Out Run, I Mean Outrun Culture

A few months ago I found myself buying (and playing) the Sega Ages version of Out Run on Switch. It’s a great port with some interesting new features, and it made me appreciate the game all over again. Eventually I found myself doing some historical research on the game to learn more about its development and legacy.

Unfortunately, this was easier said than done. My search results were dominated not by Out Run, but by …. Outrun.

As far as I can tell, “Outrun” is the name of both a subgenre of synth music, and a surrounding subculture. According to the Outrun subreddit’s description, Outrun is:

Dedicated to the synthwave music scene, a revisionist 80s music style of synthesizers and pulsing beats, and the retrofuturist 80s aesthetic of fast cars, neon lights and chrome. →  You may say I’m a gamer, but I’m not the only one

Review – Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Games often try to do everything. Some have multiple engines to handle their different systems; platformers have driving bits, and RPGs have action minigames. This is despite the fact that the best known designers — Wright, Crawford, Meiers – say it’s better to make a deep game by the simple interaction of a few parts than to try to do everything. The adage is it’s better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly.

There are, though, some designers who seem not only content with not sticking to only a few things but who go on record declaring such. David Jaffe has said that he wants to make games that are entirely one offs. He means he doesn’t want to go the traditional route of making an engine, creating some environments and some puzzles to solve/enemies to kill. →  Now you’re reading with power.