible)
-Extra life score threshold set to lowest
-Initially only 1 credit is allowed
-Additional credits are cumulative and earned by making at least as much progress as my best run so far.
-Infinite credits are allowed if the home version would be expected to have them (i.e. every fighting game)