The Value of Nostalgia

How much do you think nostalgia actually affects a person’s enjoyment of a game?


No, seriously. Like how much, and do you think it has any value?

It’s different for every person, it’s different for every game. It has a value to the person themselves. I can’t give a definite answer here. Nostalgia has value to people who value nostalgia. Nostalgia is not a property that is attached to any specific game more than any other, it’s specific to each person’s life.

I have nostalgia for Populous: The Beginning, and Dungeon Keeper 2. I have nostalgia for Pharoah and Zeus: Master of Olympus. I have nostalgia for weird games no one’s ever heard of, that might be good or might not, I have no real idea and I can’t totally judge fairly.

When I was that young, I also played pokemon red, the first game I ever personally owned, and I don’t feel any particular attachment to that game like I do the others. I went through a phase where I was obsessed with pokemon and everyone else around me was too. I went through a yugioh phase as well. I actually saw the pokemon live show and have memories of losing my game systems on various airplane flights because I wasn’t careful enough.

Wind Waker was my first zelda game ever. I remember driving up to my cousin’s house and they had an N64, which I’ve never owned, and I got to play smash bros there, and watch them play ocarina of time, or starcraft 64, or super clay fighter. I remember roleplaying for hours on end with my cousin, brother, and sister in Smash Bros Melee as well as Kirby Air Ride, where they would all grab the Dragoon, and I’d use the Hydra to chase them around and try to blow up their stars. These are experiences I look back on with a bit of nostalgia, but unlike the games near the top, I don’t have a nostalgic connection to any of these (except maybe kirby air ride, though that game is kind of a shit-show and our made up game of chasing each other around the city in free run mode was a lot better than the real city trial mode).

Like, it’s just not how I personally look at all of these and that’s different from person to person. In some cases I’ve connected the feeling of nostalgia to the game itself, like the bullfrog and sierra games I used to play, but in most others, I only have nostalgia for the experiences I had as a child and not really the games themselves. The way I mythologized games when I was younger is really different from how I look at them now. I don’t feel connected to smash bros melee because it’s a game from my youth, more because it has such a tremendous value to me right now, one which I can vocalize and make a definite case for.

Nostalgia affects everyone’s enjoyment differently. I believe that in my sphere, it’s better to not get caught up in nostalgia. I think it’s better to enjoy things in a more genuine way, because it gives you value now, not because it’s connected to fond past experiences (though I wonder if I could talk to magic scrumpy about making a better city trial mode, perhaps based on the game I played with my cousin and siblings).

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