Nostalgia; great feeling or best feeling?

A sensible place to start this blog would be to introduce myself, perhaps. Or to offer up a a mission statement. Instead, I would like to start by having a ramble based upon a game that was made before I was born: Tetris.

I take it for granted that everyone knows and understands Tetris, although, it pains me to write, not that everyone loves it as much as myself. I could also take it for granted that everyone knows and understands Flappy Bird or Angry Birds – or by the time anyone reads this Crossy Birds – however, in twenty years I’d be astonished if anyone had lasting positive feeling of the last three game I named. I still, quite regularly, play the Gameboy Tetris – on my SP; I lack the upper body strength to play it on the original Gameboy – I find it genuinely sad that the strong nostalgia that I feel might not be able to be felt by later generation due to the temporary nature of the fads. How can Flappy Birds reach more than an ‘Oh, yeah’ memory when it has all the other bird-based casual games played for a month to compare with.

The second big example, and I say this as such a 90s kid, is Pokemon. They still make Pokemon games of course, but I think there’s a fundamental difference from getting in on the ground floor and coming in later. Now, at least in the UK, kids love the reasonably similar Moshi Monsters -a monster point-n-click rather than a monster RPG  – that is played online in the browser.

Runescape, whose prime audience was probably in the middle of the Pokemon nostalgics and the Moshi Monster maniacs, is a browser RPG. That is constantly changing and constantly evolving, to the point where they released a classic Runescape some time ago; which has also been constantly changing and constantly evolving. Old teens that want to relive their young teen Runescape days simply can’t; its like revisiting a village that has new inhabitants and new facilities.

I can gnash my teeth in anger at what they’ve done with Omega Ruby, but I can still simply get my own Ruby cartridge. In ten years time, that won’t be available to the Moshi Monster player who if they try to play it again in a decade will find, if it even still exists, something rather different from what they loved.

That’s where everything is going with open beta’s making for an experience that’s constantly being altered. With the preferred distribution channels making it so you don’t really own anything. We adults don’t come out poorly in this, we already have our fond childhood products, however future generation are denied a great feeling, or even the best feeling.

(Disclaimer: The author of this article has not been married, had children or any other experience that might generally by consider superior to replaying Tetris.)


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