The New Nostalgia

It was bound to happen at some point, and I’m sure you all saw it coming. Today the Geek With Taste is here to talk to you about nostalgia— video games, movies, cartoons, everything.  However, it won’t be the kind of nostalgia you might expect. For the longest time, the icons of nostalgia has been the original Transformers, G.I. Joe, Ultra Man, Mario, the Nintendo, etc. While many of you are thinking, “Fuck yeah! That’s what nostalgia is all about,” a growing population of people are looking upon a new nostalgia to fit their own age. Beware, Generation X, for a new era of nostalgia is about to come about, and that is the nostalgia of the children of the grand ol’ 1990’s.

Most of you are probably familiar with the phenomenon of nostalgic resurgence back to childhood hobbies. It’s almost become a bit of a joke: as a child you absolutely loved, say, Pokemon; when you got into secondary school, you may have noticed that you weren’t at all interested in that kid stuff anymore; however, come early adulthood and college, Pokemon suddenly sounds very appealing once more. While it may not have gone down exactly as that, all of you have gone through it at some point. I know I have on more than one occasion.

It’s looking much different nowadays. The current generation of young adults and college students wasn’t around for the big Nintendo boom, and half of them probably don’t even know what He-Man is, or that the recent A-Team movie was a remake. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (well, the A-Team thing is); those things were well before their time, after all. Instead, they have their own things to be nostalgic about that the children of the 2000’s in turn have never heard of, such as Spyro, the first two Playstation consoles, and Courage the Cowardly Dog.

I’m speaking from personal experience, since I myself am a child of Generation Y, and I am going through the whole nostalgic phase now. During the Summer I had been taking classes at the community college just across the street from the mall; with such easy access and my nostalgic nerves creeping up, you could bet that every other day I was in GameStop buying Playstation games from the $5 rack, games I had already played and beaten years ago, but compelled me to play again, if only to get that special feeling back. Of course, besides those games, you can bet that there some that were so nostalgic that I still had them on my shelf, such as Final Fantasy IX, Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts.

Of course, not all nostalgia is good, and revisiting those memories can prove to be quite jarring. Take Kingdom Hearts for example: I used to absolutely adore that game; it would be the only thing I would play for weeks on end, and you can bet I was excited for the sequels when they were released, even if I had gotten a bit old for them by the time they came out. However, now I look back and, unless I’m in super nostalgia mode, I can’t even play through more than five minutes without boring myself. I also recently watched the 1984 movie, The NeverEnding Story. This was another movie I had been crazy about as a kid, but upon reviewing I  remember constantly thinking, “there’s no way anybody can possible take this movie seriously,” as well as, “oh hey, that Oompa Loompa guy used to be Willy Wonka.”

If you were a child of the 90’s, you probably also remember such shows as the X Files, and Tales From the Crypt being gold, and looking back they do still have their merit. A show that fails the nostalgic test, however, would be the Power Rangers; yeah the original was pretty good, and that’s really what everybody loved, but it certainly lost it’s campy place in our hearts after that.

I could go on for days describing the nostalgic things that Generation X passed up, and what Generation Z (is that the term? I wonder what the next generation would be called) is too young to remember. It’s only a matter of time before the Playstation 2 is the icon of nostalgic video games, Invader Zim is the icon of nostalgic cartoons, and The Matrix is the icon of nostalgic movies. Things certainly do change, and what is considered nostalgic today will be considered too old to remember tomorrow. Give it another decade or so, and Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach will be considered nostalgic antiques. One thing’s for sure though: The Simpsons will never end.