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Subjective Experiences of Interactive Nostalgia

Edited By Ryan Lizardi

From explorations of video game series to Netflix shows to Facebook timelines, Subjective Experiences of Interactive Nostalgia helps readers understand what it is actually like to be nostalgic in a world that increasingly asks us to interact with our past. Interdisciplinary authors tackle the subject from historical, philosophical, rhetorical, sociological, and economic perspectives, all the while asking big questions about what it means to be asked to be active participants in our own mediated histories. Scholars and pop culture enthusiasts alike will find something to love as this collection moves from a look at traditional interactive media, such as video games, to nostalgia within all things digital and ends with a rethinking of the potentials of nostalgia itself.

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1. Reconstructing Lara: The Tomb Raider Reboot as Nostalgic Experience (Ashley P. Jones)

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1. Reconstructing Lara: The Tomb Raider Reboot as Nostalgic Experience

ASHLEY P. JONES

Full disclosure requires that I tell you that my heart holds the Tomb Raider video game series near and dear as this was the first console game I truly enjoyed playing. It was my brother’s game and I distinctly remember watching him get stuck on a particular sequence and turning the console off. After he left the room, I booted the PlayStation back up and proceeded to beat that sequence and continue on with the game. Later, when my brother returned, he was very confused when he realized the game save was not where he had left it. Thus began the feud between the two of us as to who would finish the game first.

The situation makes me smile looking back on it now, but the experience is not a unique one. My fondness for the Tomb Raider video game series is just one example of how video game nostalgia manifests itself for an entire generation of gamers. Video games have become what Sean Fenty has described as “powerful nostalgic artifacts” that open a state of being for players to return to (Fenty 2008, 20). While the games themselves are the portal to this nostalgic memory, the immersive experience of the video game is really what holds the nostalgic pull. In other words, the gameplay provides the opportunity for players to re-experience their...

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