July 2nd, 2012
In the late 80's, my friends and I would refer to superior looking PC games as "12-bit." Rumblings of 16-bit graphics were already in the air, and we were familiar with 8-bit graphics. So even though our dated rigs weren't capable of 16-bit games, they certainly played games that looked and sounded better than our NESs.
So we called the best-looking ones 12-bit. Childish? Yes. Nonsense? Of course. But it was the only way our naive minds could process the graphical, audio, and performance difference of early home PC games with early home console games. So we referred to them as 12-bit games.
Years later, after playing Doom for the first time, I remember thinking like this: "This isn't 16 bit! This is like 24-bit. OMG!!!" (Note: We didn't say "OMG" back then, but you get the idea.)
For those of you who remember, how was your usage of "bits" when referring to game graphics?
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