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Edwin

The Nostalgia is Too Painful

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Edwin

So I spent all of yesterday trying to get Lego Island Xtreme Stunts to work. I downloaded several fixes and apps to get it to run on Windows 10. It was overall a fun experience, like a big puzzle. And the goal was simply to get it to run smoothly without disc and with the highest resolution. Even as a child I had several problems running it on our XP computer. So getting it to run better on my current computer than ever before, was a very satisfying challenge. Now that I succeeded, there's only one problem.

Anyone ever feel like nostalgia is too powerful when playing these old games from our childhood?

I often use nostalgia kind of like a drug. It gives me the immediate feeling of satisfaction and comfort. IXS is the most nostalgia-inducing game I own, because:
1. It was the game I played the most as a child. 
2. I haven't been able to play it since.
3. There's something special about the game. 

Now that I play it, it feels like I'm hanging out with my younger self. I remember how the world used to be. I remember what small things I used to worry about. I'm reminded of who I have become. I can't stop the passing of time. And the nostalgia will only get more painful the older I become. 

Listen, I'm not a huge LEGO-fan, I'm just a fan of the games I played as a child, which happen to be LEGO-games. Video games, as a medium, are interactive, and thus very nostalgia-inducing. When we watch a movie, the nostalgia is not quite the same. When we play a game, it's like we get to run around in what used to be a part of our world as children. I would even argue that this site would not exist, had it not been for the certain nostalgia of video games. 

As I said, there's something special about IXS. It's on an Island, where everyone goes about their business. Forever. No one ever ages. Everyone has their place. The more I play, the more the nostalgia will probably wear off. I know that. But do I really want that? Has anyone experienced something like this? And if so, is it really worth playing the game and removing all of the nostalgia? Without it, LIXS is a pretty mediochre game. A lot of charm, killer music, some half-fun mini-games on an Island. Nothing more; nothing less. 

In short: Should I uninstall the game? 

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baraklava

Honestly, just play until you are done imo. Nostalgia is different to everyone, but undoubtedly one of the strongest forms of irrational love there is. Here's the thing though: If you truly love something, the nostalgia or appeal of that thing doesn't wear off. If you think the nostalgia will wear off, then that might be for the best. Every time I dive back into my Rock Raiders lego, I feel a strong sense of nostalgia, but also a genuine love for it. However when I play the Rock Raiders game, I feel the game design frustrations so often, I question if it's worth playing the game. It's still enjoyable, but it's impossible to say it's perfect. But the feeling... the music, the sounds, the charm, that is where the true nostalgia lies, and I still don't get tired of the soundtrack to this day. I think a lot of people feel the same about Lego Island: The power is in the charm of the characters, not the graphics nor the controls, but to someone who hasn't played the game before, it's probably really boring and impossible to get into.

 

Or think of it this way: If you bottle up nostalgia in order to use it later, or to never spoil it, then what's the point of nostalgia? There is probably hundreds of things you liked as a kid that you know you don't like anymore, be it crappy browser games or TV shows made specifically for kids. The nostalgic love for those doesn't wear off because you indulged in it, it wears off because it truly wasn't that good or you don't enjoy it anymore. There's so much stuff I had as a kid that just doesn't interest me in the same way anymore. I still feel nostalgic about it, but not enough to feel that it's some perfect time capsule never to be broken.

 

Realising the things you are nostalgic about aren't perfect is a healthy process of maturing, in my experience, and has in my case actually helped me enjoy nostalgic content more. It's all up to you if you want to uninstall the game of course, but the real question is why deny yourself the experience?

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aidenpons

Honestly, I haven't experienced anything like this. The reason I still occasionally play LR1, RR, and more obscure games like Bionicle Heroes and CrystAlienConflict is because, fundamentally, I find them fun to play. I don't seem to be affected by nostalgia to create an amazing experience out of a subpar game (perhaps due to my ... unique... mental setup).

 

I never really got the LI1 hype, which has parallels with your IXS nostalgia. I remember walking around the island and being very confused at the jittery build controls - and when I come back to play it, I find that the island is exactly as empty as I remember it with the weirdest controls to navigate and the build controls are still weird. And that's why I play other games instead - because they're fun.

 

 

As Baraklava said, if you find IXS fun to play because of your nostalgia and all the memories, play it! Nothing lasts permanently - you eventually stop playing any game that doesn't receive new content for you to play - and enjoy the ride while it exists. Nothing is permanently enjoyable as people change, so enjoy things when you can. I'm trying really hard to not to draw parallels to life as a whole or condone pleasure-seeking, both of which might break the forum rules along the lines of "don't get political" Playing games is, to me, about having fun, and if you're having fun for whatever reason when you play a game, go ahead!

 

On a more bitter note, if you decide not to play it, to stay in that feeling, you'll constantly be haunted by the question "should I play it?" which is never a nice state to be in.

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Cyrem

Hey edwin, you're thinking about this a little too hard. The feeling and attachment you to the game and it's association to your childhood bring up feelings of past enjoyment and longing to feel it again is totally normal, and you don't need to fear it.

 

As you realise time passes and you never get back the days and hours of the past, this realisation comes with maturity and you start building appreciation for things that gave you good memories.

 

I see you're afraid that replaying things might ruin your nostalgia, you don't need to worry. As you've already recognised, replaying these things now feels different... this is because you're creating new memories in a different frame of mind then you had when you were young. But not only this, you're comparing your current feeling to the memory of your old feelings, such comparison isn't equal nor fair and why you can't recreate such feelings.

 

You need not worry about damaging your feelings toward something if you have an appreciation for it and that time period as well as accepting that it is what it is. Don't make comparisons of now to then, again this wouldn't be fair.

 

If you have a true appreciation for something as it is, its faults aren't a concern nor is getting new content, it's the faults that give it the character and the memories that you had. For me some of my fondest memories are that of exploiting bugs, and finding fault in games as a kid.

 

Play it, enjoy it for what it was for you then. Don't make comparisons to now, we don't live in the 1990's.

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Edwin

All of you make good points that I kind of needed to hear. Nostalgia is a weird state of mind, I almost feel like researching it. It can be both the best thing in the world and the worst thing. I wonder if it is good even when in the shape negative feeling. Like a healthy process, even when it makes you feel bad. But as Baraklava pointed out: 

 

On 6/21/2020 at 2:54 PM, baraklava said:

If you bottle up nostalgia in order to use it later, or to never spoil it, then what's the point of nostalgia?


I guess what I was feeling was simply fear. I've been dissapointed many times, and LIXS really is like a sacred garden in my mind, where much l of my childhood nostalgia is stored. I didn't own many games as a kid, I had no consoles and mostly borrowed my dad's computer which had like five games on it, and one of them was LIXS. As some of you have pointed out, maybe there needs to be some quality in the object for the nostalgia to have effect. I played a lot of LI2 as a kid, but kinda didn't enjoy it as much and therefore, I don't feel as much when replaying it now. There is still enjoyment though, more so than if I played a random game.

 

13 hours ago, Cyrem said:

If you have a true appreciation for something as it is, its faults aren't a concern nor is getting new content, it's the faults that give it the character and the memories that you had


^ This  is also true. We shouldn't expect games to be perfect, especially not those from our childhood. And I, too, really enjoy dissecting these old games and exploiting bugs and so on. It's like you get closer to the psychology of the developers. And maybe these charmy flaws is the reason why I don't feel the same for TT games? They're fun, and I played many of them as a kid, but a bit too perfect, processed.
 

16 hours ago, aidenpons said:

if you decide not to play it, to stay in that feeling, you'll constantly be haunted by the question "should I play it?" which is never a nice state to be in


^ Touché. I actually played the game yesterday. And of course, I don't regret it. I'm kind of an overthinker. If I feel that I love something, maybe I should trust that feeling, and not assume that I have bad judgement, or that my feeling is "wrong". 

 

 

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