The Downside of Nostalgia [Repost]
As a horror writer and (perhaps more importantly) a game developer — both types of media often accused of being “too violent” or “corrupting society” — I think J.M Morrow hits the spot with her critique of extreme nostalgia.
People tend to hate things they don’t understand or anything new that wasn’t around in the “Good Old Days”. When the ancient Greeks began writing stuff down, Socrates feared it would dilute the meaning of stories meant to be passed on orally. When the printing press was invented, monks thought it would compromise the integrity of religious texts. When film began to be accepted as a legitimate art form, writers like Ray Bradbury and J.D Sallinger hailed it as the death of society.
It’s kind of human nature to rally against things we don’t understand. These days, people say violent video games turn children into murderers, not understanding that a.) some games are meant for adults and b.) most video games have a story, a context for said violence, just like books and movies do. Since most of the stuff I make (both my writing and my games) is pretty dark, I’ve come under fire for perpetuating a perceived problem in society. One time, someone sent me an email saying that my games are unsuitable for kids because they have cussing in them. But hey, guess what? They were never meant to be.
Nostalgia is overrated. Instead of criticising something different from what you had, why not try it to see why people like it? Check out J.M Morrow’s blog post:
“Back in my day” is a popular phrase that has become increasingly common in recent times. It’s probably not that recent—I’ve read older books where the author bemoans the newer generations—but it’s becoming far too common, so much so that it really needs to be addressed.
Just have a look at Google Images.
Back to the Future II may have been wrong about a lot of things in 2015, but not the 80s nostalgia. Entire television stations are devoted to shows from our childhoods. If you even suggest the 21st century is a better time than back in the grand old days, you’ll be given a funny look and told: “We didn’t need no gizmos and gadgets. We used to make our own fun by playing with dirt and throwing bricks at each other! Children these days are so lazy and selfish.” Have a look at any newspaper or…
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