Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 24, 2013

Nostalgia signals stagnation and decline

Hey, look! It’s Ducktales. Woo-ooo.

Comments about the art style, how the game will play, etc. there will be time for all that especially when the game comes out. The question is why is a remake of a game that is twenty five years old being greeted with great enthusiasm and excitement?

The power of nostalgia is strong. I know about nostalgia being a gamer who got tired of gaming during the 16-bit generation.

When Super Mario World came out, I was nostalgic for the other Mario games. I didn’t think SMW was that good and still don’t think so today.

Usually the stronger the nostalgia, the stronger the stagnation and decline. When Super Metroid came out, I was nostalgic for the original Metroid which was mindblowing at the time (Super Metroid was a sales disappointment). While that was some nostalgia then, I became GREATLY enraptured with nostalgia when a game like Metroid: Other M appeared for what Metroid used to be (people keep trying to get us to ‘enjoy the game on its own terms’ which is another way of telling gamers to lower their standards. It’s like telling a young man to like the ugly fat woman ‘on her own terms’. Heck with that).

People’s enthusiasm for this ‘remastered’ Ducktales is nostalgia overload which is saying how badly Disney games have stagnated or declined. While on the easy side, games like Ducktales and Rescue Rangers were amazing (Rescue Rangers beat Miyamoto on two player co-op in a platformer). Some say the 16-bit Disney games were good, but I’m not so sure about that. What is for sure is that there has been no memorable Disney game in a long, long time which is a shame considering the richness of its license.

When gamers are feeling nostalgic, they are living in the past and not the present or future. In other words, nostalgia is saying ‘games of the past were better than games of the present’.

Have you noticed nostalgia isn’t present when gaming is advancing? I don’t remember any nostalgia during the NES era for the Atari 2600 days. Perhaps for a joystick (which is why the NES Advantage sold such big numbers). There wasn’t any nostalgia that I recall during the 16-bit era except for the genres or games not represented (where was that 16-bit Kid Icarus or 16-bit Guardian Legend or 16-bit Zelda 2?). When people were playing Wii Sports, they weren’t nostalgic about past game consoles (they didn’t have to since the Virtual Console allowed the past to compete with the present. And the present won… at least early on in the Wii’s lifespan).

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