The Pandora’s Box of Video Game Nostalgia

There is some small, yet identifiable percent of my life arguing with 12 year old boys about the greatest game ever made. At the time I was also 12, so it was much more reasonable than when I do it now. And at the time we argued about Golden Eye and Ocarina of Time. We argued about Star Ocean, Mario 64, and Suikoden. We argued the merits of FF7’s story and the joy of discovery in Kirby’s Dreamland.

At this time N64 and PlayStation dominated the conversation. This was before XBOX would make Halo revolutionize first person shooters not just mechanically, but culturally and musically: Ooohhhhhhhhhh ohh oh ohh oohh oh ohhh. Also, keep in mind this was after Doom revolutionized shooters and Duke Nukem made them horny. And this was before Fortnite or PUBG expanded shooters from the popular, but still niche market of Team Fortress and Counter Strike, into a global market of dominance so great it even ensnared the mighty Super Eyepatch Wolf. And I’m sure Quake and Hexen happened at some point between all of this malarkey. I’m saying all of this so you can understand I’m a gamer of significant culture. I’ve seen it all. If you don’t believe me, I’m fully prepared to get a whole hour into Deus Ex before giving up. I’m a real girl gamer.

Anyways, at some point I grew out of it. At some point it stopped being this enormous effort to define the best or defining title of a generation. Maybe my friends and I had gotten bored? Maybe we saw it was a fruitless endeavor with no real answer? Maybe Vagrant Story really just was the best game ever made? I don’t know, I kind of figured everyone grew out of it? Nothing wrong with a healthy discussion or critique. But as the years wore on, I found something that started to bug me more and more.

The 1998 motherfucking heavyweight champion of the video game god damn world (link)

It felt like year after year I would hear about how great Ocarina of Time was. How it was the absolute goat (for people who were teenagers during OoT’s release, this means greatest of all time!). And if not OoT, then FF7. That was always the race during the early 2000s and beyond, between those two cultural titans. And obviously there was more nuance to this, some people would argue A Link to the Past was goat. Some people would insist FF6 was better than FF7. I’m not here to lay rest to this battle, you do you.

I’m also not saying there weren’t other serious contenders, but the main point I want to make is that the list was both very small and relatively unchanging. As the years went on, it felt like I was getting older, but top ten lists were staying about the same. It felt like a kind of stasis, where people stopped getting excited about new games or embracing new experiences and at some point closed their doors to the comfort of the familiar.

In 2005, that wasn’t a bad thing. But in 2010, 2015, 2020? I couldn’t believe how many people kept insisting these were the best game they ever played and the best gaming had to offer. Did we just suck for the last twenty years or what?

The trap people get into when starting this now 20+ year old argument is they will frame a person’s love of Ocarina of Time as being through the rosy tint of nostalgia. That the only way a person could even stand playing the game anymore was because of this familiarity with it. That modern players would find the game wholly uninspiring, mechanically janky, and rudimentary at best. And to be fair, there are many modern players who have this exact experience with most N64 titles.

But, I don’t think that’s a valid criticism against loving something nor against a game’s greatness. I’m bringing this up because the times we talk about nostalgia within video games usually is expressed from trying to rank gaming into some qualifying list of importance or to dismiss praise or reverence of older games.

I don’t think dismissing a game that has a lot of nostalgic value is a valid criticism against a game being bad or not worthy of a top ten list, because all attributes are effectively arbitrary mechanisms to get you to enjoy an experience. If a game can be so impactful as to make someone think it’s still the greatest game 30 years later, that game had a lot of power. And while we can say that a person who is still young and developing their identity, can be much more impacted by a work of art as being transformative or defining — well there were hundreds of other games that still had to lose out to things like Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time or Final Fantasy Seven.

Every game since Ocarina of Time (or those other titans) had failed to evoke a better experience than anything modern for many players. And it wouldn’t be fair to say a modern game of the last year or two should be judged with older games in some kind of objective, nostalgia free vacuum. That is only defining the parameters in a way to make more recent games more compelling, often just to get the game you love higher on a list of validation. You will find most people consciously or unconsciously happen to choose parameters that just so happen to put works they love higher up on lists. I personally (and objectively) think the only valuable games are ones developed by very small studios and have titles that rhyme with Sunder Bale.

(I am so proud of myself.)

Incidentally, you will see people criticizing any top 100 game if it’s only been out for a year or two. The lid on Pandora’s Box absolutely quivers at these arguments, for what hope do we have if nothing new can ever be good? And the real argument isn’t necessarily any new game is bad, but just this thought exercise: how can we really judge a game, when we don’t know if it rots or refines with age? Is the new game cheesecake or is it wine? Will we still talk about Elden Ring being an incredible game in five years or will we have culturally moved on?

The thing we have to acknowledge in these arguments is that new media doesn’t get a free pass. If it did, I would just publish Undertale again and call it a cover…rename it something like…Sunder Bale. All new media has to exist in this vast cultural and historical landscape. And yes, it does get harder and harder to compete, but that means we should strive harder to come to new things, to refine old things, and continually advance the experiences we can have.

I think one can very confidently argue that gaming interface, playability, and quality of life within game mechanics has gotten better since OoT. However, we can also argue that these improvements in most games haven’t been so transformational that they are that worthy of any real note. That OoT met the needed threshold for enjoyable playability and while improvements have been made, it isn’t the difference between horse carriages and cars, it’s the difference between a 1998 model and a 2020 model car.

And if you understand that, you can see that getting behind the wheel of a 2020 car, you’ll be able to talk about all of the improvements over the 1998 model, how it’s objectively better in every way. And a person who’s been driving that 1998 model for 20 years can say, yeah sure, but they both just go zoom. So what? It isn’t that improvements weren’t made, it wasn’t that a newer game may outperform an older game or have new features, it is just the relative differences are so minor as it not be a significantly new experience.

And since newer games have to compete with the functionality and impact already existing with older models, there is no real wow factor in linear progression. And that’s why OoT kept the championship built when it went against Majora’s Mask, Windwaker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. I think you could argue each of these installments did bring something unique to the Zelda gaming mythos, but nothing so unique has to feel really new or inspiring. Obviously personal opinion varies, but I feel like I’m not seeing large parts of the gaming population defending those other titles to the death (they do have their niche communities). And I think Breath of the Wild actually did manage to create such a new and redefining experience that it became a real contender for best in show for Zelda.

The whole point of this section is I want to explore how we understand and talk about nostalgia both in our consideration of older and newer games. While there is a lot of value in nostalgia and it isn’t always recognized within new audiences that don’t have 20 years of cultural investment, we can still acknowledge people can definitely get trapped in their own feelings of familiarity. I want to bring a lot more nuance to these discussions and how we even view video games culturally, artistically, and mechanically. So, let me start by talking about Modern Gaming.

A few years ago, I was really uncomfortable with this thought I was having about new games sucking. I got this foreboding feeling like the world’s evils leaving some box…hmm. And the thing is, I knew I was wrong, but I couldn’t find a compelling answer that defended new games.

I wasn’t hyper-fixated on a single game like FF7 or OoT, but I was thinking about the Final Fantasy series like FF6-FF9 and how they compared to AHHAHAHA (FF10), FF12, FF13x3, and FF15. Each subsequent game after FF9 felt worse and worse to me. Not necessarily bad games, just it clearly wasn’t getting better to me. And I could see how much better FF6 was compared to FF1–5. It felt like videogames were just getting worse or lazier or both. I played FF12, where I had a x4 speed bonus to moving around and I can’t for the life of me imagine playing that game at its intended speed. Unless that bunny girl and rogue are into a poly situation, that game is super dead to me.

(Editor: I had to cut several paragraphs here that devolved into further rants about FF12, including the insane loot system where you’re NOT suppose to open up some chests WTF!?!)

((Faye: I had to cut several paragraphs from the editor here complaining about FF12))

Regardless, I was trying to justify this thought that video games were getting worse by thinking about how video game development existed between 1995 and 2005 and what it looked like from 2005 to 2015, then 2015 to today. Video gaming became something most people did. It was no longer this niche market. So, instead of being this really intimate and small family, it opened up into this corporate global entity. It became sterilized to increase access and appeal to every audience. It also became a sequence of skinner boxes and monetization. It became sort of a bland, hollow, spectacle piece. It became kind of like a Disney park amusement ride.

Oh, fuck, like literally? That sucks. (Look at the six separate Disney Ride Advertisements here: (link)

We waited nearly ten years and like 50 games to experience the main event title that was Kingdom Hearts 3. I even played Kingdom Hearts Edition 2.99(REPEAT INFINITE) Fucking Final Edition Woot Woot V.2 and I got all of the achievements, including the ones involving playing those really awful Mario Party like board games with Terra, Aqua, and Ventas. Wait, what the fuck does Ventas even mean? OHHH.

OF COURSE! That checks.

King Hearts 3 became this elaborate scam to “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine”. And yes, Ventas is Latin for wind, but I do think it’s hilarious that it came up as sales in Spanish first, considering all the points I’m making.

But it wasn’t just Kingdom Hearts. It was also FF15, which was the first final fantasy to effectively take place as a road trip and that is so fitting, because you need a fucking roadmap to figure out all the media you have to watch or buy to understand the disappointing story. The game has basically fucking has ad breaks. I wanted so hard to love that game. I really did, but after more than a hundred of hours of playing it the only fondness I have is for the incredibly compelling fishing mini game. There is a part where you go through a 200 floor dungeon and at each ten floors you fight Tonberrys. It was grindy as fuck, but I was building up anticipation that at the very end of the dungeon I would fight the Tonberry King. That is what the game was signaling to me, because it echoed ff8’s Tonberry sequence. So, after hours of grinding through the dungeon and anticipating this epic and rewarding conclusion to my effort, I just found this generic fucking pallet swap boss.

These are two projects that took about ten years to deliver, were sequels to incredibly rich and beloved franchises and they both felt like hollow cash grabs developed by a committee board. All of the JPRG’s that I looked at felt like Legend of Mana, but put into an AI picture program with the words “more anime” over and over again for a decade. Long before Bored Apes showed us fifty boring versions of the same thing, we saw the same archetype of characters in every JRPG with just slightly different clothes, different hair styles, different weapons, and the same voice actors.

VIDEO GAMING IS FUCKING DEAD — Faye and Nietzsche(if he were alive) 2019

And I’m not suggesting every game just got worse. What I am suggesting is all games were trending towards predetermined market viability. That more and more they just became tools of monetization at the sacrifice of integrity or even playability to the point someone spent so much money on Diablo Immortal (100k) that he couldn’t even play with other people anymore because he was too overpowered to be matched.

It felt like around 2010 to 2013 the industry looked around and were like, okay, we good fam. Skyrim, Minecraft, and GTA V for 10 more years, choo choo. And every other game has just been recycled content from yesteryear. If you look at Wikipedia’s page on best considered games, you’ll see this trend of less and less titles suggested each year once you get to 2014. A modern year has 2 to 4 titles, the early 2000s has 10+ for many of those years. You’ll also notice the list mysteriously stops after 2018. I’d like you to refer to my and Nietzsche's quote above. I rest my case, I mean Nietzsche knows what he’s talking about.

Modern gaming is the reflection of video gaming becoming a Business with a capital B. Games weren’t made with an ethos of consumer enjoyability, they were made with the ethos of stockholder viability. Obviously making games was always a business, but originally expanding that business meant getting people interested and making games that would inspire folks to buy new systems and new games on just the quality of the product itself.

Today, marketing will sell the game, who cares what the players say? And so long as there wasn’t significant backlash that would hurt sales, then every game should be divided into DLC, should include NFTs, should heartlessly use any IP to milk nostalgia for money, and so on. Diablo Immortal has been culturally shunned and decimated by critics, while making hundreds of millions in profit, so get fucked.

On the flip side, this also means that significantly more funding goes into some projects and games studios are able to create massive things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. So, let’s talk about what modern gaming has done to our benefit.

The first thing we should do is understand that gaming has fundamentally changed from the early days to today. The how, who, what, where, and why of gaming are also fundamentally different. What people get out of gaming is much more diverse and that’s a really good thing. Gaming has become like any other art before it. And popularity may not fall in line with quality or content as much as accessibility, just like we saw with Citizen Kane as a movie and Orson Welles as an actor. The times change and people correctly recognize that Citizen Kane doesn’t hold up anymore and the real true best movie ever made is Paddington 2 (apparently). There is often a difference between what critics like and what audiences like for movies, music, or art in general.

So, let’s look at something more objective and typically in favor of modern gaming. Let’s look at the numbers. I love numbers. Here are most popular games in 2022 using this objective measure of sold copies from GamerTweak:

Your game was good, certainly, but it wasn’t Wii Sports good, noob, rekt. (link)

Faye, we both know that’s completely bullshit. Wii Sports came with the Nintendo Wii, so how is that fair? Are we seriously saying that Wii Sports is 26 times better than Undertale by volumes sold? But it’s kind of funny though, right? 20 years arguing whether FF7 or Ocarina of Time is a better game and they’re both absolutely dunked on by Mario Kart 8. It’s not unlike Piccolo and Goku on earth vying for worlds strongest, when really EA Tetris (Freeza) is out there able to kill them with but a thought.

But yeah, it isn’t really fair. Lots of games get bought and not played, look at your steam library? (I’m sorry to call you out so viciously.) So, what about actual players?

Microsoft Solitaire is 17 times more powerful than FF7 by sales data (link)

Are we feeling good about this exercise yet? By play volume Player Unknown Battle Ground is the winner, winner, chicken dinner. And rarely do we give any title from either list serious consideration for the contender of best game of all time and why not? If we look at IGN’s 100 greatest game list, the highest contender from the lists I have above makes 8th place.

Are these games not ranking higher because they don’t have a deep and meaningful story? Is it because they don’t have unique game design or art? Because they didn’t make you feel the feelings? Why is Ocarina of Time better than Candy Crush Saga? Is it? How do you prove it? What possible compelling argument could you have that the Oot’s polygon graphic nightmare played on a fucking trident was peak gaming? Why isn’t Minecraft so obviously number one, representing infinite horrifying worlds, community connection, and arguably any game you want depending on the mods you put in it?

And I think the answer to these questions relates not to the game, as much as to who is playing these games compared to who wants to have discussions about the best games ever made. A lot of young people play Minecraft, Fortnite, or Among Us. A lot of women over 35 play Candy Crush Saga. A lot of the old Halo douchebags of the 2000s are playing PBUG. These games aren’t for real gaming connoisseurs, you know, the 30 to 50 year old men who gatekeep gaming into the same isolated clubs they had growing up. Keep in mind these are all extremely rough generalizations. I’m not trying to make a point about the demographics who play these games or suggest that is the entire player base or all critics are like I describe here. That isn’t the point.

It is important however to consider these generalizations, because when I think about video game critics and review, I think about movies. I think about how action movies or family movies are perceived by film critics as not really art in the same way we don’t think about Fortnite or PUBG as art. We see them more like the Michael Bay of Gaming if you will?

You can think of music and how music snobs reject the pulp played on radio stations or consider CD’s inferior to Vinyl. Real Gaming requires an N64 played on CRT TV. You can think about insider or outsider art within the painting world. And this is all really interesting, because when we consider how we are critiquing video games, we are really seeing how video games as an art have effectively just gotten there.

The entire debate about if video games are art and if The Last of Us 2 is as good as Paddington 2, actually just doesn’t matter anymore — because video games are already performing as art regardless of how anyone wants to classify them. FF7 and OoT have already developed into a historical reverence within video gaming in the same way Godfather or a 2001 Space Odyssey has. Gaming has its gaming snobs in the same way all art does.

When we get into this trap of wanting every movie to be like Godfather, we fail to realize how Godfather isn’t the most accessible or enjoyable movie to every audience. Every story and game will have its own niche and Candy Crush Saga may be the joy, escapism, and/or community of older women as OoT was to largely younger boys of the 1990s. The culture and accessibility of the medium we call gaming has expanded to the point that nostalgia for the older days is losing a lot of reverence it had on today’s market.

And when we can really understand this, we can start to understand the flaws within trying to define the greatest video game of all time. What’s the best music we ever made? Here is a 51 greatest songs of all time article with Smells Like Teen Spirit as number 1, because it has a billion views. The absolute ovaries in a person to say that, when Gungnam Style is putting up numbers that would be impressive in cookie clicker.

Earlier in my essay I said that you cannot handwave the value of Nostalgia away. Shared Nostalgia over things like Ocarina of Time creates an imprint on the zeitgeist that is video gaming. That may not matter so much if you just play a few video games in your life. But, if you really start getting into gaming, it would be hard not to start to recognize the culture that exists. OoT becomes this very very strong benchmark that we compare and contrast the evolution of the medium and our shared culture in it.

This can be extremely rewarding when you engage in it artistically. When games make little call backs to the works that inspired them, that can tap into those feelings folks had when playing older games. Modern gamers who played Undertale, can visit the many games that inspired it, like EarthBound, to help enrich their experience of something they may love.

Metal Gear Solid 4 had a part where you’re revisiting Shadow Moses and the gameplay mirrors what it felt and looked like in the original Metal Gear Solid game. That part was so unexpected, fun, and rewarding to just immerse yourself into these moments of your past. Narratively, it was also Snake revisiting his past. So, the sequence functioned both from a personal, narrative, and metanarrative function all at the same time. If there weren’t these reflection pieces within media, that really captured our nostalgia, we wouldn’t be able to reach this incredible depths or heights of impact, investment, or reward.

And we’ve always continued to build on these narratives and experiences in gaming. Super Metroid has a part where you’re visiting the ending part of Metroid that was really cool to find. Sunder Bale has this incredible moment where you’re piecing together this game wide puzzle that hints about how Gaster had become a 4th dimensional being and you start to revisit the story through this context. Mario Odyssey features sequences where you’re effectively playing like Super Mario Bros.

It’s debatable if these inclusions are just nostalgia bait or meaningful reflections, but I think regardless of intent — they remain enriching. And while I think it would be fair to suggest references that take twenty or thirty years of gaming knowledge to understand is a bit masturbatory (like my paragraph of first person shooter lore or everything I’ve ever written), I would much rather have that depth exist than not. I would much rather have that level of complexity and nuance to pull from, find, and enjoy than for things not to expand on themselves or refine themselves in meaningful ways.

And truly inspiring games are often fantastic on their own merits, but incredibly complex and enriched by their meta narrative.

Earlier I explored my dissatisfaction with new games, specifically Final Fantasy Twelve. I wrote a few thousand words on that and I think it really was some of my best work. I feel like I got to the heart of the human condition, so I hope it makes it to the final cut of this essay. I didn’t really resolve that inquiry I proposed though, so I’d like to do that now. I really want to talk to folks who currently have this level of despair about new gaming being inferior or the golden era of gaming being behind us.

I think folks get into these bad head spaces, because of a few different reasons. The first time you do something is almost always going to be the most impactful. If you’ve played every Zelda game as they’ve come out, even with the innovations each game brings, you’ll eventually are just going to get fatigued on Zelda elements and have diminishing returns on that experience. How good is your favorite movie the tenth time you’ve watched it?

And new experiences may not be bad, you’ll just feel like they aren’t AS good. They aren’t the same high. The truth is a lot of games have been monetized and hallowed out for money in ways we never had to deal with before. It feels pretty gross to have lost all of those free little perks and bonuses games have, like big head cheat codes or alternative art to five dollar DLC. It can be rough culturally when you identify with video games so strongly and so many people see it as a throwaway experience to waste time on their phone. When you see and experience video gaming as a high art, but are rolled by trolls online who will just lol at that notion.

Here is just, yet another way, video games are already art. In 2021, there were 400 new movies released in America. How many of those movies do you know about? Would you recognize? How many did you see? How many will you remember in five years or ten years? There were 297 titles for the N64 in America. How many can you name? How many do you remember? (Thab is actually on a quest to beat all of them!)

There has always been a ton of general pulp released. It really isn’t that different back than, compared to today. Each year has a load of mediocre stuff and a few absolute gems. And the best of gaming isn’t behind us, regardless of how the market has shifted.

I got a banger, what if Zelda, but a cute fox and secretly fez?(Link)

I just played Tunic to 100% completion. I like to do that to get a feel for a game and because everyone finds achievos absolutely irresistible. I was at a bar just last week flirting with a cute enby and had to say, ‘Stop looking at my steam profile on your phone, I’m up here!” Gamer problems, amirite?

Anyways, Tunic isn’t only capturing that feeling of older games, it modernized it in interesting and compelling ways. Tunic is a game that makes me so happy to be part of gaming and see what we’re accomplishing in it. It isn’t necessarily a revolutionary or life changing game, but it does feel special. It feels like an absolute treat to play it and explore its world. I’m not walking away from the experience thinking that I’m happy to play something that evoked similar things to an older Zelda game. I’m walking away from the experience thinking how happy I am to still be a gamer and still experience such fun gaming.

When people say OoT is the best game ever, I find that hard to believe on a practical level. I find it hard to believe that in getting near 25 years, we haven’t done anything better in the thousands of games out there? And when I see something arguing for even older titles, like Doom — it’s the same feeling. I think there is a time and place to argue about the impact these games have had on gaming. They were absolutely revolutionary and no disagreements there. I think there is merit in talking about the impact these games have had on the individual and how it has gone on to inspire a generation of gaming. I just worry that if we’re still considering such an old product to be worthy of such a high regard, just how negative we must then have to view all games that came after, as I’ve said a few times before.

I feel the same about the pretentious movie lists that sing the praise of these fifty to seven year old classics, that can hardly say anything of real value to the kind of world and the problems we face today in it. How quaint the best movies happen to be often praised by older white men, watching movies about older white men, directed by…wouldn’t you guess it. And that isn’t totally fair, but it’s also not totally unfair either.

Is there anything else you is could be? (Top ten absolute banger video)

“Baba Is You” is another modern game that really looks like it could be played on the Nintendo or at least the Super Nintendo and it is one of the best and most compelling puzzle games I have ever played. There is a sequence that gave me the same vibes of exploring a final dungeon in an epic action game — but it was just solving puzzles. I’m not really trying to go through like my favorite games, but I didn’t think I’d be interested in puzzle games that much and I just fell in love with this modern gem.

I’m someone who really strongly identified with gaming in the late 1990s and early 2000s. When I thought about the best games, I would always think back to then. So, I started to reframe my thought process. I started to think not of this general notion of best or most impactful game, but rather what games make me excited for gaming? What games make me think that bangers are still going to happen. No matter how great of a game OoT happens to be for any one person, it’s hard to get excited about a 25 year old product, right?

The original lore of Pandora’s box suggested that hope was the only thing that didn’t escape. A better translation isn’t hope, it is anticipation. Anticipating something new will happen for better or for worse. Nostalgia by its nature is always looking backwards, so to naturally combat a need to stick with something familiar is to think about what excites you. What things are you anticipating? What can new games mean for gaming?

New Updates for this game as of August 2022!

Into the Breach is one of the best games I have ever played. It’s a top-down grid base turn action puzzle where you have to pilot three mechs against hordes of enemy bugs. The diversity of scenarios, the complexity of the mechanics, and the depth of skill to master it all are incredibly engaging and rewarding.

Undertale kind of broke the internet back in 2016 and in that same year Dark Souls III was a masterpiece for the souls genre. Breath of the Wild released in 2017 and was such an invigorating addition to the Zelda experience that so many players who were bored of Zelda games came back. So many players who don’t like open world games, experienced the first open world game they liked. Persona 5 was so good Dunkey praised it and that dude fucking hates anime and rpgs. Stardew valley took the Harvest Moon template and perfected it to a degree nobody was expecting to design a game that was pure joy and fun.

I think nostalgia is valuable and puts value into the works of art you connected with and there is no problem with that. So long as that feeling doesn’t trap you. So long as it doesn’t leave you hopeless to never have that level of experience again or feel like you can’t get excited for new games.

Speedrunning started to become an answer for getting excited about older games again. It breathed new life into a great deal of older games that had a decade of dust on them. It absolutely broke games and redefined them in interesting and novel ways. A regular play through of OoT looks way different than a speedrun in 2005, or 2010, or 2020.

New players are picking up Mario 64 or Mike Tyson's Punch Out because of blindfold challenges they saw. And, in this regard, speedrunning kind of blends the cultural era of older and modern gamers. OoT randomizer is effectively a new modern game, while just being the DNA of a 25 year old title. We’ve found new ways to explore old games and through this found a way to really share this community more broadly and with less gatekeeping. I often see speedrunners in their teenage years or young twenties, playing titles that came out before they were born.

During the Games Done Quick Marathon in July, they showcased an Arbitrary Code Execution on Ocarina of Time. I recommend watching the video below if you care about Oot at all. This video showcased absolutely everything gaming can be. It showcased not just the value of nostalgia, but how we could use those feelings and grow them into something more spectacular.

I was literally crying during this.

This article was written to be about the gaming community in general, but I really wanted to reach older gamers. I think it sucks to feel like a community you’ve loved has moved on from you. I wanted to identify why folks may feel like that is the case, but ultimately why gaming hasn’t moved on from anyone. It’s just included so many more people and experiences and provided so many more ways for people to share them. And it is so much more reasonable today, to talk to a young person about Ocarina of Time, than it was in 2015, because speed running and randomizations have brought a lot of older and new gamers together. That’s just really fucking awesome.




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Faye Seidler

I write essays on literature, pop culture, and video games. I mostly deconstruct and do comparative analysis on many topics in both a serious and goofy way.