Old School

Nostalgia... hmm.

From Wiki: The term nostalgia describes a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. The word is a learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning "homecoming", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain, ache", and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.

So, in a way Nostaliga is sort of an illness, a debilitation, something in between you and better health.

If you think about it, with all the people saying that you should "live for today" and live as if every day were your last", nostalgia (in the sentimental definition) is, indeed, a wrong way to think.

I agree... to a point.

I bring this up because, lately, I have been a "victim" of nostalgia. I looked at my old video games that I never finished and got all kinds of Velveteen Rabbit type feelings about them; "If I would only play with them, maybe they would come to life!". I figure a game that has been bought but never played is a form of waste (which is IMO the red headed cousin of the 7 cardinal sins). So in order to redeem myself, off I went, trying my damndest to find some way to play these old games.

Nostaliga is both a wonderful motivation and a terrible crutch, depending on context, and is lovely to abuse in writing and roleplaying. Vampires may be immune to all kinds of disease, but nostalgia may as well be ebloa for them. Imagine living so long that you have accumulated all manner of toys you have yet to play with: anything from books of science you never read, to tomes of black magic you never studied, swords that have never tasted blood, wood that was meant for a fine piece of furniture, etc. Even the most predicatble, stable long-lived creature (Tolkien-esque elves can suffer this as well, even in Shadowrun) can suddenly, without warning, quit their cushy CEO position to go become a professional fur trapper in the middle of Montana, just like they wanted to when they watched Jeremiah Johnson back in the 70's, just because they were cleaning out their attic one day.

The harder it is to "relive the magic" of a particular past-time or age, the harder people will need work to get it back. Groups of people can be nostalgic (OSR, the Old School Renaissance, is the gamer's strain of nostalgia), couples can be nostalgic ("Remember how you used to hold me, John? I do."), even entire nations can be nostalgic. Just sentiment for the past can be all the motivation your character needs. Bad guys are especially susceptible to nostalgia as a motivation.

Is there some bygone something, whether its a game, a fashion, a music genre, or a whole day and age that your sentimental about? If you are comfortable, tell us your age too.

I'll get started. I really got a hankering to finish Baldur's Gate II: Shadow's of Amn, and it would be wonderful to watch all my old anime from the millennia again. Im 27 yo.

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