So as to keep my comment around..
Any media which attempts to mimic the real world will at best maintain a niche interest because of the art or nostalgic memories of the piece.
For example, old movies who had early special effects were astounding at the time, and are laughable now. They're only interesting for the nostalgia of old people who saw it when they were growing up, or to historians of film or effects.
The same is true for games. Any game which tries too hard will end up falling down flat later in time, when their early art form is totally obsoleted.
However, games which do not attempt to be cutting-edge and realistic have amazing staying power. Think NetHack, online MUDs, most early Sierra games and any other game which has a focus on comedy and thinking.
This same thinking somehow doesn't seem to apply to old world art forms for all people. There is some sort of attachment to painting and other art forms where they hold their own even in comparison to photography. It seems that the act and the material is more important to people than the actual image. I think it's just a cultural thing for us to respect painting, but beside that a lot of painting doesn't attempt for realism in the first place.
But regarding games.. there are a number of very active projects devoted to re-creating old games or emulating the original on other platforms. Arcade games, early computer games (Atari, Commodore 64, Amiga, etc), old x86 DOS games, and more.
There are now a couple of projects which will work on directly supporting much more of those old games at the operating system level, both based on Unity Linux - unity-linux.org
For my part, I'll be working on Oldschool Linux, which is more focused on the oldschool demo, music and art scenes.
The other person's project will be more directly focused on games and emulation. I went looking for its name and the author, but I wasn't able to find it. It'll resurface once the project launches.