Revival of Old Video Games for Younger Generations

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Revival of Old Video Games for Younger Generations

Virtual Magic Kingdom

Virtual Magic Kingdom

Photo by Leo Rocha

Virtual Magic Kingdom

Photo by Leo Rocha

Photo by Leo Rocha

Virtual Magic Kingdom

Leo Rocha, Staff Writer

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The generation that grew up in the 2000s had a different childhood than the world had ever previously seen. For the first time, kids had easy access to the world-wide web and could look up information at a moment’s notice. Children, however, were not concerned with the educational aspect of the internet. They wanted to play games.

Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are a staple for everyone who grew up between 2000 and 2010, even if they do not know what it is. In an MMO, players interact with other people across the globe and typically complete missions, random tasks or minigames. Famous examples include Club Penguin, Neopets and Webkinz. While those three games are still up and running, there are others whose virtual lives ended too soon. Toontown, FusionFall and Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) were all MMOs that were closed in the past eight years. Thanks to the efforts of aficionados and coders who scourged the internet for original game files, the games have been revived for all to play.

Toontown Online was one of the world’s first MMOs targeted toward children. It was released in 2003 by The Walt Disney Company and memberships cost $10 monthly. Players could create their own toon who inhabited the world of Mickey Mouse and other classic Disney characters. The objective of the game was to defeat robots, known as cogs, and prevent them from taking over the world. After 10 years of service, Toontown was closed on Sept. 19, 2013, to the dismay of active players and teenagers who felt nostalgic toward the game. Following the game’s closure, a team of developers led by a user known as Sir Max began creating Toontown Rewritten (TTR), a fan-revival of the original Toontown Online game. TTR is a near exact replica of Toontown Online, with the main difference between the two being that TTR does not require a subscription fee and is completely free. The game has now been up and running for more than a year.

VMK, another Disney MMO, came out in 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney theme parks. With gameplay akin to Habbo Hotel, a similar game, players created a virtual version of themselves and explored an online representation of Disneyland. It was unique because it was only open for certain hours, unlike most other games that remain open 24 hours a day. VMK did not require a subscription but allowed for the purchase of merchandise at physical Disneyland locations. Since the game was only designed as a short-term promotion for Disney parks, it closed on May 21, 2008. After seven years of inactivity, the game was thought to have been a lost cause. However, a group of fans brought the game back in 2015 as MyVMK using files found across the internet. The game is now open for 24 hours a day, unlike its predecessor. New content is being created as well.

Besides Disney, Cartoon Network also ventured into the world of online gaming. In 2009, it released an MMO called Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall, otherwise known simply as FusionFall. Players could interact with famous Cartoon Network icons such as The Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo and Courage the Cowardly Dog while battling alien creatures and saving the cartoon world. The game started off with $10 monthly memberships but eventually shifted to a free-to-play platform in 2010. It was shut down on Aug. 29, 2013. Two revivals are currently in-development, led by a group known as The Modulator Network. The first revival is called Fusionfall Retro, which is going to be the full version of FusionFall as it was in 2010. Retro is in beta and will be released within the coming months. The second revival, Fusionfall Legacy, will be the original game as it was at the time of closing and will be updated and expanded with new content as time progresses. The release date is unknown.

With old television shows and movies being remade in Hollywood, old-fashion trends coming back and now old video games being revived, nostalgia is prominent in today’s culture. Make sure to start up the old dial-up connection and go online to play games and feel like an 8-year-old again.

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About the Writer
Leo Rocha, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Leo Rocha is a senior and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the 2016-2017 Plano West BluePrints newspaper. Rocha is currently involved in the National Honor Society,...

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Revival of Old Video Games for Younger Generations