I’ve said it time and time again; Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Whether it’s an old friend, memories that time forgot or a moment you would give the rest of your life to relive one more time.
Or in my case, video games.
The games you played when you were young almost definitely had an influence on the games you liked when you got older. I know I’ve been guilty on multiple accounts of walking into a game store, picking up a case and saying;
‘Hey, that reminds me of [Insert game from my childhood here]‘
And that alone partially influences my purchase of it. It’s only natural that if you enjoy something, you’ll want to do it again. The same is true for video games. Once you find that genre that you like, it’ll become your niche. Sure you’ll play games from other genres too, but there’s always that one that will be your favourite and it’s different for everybody because the reasons we have behind it are all different. Some people like specific genres because they’re good at them, or it gets their heart racing. or simply because it’s what they played when they were young.
I can’t tell you the amount of people I know who are 19-20 that still play and follow the Pokémon series, myself included. It might just be me but it appears as though the series is maturing with its fanbase; the 90′s kids who followed it right up from Pokémon Yellow, Red and Blue. The people who collected the trading cards and spin-off games and watched the slightly off-track movies. [Just saying, Mewtwo Strikes Back made be cry like a baby]
Anyway, I digress. THAT was what made our childhoods great and why we want to keep a tight hold on whatever makes us feel like that again. For others it might not be Pokémon, it might be a tv series like Beyblade or Avatar; The Last Airbender. It might be a movie franchise like James Bond or Disney [And I'm talking about the OLD Disney; The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Hercules, you get the picture.] It could be absolutely anything but it made us happy.
It gave us those moments where nothing else in the world mattered and as we get older those moments get rarer and rarer. I know it’s not just me when I say that if I can find something that makes me feel like that again you bet I’ll do it. Hence why I’ll happily proclaim I’m a die-hard Pokémon fan ’till the end. I’ll stand by Harvest Moon until I’ve got children and then I’ll introduce it to them
It might seem a bit drastic to you but I want my children to have that same feeling. I want their imagination to flourish and prosper like mine did. I want them to have imaginary friends and picture all these mystical worlds and characters in their mind’s eye. For me, that’s as much of a childhood as scraped knees and bad haircuts.
So yes, I’ll encourage them to play video games and watch movies. I’ll also encourage them to read a lot and write a lot. I want them to have that same happiness I did and still have today when the right game comes along to captivate me so.
If you have one of these influences that I mentioned, any of these moments that suck you in and captivate you, you’re blessed. Video games can have a lot more power than the media makes out to be. No, I’m not talking about all that ‘video games make children violent’ crap. I’m talking about how they can inspire people and change them. Not for the worse, but for the better. I’m betting half of it is down to having that blissful happiness as a child; just wishing that maybe, one day, you could go on those grand adventures for real.
Emma Craib is a contributor to both Gamemoir and the gaming blog PressStart2Begin. You can find her on DeviantArt under the name ashenrenegade or email her at email@example.com.