The wave of nostalgia in the form of tech is at its highest. Big brands and bloggers like myself are tapping into the sentimentality of childhood memories. The difference with me versus some of the big businesses is that a) I only share things I believe are genuinely cool and think my audience will like and b) I'm Forest Gumping my way through with no real plan! Here is a visual representation:
Remember those wistful hours spent playing your favourite video game? Well advertising companies are essentially punching us millennials in the feels, so we empty our wallets... and it's working! With releases of classic game consoles like the SNES Mini and other retro gaming emulators that offer you a gazillion video games, the strong stench of a yesteryear is here, and the world of advertising is cashing in. Yes fine friends, nostalgia marketing is a thing!
Companies for a long time now have recognised the value of nostalgia in the media and getting us hooked!
With technology especially gaming, the brains behind a marketing campaign figures that if they can evoke the playful feelings of you button bashing Track & Field on the Game Boy, then they will use this to make you throw money at whatever they are selling. Is it a trap? Yes. Is it clever? Yes. Are you still going to buy an Atari handheld gaming console? Shut up and take my money!
The trickery brands use to gain the interest of the consumer is simply to form an emotional connection to whatever they are selling. If the brand can resonate with positive memories, then the battle to sell us stuff we never thought we needed is already half won. Basically, the better we feel when using a product coupled with shouts of “Oh my god I remember that!” the more likely we are to add it to our basket when shopping online. #drunkonlinepurchases. The thing is… even though I know it’s all marketing wizardry set out to piss off my bank balance… I’m still probably definitely gonna buy into it because I lack self control!
Conjuring emotions for an inanimate object is a very powerful marketing tool. We know that buying a retro games console will give us an immediate fuzzy glow of satisfaction as soon as we slam Super Mario Kart into a SNES! It's these warm comforting emotions that encourages us to spend all the money on things we never need but simply want… because reasons!
Studies on nostalgia tells us that it has the power to combat loneliness, anxiety and even boredom. As well as making us feel lightheaded and physically warm, nostalgia can make us more understanding, tolerant and generous to strangers. Old happy memories have also been noted to aid us in difficult transitional moments of our lives and help us feel more resilient in stressful situations. In short... nostalgia is a kick ass, potent, psychological phenomenon which makes selling us retro inspired shit so damn easy! The concept is so very easy, but super powerful!
Nostalgic strategies employed by advertisers help mask over the complexities of our current life with a giant, rose tinted, blast from the past plaster. In a world where instant gratification is deemed the holy grail of adult life, the N Word plays magnificently into that concept.
So, continuing with the second round of The N Word Project is Naoise O’Hare from Retro Gamer Ireland who basically is a retro gaming extraordinaire from Dublin. I stumbled across his blog and got insanely jealous at his Instagram account that showcases all his retro video game consoles and games. Go check him out post haste and follow him all the way to the Shangri-La of retro gaming wonderment!
Have you always been into retro gaming or did you pick this up later on in life?
I started out playing the Nes, then Snes and so on. Over the years I went along with the times and played modern gaming and left the oldschool stuff in the past. It wasn't until about 5 years ago that my girlfriend surprised me with the gift of a Super Nintendo that my love of retro games was sparked.
What made you want to start your website Retro Gamer Ireland?
I was having a lot of fun using Instagram as a micro blog but wanted to share more in depth thoughts on retro gaming. I tried YouTube but it wasn't for me so I tried writing blogs and loved it so started the website.
What do you think it is about old skool games and consoles that makes it still so popular?
One word... Nostalgia.
What was your first gaming console?
The Nes and a copy of the Duck Hunt/Super Mario Bros cart. It's still one of my favourite consoles today.
What was your favourite video game?
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I have so many fond memories playing it as a kid, and still love it to this day. It's a game that I will keep going back to for the rest of my days.
What retro game throws you right back into being a kid again? (Mine is Streets of Rage on the Mega Drive!)
So many games take me back to the good old days, anything that I played as a kid will get the nostalgia flowing. One game that takes me all the way back is Super Mario Bros, one or my earliest memories is playing this game with my older brother Aodhan.
For me nostalgia and childhood memories make me feel like I’m hugging a hot water bottle or placing a warm towel over my eyes. What kind of emotions or imagery evokes nostalgia for you?
Any video game that I can remember playing as a kid will always fill me with nostalgia. Then certain tv shows and movies like the first 2 seasons of Pokémon and Power Rangers The Movie.
Do you think retro gaming will ever become uncool and die out as new technology booms (and the machines take over – Terminator style?!)
Haha, machines are already taking over! It wouldn't bother me if retro gaming became uncool because I'd be able to get retro games for cheap again if they did :D
If you had a time machine/Delorean, which age would you go back to and live for a week and why?
Probably the Christmas of 1997 which would make me 10. This is when my brother and I got the Nintendo 64 and it was one of my favourite Christmas holidays of all.
Do you think that it is unhealthy to still live in the past, using retro inspired toys, music and pop culture as a form of escapism?
Not at all. I'm definitely a creature of habit and I love playing the same old games over and over. I don't live completely in the past though as it's a hobby that I do in my spare time. For the most part I live very much in the present time and I'm not constantly trying to relive the past.
Does nostalgia and reminiscing about the good old days prevent us from moving forward and grabbing new adventures and opportunities?
I can't speak for others but it has never prevented me from moving forward and taking part in new adventures. Blogging about retro games has opened up so many new doors for me that I would never have been able to get to had I not been reminiscing of times long past.