The classic Sega Genesis. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)
Cleveland Charter High School

Retrogaming: The power of nostalgia

Last year, Sega announced a reissue of its classic video game console, the Sega Genesis. Genesis, one of the most popular home video game consoles was initially released in the 1980s and sold nearly 31 million units. The reissued game console was a win for many fans who grew up spending a large portion of their childhood playing the Genesis.

But last year’s reissue of a popular game console isn’t the first for a long line of retro machines. Two years prior, Nintendo rereleased their popular Super NES model, another very popular retro console which received critical acclaim during its first release in 1991.

In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of retro games — but why?

A large part of this can be attributed to emulators and easy online platforms that allow users to play these games. An emulator is a type of computer software that enables a device to behave like another computer system.

Emulators can easily be downloaded and found online along with a plethora of retro games accessible via the internet. Many people have been yearning for a nostalgic trip back to childhood. Combine this with easy gameplay and durability from older gaming systems and retro gaming is making a comeback in popularity.

Even game companies are starting to notice the power of nostalgia, and a slew of reissued versions of classic game consoles are finding ways into the market. Nintendo released their NES classic in 2016 and quickly sold all of its 2.3 million units.

But maybe this wave of nostalgia isn’t necessarily related to only video games. In recent years, we’ve seen trends of nostalgia in internet culture such as Vaporwave.

Heck, people are even watching their old movie collections through online streaming platforms and saving memories by simply snapping a photo on their phone. It seems like we all want to go back to those bittersweet memories when times were simpler.