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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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4. The Development of Video Game Emulation and Its Subjective Nostalgic Experiences (Ryan Lizardi)

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4. The Development of Video Game Emulation and Its Subjective Nostalgic Experiences

RYAN LIZARDI

Introduction

This chapter explores the development of video game console emulation technologies, communities, and commodifications, and connects them to the industry’s revival of dormant catalogs through virtual console DLC and the eventual repackaging and “re-consoling” of popular properties as well as the impetus to create more reliable and inventive methods of DIY emulation. Building from a variety of scholarly threads, from video game emulation and archive studies such as Guttenbrunner, Becker, and Rauber (2010) and Newman (2012b) to nostalgia studies like Coontz (1992) and Whalen and Taylor (2008), this paper tracks the history of video game console emulation through to a comparison of Nintendo’s “Classic Edition” releases and DIY versions such as the “Pi Cart.” The experiences of these disparate methods of retro gaming are quite varied, and speak to the different nostalgic subjectivities encouraged through the practice of either buying a rare pre-packaged version of the past and building one for yourself. Exploring online fan communities from both experiences, such as those hunting for the elusive NES Classic Edition in 2016 and SNES Classic Edition in 2017 versus those discussing the best methods of building an emulation machine inside of an old NES cartridge, helps to broaden our understanding of what it means to experience and interact with our nostalgia in a digitized world. Much like Walter Benjamin was concerned with what...

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