Nostalgia Sells

How supportive and manipulative nostalgia can be in all walks of life

In my previous blog, I mentioned how excited I am for the releases for several video games and movies. One of those titles is getting released at the end of this week.

That title being Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4.

Image result for marvel's spider man

This game is heavily anticipated by gamers and comic book readers of all ages. Me being part of that category, I have to take a step back and realize why I’m so excited.

I am a huge Marvel and Spider-Man fan. I’m also a huge gamer. But deep down, there’s another reason why I’m excited for this game.

On the original PlayStation 2, there were a few Spider-Man video games that had a punishing grip of my attention. Those games being the adaptations of Sam Raimi’s films Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. There was also Spider-Man on the PS1 that I played using my PS2 console. (Oh, backwards compatibility, you are sorely missed.)

Basically, I never finished those three Spider-Man games. I was between the ages of 5 or 6 at the time and I was still quite new to gaming. But also because these games were really hard anyway.

I remember specifically in the PS2 Spider-Man, there was this warehouse segment very early in the game. You, playing as a Peter Parker that just received his powers and not yet a cool superhero suit, have to navigate through hordes of armed thugs to escape the warehouse.

Watching this very slow, mechanized gameplay makes me feel nostalgic. I remember every single inch of that warehouse area. I remember the narrator’s voice and Tobey Maguire’s actual voicing of Spider-Man in the game.

What I don’t remember, however, is how easy this area was. Like I said, this part of the game was very early into it. By now, I’ve grown very experienced in video game playing.

I’d probably beat this entire game in a couple of hours if I played it today. Why does that make Spider-Man PS4 more appealing?

Because it’s finally a Spider-Man game I can fluidly play and have fun with. The way this new game is being hyped up, it’s supposed to rival the Batman: Arkham games as the greatest superhero video game ever.

With the incredibly high expectations set and my excitement through the roof, it’s time to analyze the deceiving role nostalgia can play in life.

Nostalgia can be your friend but it can also be your enemy. Nostalgia makes us feel young again and it can instill memories in us that we’d either forgotten or haven’t remembered in a long time.

Nostalgia is sometimes a sad feeling though. It’s a want for the present to be exactly like the past.

In life, the past tends to repeat itself a lot. However, in the repetition of the past, you become more and more numb to the root feeling of the memory. Thus creating an irreplicable standard for fun or happy memories.

Whether that be in video game playing, movie watching, article writing or picture taking, nostalgia can harm our greatest memories.

But it is nostalgia that sells. Nostalgia is an exploitable feeling.

If one can make people feel like they’ve been there before or generate a nostalgic feeling in people, they will go to lengths to feel that.

People will pay ridiculous amounts of money or do ridiculous things just to get that feeling they’ve had before.

It’s nearly toxic because, sometimes, that same-old feeling simply can’t be recreated. People just don’t realize that before it’s too late.

How do I make this journalism related? Well, here we go:

As a sportswriter, I’ve found quite a few issues I have with sportswriting itself that has kind of hindered my love for sportswriting itself.

Despite loving to write and sports separately, the world of sportswriting falls to one’s nostalgia frequently.

Opinion bleeds into fact and all of a sudden, we’re constantly bombarded with vicious “LeBron vs Michael” debates or “Brady vs Manning” arguments every day. Everybody in sports is eager to crown the next GOAT or so bitter in granting the GOAT title to anyone else because they’re holding onto the past.

But, people still tune into these shows every day. People still read these conflict-driven articles each day. As long as nostalgia or lack-thereof is involved, people will still buy into the conflict.

This is where nostalgia can be harsh. Some people are so conflict oriented that they forget the past completely and try to argue for the next great but some people are so tied to the past, they refuse to hear or see anything new.

The past sets the groundwork for lessons. It teaches us what’s right and what’s wrong. When we learn about nostalgia, we can learn what’s lasting and what’s lacking.

If there’s something that consistently makes you feel like a kid again, you should continue to do it. However, if somebody disagrees with your nostalgia or doesn’t understand, don’t rip them for their misunderstanding.

Nostalgia varies from person-to-person. If a person wants to forget the past or if they’re disappointed by the lack of enjoyment from nostalgia, that’s fine. Everybody grows away from something eventually.

I just hope for my own sake that Marvel’s Spider-Man instills good and happy memories alongside the destruction of nostalgia. I want to have fun swinging around New York and not have to remember virtual Tobey Maguire getting gunned down over and over in a warehouse.

What I can’t be too certain about other titles coming.

Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy isn’t even a brand new adventure at all. It’s a remastered version of the original three Spyro the Dragon video games that were originally released on PS1.

Image result for spyro reignited vs original

Will my experience suffer from nostalgia? Who knows. I’ll find out on November 16 when that gets released. Does Toys for Bob, the company who created the remaster, care if my experience is the same or different? Probably not. They’ve already got my money because I was sold on pure nostalgia.

I want to enjoy every minute of Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy. One thing it can’t do is make me 5-years-old again. I’ll just have to roll with the punches and go in with an open mind.

I didn’t want to write another video game-centric blog, but it just made sense to me. Video games do make me feel nostalgic. It’s easier to talk about in that sense.

It can be music, food, smells, etc.

Just keep an open mind about everything until you experience it. My views on Spider-Man, Spyro, journalism and photography aren’t ruined by nostalgia. There’s just an avenue for negativity with everything.

I just want my nostalgic feelings to be present when they can be but absent when I have a new experience to try. It’s easier that way.

You can find me locked away in my room come Friday. I’ll be swinging through virtual New York.Image result for marvel's spider-man

~DS

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