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F1 ace Lewis Hamilton enjoys a spot of retro arcade gaming prior to Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton finally secured a place on a post-race podium in the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, but much of the talk pre-race was about Hamilton’s obsession with retro gaming. Hamilton shared a video of himself to his Instagram followers playing the iconic Ayrton Senna’s Super Monaco GP II game. Hamilton said that he “loved this game as a kid and still [did] now”.

Hamilton made an impulse purchase of a retro console within hours of touching down in Montreal. During the pre-race press conference on Friday, Hamilton was quizzed about his love for retro gaming and the Brit alluded to the sense of nostalgia and familiarity that these titles bring to the lives of many. He said that he “had this itch to play old games” and that itch wasn’t just scratched by the purchase of an “old Nintendo 64” but by a Sega Genesis too.

At the time of buying the Sega Genesis in Montreal, he also discovered the same store “had the Senna game there”. As you might expect from a multiple world champion, Hamilton was “super competitive” as soon as the game loaded up. He also said that the game “still holds up” compared with its all-singing, all-dancing 21st-century counterparts.

Retro video gaming is certainly on the rise in Canada. The city of Vancouver is playing host to a celebration of retro gaming this month, with a host of special guests, panels and retro gaming tournaments included at the 2022 Vancouver Retro Gaming Exp. It’s also an event that’s open to all ages, exposing even millennial and Gen Z visitors to the beauty of old-school gaming, as well as older gamers seeking a nod to nostalgia.

There are many retro games that continue to hold their own in popular culture. 1980s strategy classic Tetris remains a huge hit with casual gamers, with the block-building theme proving popular with those who like to game on the go. Classic cards games like blackjack have also stood the test of time impressively. That’s because the game isn’t just for card sharks, contrary to popular belief. In fact, with a little blackjack practice it’s easy to progress from a novice to a seasoned player, understanding the rules of all the classic and variant forms of the game. Games can be played on smartphones too, with various themes and rules to suit players.

If we’re looking for enduring retro video game franchises, look no further than Super Mario, with Nintendo successfully maintaining the relevance of this cheeky Italian plumber for over three decades.

Montreal is a thriving hub for retro and arcade gaming

people playing on arcade

It’s no surprise that Hamilton could get his hands on a Sega Genesis and his favorite Ayrton Senna video game. Montreal is a city that oozes passion for retro gaming. Its own Esports Central complex is home to both retro and 21st-century video games, as well as arcade-style tabletop games. It is the city’s first eSports entertainment complex, spanning more than 14,000 sq. ft of prime real estate.

North Star Machines A Piastres, Arcade MTL and Apt. 200 all exist within Montreal too, providing stylish, upmarket places to enjoy retro gaming experiences, complete with live DJ sets and more. Retro gaming has provided an opportunity for the older generation to socialize and relive their youth together while educating the younger generation on the purity and simplicity of original video gaming.

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