Has the Nostalgia Trend Died – CultureJam
Tegan and Brian yell at each other about nostalgia's place in modern gaming
Tegan – Nostalgia, nostalg-yeah
I’m a huge fan of nostalgia, within reason. I’m not really that nostalgic for certain attitudes of the past, if ya know what I mean. It’s more that I still like to play the games, and go back to the media that I used to consume when I was young and didn’t have rent or bills or oh wow I miss those days.
That’s what I think the appeal of nostalgia is. It’s the reminder of when your life wasn’t a pile of garbage. The world has always been trash, but before you knew what that actually meant you had Super Mario Bros, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and whatever the heck Gak was.
A really good way to get to know someone is to talk about their favourite things growing up. You can really learn a lot about someone when they show you what they loved when they were kids. I went on a date once (which on its own is very impressive), and we played old SNES games at Photon Flux (best bar ever by the way, old school sci-fi themed). This broke down the usual getting to know you awkwardness. Plus, being really good at something a bit old school is super impressive. I’m pretty average at pinball, but for some people you’d think I was a pinball wizard.
Now buckle in because, I’m going to share a little bit about what nostalgia means to me.
My favourite game ever is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that the game has not aged well. But the feeling that I get when I play the game is timeless, it brings me comfort and calm in a way that something new will never really be able to. When I play OoT, I remember the first time I saw my older brother play it when we were kids. We were given the game cartridge for our Nintendo 64 by our uncle while we were visiting family in the UK, and it was so much fun. I still have that N64 and it runs like a goddamn champion.
There are incredibly fond memories attached to that console and I know that some of you will be thinking that that is incredibly sad but y’know, let people have their fun and their feelings you heartless robots.
Brian – Nostalgia, no-stalgia
Progress is as progress does, my friends.
Do I love older games? Of course I do. I’m still waiting with bated breath for the Spyro remasters, and Tekken 3 will always have a place in my heart. Hell, half the reason I play any of those retro-inspired indie games is because they remind me of the classics. Dead Cells is my new Prince of Persia, and Shovel Knight my Castlevania.
But those are remasters, or new games emulating the old. Just selling me old games again? Bad form, as far as I’m concerned.
We’ve been in a slightly blessed generation of games here. Instant classics like Horizon Zero Dawn, The Witcher 3, and Battlefield 1 have broken boundaries. We have also been in the Rise of the Remasters. Even games released less than five years ago are getting ported, before I even mention the growing trend to slap a new coat of paint on an ancient game and just sell it again, hastily covered warts and all. \
Is this stifling creativity? Is the proliferation of nostalgia ports and remasters taking talented developers away from interesting, unique projects.
In this writer’s opinion, almost certainly yes. And away I go.