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"Outrun" is a synonym of synthwave that was later used to refer more generally to retro 1980s aesthetics such as VHS tracking artifacts, magenta neon, and gridlines. The term comes from the 1986 driving arcade game Out Run, which was known for its soundtrack that could be selected in-game.
According to musician Perturbator (James Kent), outrun is also its own subgenre, mainly instrumental, and often contains 1980s clichéd elements in the sound such as electronic drums, gated reverb, and analog synthesizer bass lines and leads - all to resemble tracks from that time period.
Other subgenres include dreamwave, darksynth, and scifiwave. Journalist Julia Neuman cited "outrun", "futuresynth", and "retrowave" as alternative terms for synthwave while author Nicholas Diak wrote that "retrowave" was an umbrella term that encompasses 1980s revivalism genres such as synthwave and vaporwave.