Retrocon 2024

Analog Life: Entertainment in the 80s

When you think about the 1980s, it brings you back to a simpler time. Cellular phones and home computers were new gadgets and analog technology was commonplace. However, those old school gadgets still managed to make life more entertaining. You're never too old to enjoy a blast from the past and the '80s was a decade filled with music, movies, and entertainment that set the stage for what we have today.

Whether you remember experiencing the '80s first hand or just a fan of the decade, there are many ways you can still relive the analog days even now. Here are five ways we consumed entertainment in the '80s that will make you nostalgic:


If you grew up in the '80s, you probably had a VCR (or rented one with a movie from a local video store.) These were the first devices that allowed people to record television shows at home for later viewing. The idea was revolutionary, but it's pretty standard now with DVR technology.

VCRs were first introduced as “videotape recorders” because they recorded TV shows on magnetic cassettes. They quickly became popular among consumers because they could watch their favorite shows whenever they wanted.

The first VCRs only allowed users to record one program at a time but still gave consumers a first look at the on-demand world we live in now. VCRs changed over time as technology evolved, resulting in more advanced models from companies like Sony and Panasonic (among others).

Playing Video Games With Your Friends

In the early '80s, you had to go to the arcade to play games if didn't have a early home gaming console or computer. But when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) came along, it quickly became one of the most popular consoles in history and helped define the entire gaming industry.

With its vast library of games, which many people still enjoy today, there was no shortage of ways to enjoy your NES. Back before online gaming became commonplace, the feature to play two-player games with your friends on the same console was a real novelty. Later in the '80s, Nintendo would take it a step further with Game Boy and the ability to link the handheld consoles together.

There's still hope if you don't have any friends nearby who want to play games with you in person! The Internet is full of options for people who love gaming. Online casino games are a perfect option, and searching for the best casino online is an excellent place to start. You will find platforms that are secure, fully licensed and comprehensively reviewed. Even better, you can play demo versions of the games and when you are ready to play, you can claim a great welcome bonus.

Renting '80s Movies and TV Shows

If there's one thing that should be on your list of things to do this year, it's re-watching some of your favorite '80s movies and TV shows. Unlike the days we had to jump in a car and drive to the video store, there are dozens of great '80s films available on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. No late fees. No rewinding. No due dates. The internet and streaming technology really has us spoiled in modern times!

The best way to get in the mood for the decade is by watching the movies and TV shows that define it. If you want to get specific, check out the best movies from the 80s!

The Walkman

Before iPods and smartphones, there were Walkmans — portable music players that allowed you to listen to your favorite tunes. The device was revolutionary because it allowed people to listen to music without disturbing others around them — something that's still appreciated today!

The Walkman was one of Sony's most successful products ever — it sold millions of units worldwide and changed how people listen to music on the go. It wasn't just a cassette player. Most Walkmans came with an AM/FM radio tuner to listen to local radio stations if that was your preferred listening source.

Rabbit-Ear TV Antennas

If you're too young to remember the days before satellite television and cable, this one may be more obscure. But if you grew up in the '80s or early '90s, chances are you still had an analog TV with an antenna in your house. 

The "rabbit ear" antenna was a simple two-pronged device that plugged directly into the back of your television set. It could allow you to get a handful of local broadcast channels. These antennas were not nearly as effective as today's digital versions, which can often pick up dozens of networks.

While most homes had either cable or satellite receivers in 2009, it wasn't until then that analog signals were discontinued and new digital signals made analog televisions truly obsolete. 

Take a Trip Down the Memory Lane!

The '80s were a great time for entertainment. The music, movies, and TV shows were all iconic. If you're an '80s fanatic, rediscovering the era's entertainment will bring back some great nostalgic!

Life was more straightforward. There was no internet or social media, and all those fancy gadgets were revolutionary. You've got to love the '80s and its simpler time.

Photos courtesy Depositphotos

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