This isn't about promoting older games. It's not about trying to prove that the classic games were better than what we have now. That's unrealistic.
Obviously, technology has advanced at a rapid pace over the past three decades, and interactive entertainment has come a very long way. It's not possible to compare Pong and The Last Of Us because in truth, they both offer completely different experiences. Outsiders wouldn't even put them in the same entertainment category because really, what's similar about them, besides the fact that both are interactive? Different worlds.
But there are certain traits that have fallen by the wayside in the interest of progress. Even if it is indeed progress, and those traits weren't loved at the time, nostalgia has a way of making us go, "Damn, I kinda miss that." For instance, blowing on cartridges to make 'em work. Of course, if we all had our way, the damn things would've always worked and we'd never have had to do that. But it was all part of the hobby; it gave you a little extra pride to know that only you could make your game system work properly all the time. "Let me see, i can fix it."
Some lost traits are legitimate, though. For instance, in a lot of ways, I think we've lost the innocence of the golden age of gaming. It's a serious business now, and the biggest games are often quite serious in nature. Back in the day, it was a niche hobby, designed for kids, hardly big enough to even qualify as an "industry," and it really was all about fun. It was an archaic, bug-infested, terrible-translation sort of fun that resulted in "All your base are belong to us" and wacky codes that made games go ballistic, but it was still just fun. Purity and innocence go along with childhood and a child's toys. Yes, they still make games for kids but that's hardly the focus.
What trait do you miss most from the olden days?