On nostalgia

I was reading Iain’s post about Street Fighter 2 and that took me back to the days when I was a kid who feverishly played video games like there was no tomorrow. For a long period of time, I was hooked on to the Super Mario Brothers game, and the music became an anthem for me. So I searched and found this on YouTube – some guy has figured out a way to get right to the very end in one go. As I watched it, I felt the familiar excitement from years ago (oh, so many years!!!), and found myself rooting for him as he tried to negotiate all the roadblocks just as I did when I was little. 

And then I got to thinking about nostalgia and the power that it has on people. When friends meet after ages, one of the foremost topics of discussion is usually ‘do you remember that time when…’. It’s why antique things always have an (albeit out-of-the-reach-of-most-normal-people) market, or why things like old film posters or T-shirts of rock bands that are no more will always find buyers. I think brands should play on that more. I was reminded of Collyn’s talk at Interesting 2008 where she proclaimed the death of nostalgia and spoke about the need for people to indulge in fantasy more. I think nostalgia IS fantasy, in a sense. 

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