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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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9. Media-as-Things: A Nonhistorical Nostalgia Through Failure (Mani Mehrvarz / Maryam Muliaee)

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9. Media-as-Things: A Nonhistorical Nostalgia Through Failure

MANI MEHRVARZ AND MARYAM MULIAEE

Introduction

“Outbreaks of nostalgia often follow revolutions,” said Svetlana Boym (2001, 9). Technology of recording memory has also been impacted by revolution, in which the emergence of nostalgia is assured. The leap from mechanical storage media like photography, phonography, and cinematography to signal transmission like radio and television and digital computer (Ernst 2016a) has brought with it new forms of nostalgia, whose implied meanings have invaluable possibilities for the world of media. As Boym said, “The history of nostalgia might allow us to look back at modern history not solely searching for newness and technological progress but for unrealized possibilities, unpredictable turns and crossroads” (2001, 16).

Scholarship on media nostalgia is expansive and diverse, relying mostly on the content of mass media such as film and TV shows, video games, and literature. Drawing from Fred Davis (1979) and Fredric Jameson (1991), Paul Grainge (2000) argues for an aestheticization of nostalgia in which nostalgic modes bring a new and dynamic engagement with the past. Andreas Böhn introduces the aspects of media’s self-reference assigned to nostalgia on which media rely on “different historical ways of positioning themselves in relation to other media” (2007, 152). Ryan Lizardi articulates a subjective nostalgia for media that is perpetual and constructed on an individualized version of the past, “as opposed to a comparative, collective, or adaptive view of...

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