Blogger and MOP reader Serrenity recently pointed us to a Kotaku article on the subject of video game nostalgia. Author Alyse Knorr maintains that video games, unlike some other media, are “uniquely” potent in the nostalgia department because they can be frozen in time and provide “comfort” to those who partake. (Of course, old video games can also make you want to bash your head on your keyboard in frustration.)
I didn’t see much to disagree with in the piece, though I definitely think the MMO industry faces different problems than the games Knorr discusses, and don’t believe there’s something wrong with seeking comfort in games in the first place. Back when Nostalrius and Vanilla WoW was a constant topic here, I argued that nostalgia most definitely can get people to go back and check out old games or play emulators. But when people stay, it’s something else. “No one accidentally continues acting on nostalgia,” I wrote back then. “It is not subliminal in an ongoing way. If you’re continuing to devote large amounts of time to an old game, it’s highly unlikely you’re doing it merely out of some wistful fondness for a distant memory.”
Where do you stand on it? How much does nostalgia drive your MMO play?