Reboot your video game nostalgia

video game nostalgia
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As a kid I loved playing video games for hours at a time. These days I am easily distracted and lose interest quickly. Did you know we regard video games as virtual places that can even spark nostalgic feelings? I also suffer from video game nostalgia. The great thing is that these old games are like time capsules we can re-enter at will. Just reboot your old game console and start playing! In this blog I show you my personal video game nostalgia list. Try them and rediscover your childhood video game focus.

Video game nostalgia

Back in the days I had no problem playing video games for hours at a time. Unfortunately, nowadays I find I have a hard time fully immersing myself in those games. When I play them alone or together with my kids I am easily distracted and lose interest after an hour. Sometimes even a few minutes. Time to train my ‘video game focus’! After doing some research I found out that I suffer from a condition called video game nostalgia.


Nostalgia is a strange thing. You probably suffer from it too! We are all predisposed to feel sentimentally attached to the places, toys, movies and music associated with our childhood. I guess those places and things of our past are symbols of a simpler, more carefree time.

Personally, I like going back to the places of my youth, the houses and neighborhoods I grew up in. And when I come across some of my childhood toys in the attic or see old comics I used to read as a kid it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

The word “nostalgia” comes from the Greek nostos, meaning “returning”, and algos, meaning “suffering.”

Today I found out that there is also something called video game nostalgia. And yes: I suffer badly from video game nostalgia! I often watch videos on YouTube of people playing games I used to play as a kid. It gives me that strange fuzzy feeling too.

It seems that video games trigger nostalgia even more strongly than toys. Probably because we invest more emotions in playing them.

Research showed that we regard video games as actual places. Digital landscapes frozen in bits and bytes. Unchanged places we can return to whenever we want, triggering nostalgia. The great thing is that they are time capsules we can re-enter at will. Just reboot your old console and start playing. Or download an emulator and some roms.

My personal video game nostalgia top 10

Time for some video game nostalgia. Below is my personal video game nostalgia list. Games I was immersed in at a time I had no trouble focusing.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (Commodore 64) – 1986

Killing zombies and skeletons. Is that even possible?

IK+ (Commodore 64) – 1987

Wrecked some joysticks playing this game. I was convinced that I could become a black belt playing International Karate + for hours.

Tetris (Nintendo Gameboy) – 1989

When I played this all day and closed my eyes to sleep at night those blocks just kept falling. The Gameboy link cable allowed you to play against a friend. That was great fun!

Blockout (MS-DOS) – 1989

A more advanced, Tetris-like game in 3D. Great fun and addictive!

Leisure Suit Larry 3 (MS-DOS) – 1989

I probably understood half of the dialogue as a kid. Thank god!

Railroad Tycoon (MS-DOS) – 1990

I never knew that building railroads and making money was this much fun.

Kick Off 2 (Commodore Amiga) – 1990

I hate watching soccer but I loved playing Kick Off 2. Preferably against a friend.

Turrican II (Commodore Amiga) – 1991

The best Amiga game ever made. Period. And that soundtrack!

Half Life (Windows) – 1998

I guess I loved playing the nerdy gun wielding scientist.

Unreal Tournament (Windows) – 1999

I will never forget playing Capture the Flag in the Coret Facility online with my friends. And the thrill of finally beating Xan Kriegor!

What is your personal video game nostalgia list?

Want to learn more about video game nostalgia? Read this great article.

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