Letter from the editor: When nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

One of the many peculiar sensations of advancing in age is the constant reframing of what’s considered old. Alongside the ever-growing creak of the bones and the gentle shock in the barbers when the hair that’s falling on your shoulders becomes increasingly white there’s the dry horror of people celebrating the ‘retro’ pleasures of a game you could swear only came out months ago.

It’s a feeling that’s been bubbling up again with this week’s release of Nintendo Switch Sports, a follow-up of sorts to a game that defined its era, and in many ways went on to inform every subsequent era since. You won’t need to be reminded of the outrageous success of Wii Sports when it launched at the tail-end of 2006; such was the ubiquity of the tiny little console everyone will have their own memories of gathering around tatty CRT TVs in increasingly sweaty and smelly living rooms with Wii Remote-enabled tennis or boxing, or Christmas Day bowling sessions with the family that would invariably spill over into the early hours of Boxing Day.

There’s an innocence to those memories - sweetened through the distorting lens of nostalgia - that’s all the more alluring in these troubled times. Who wouldn’t want to forego the misery of the modern always-connected world where convenience has steamrollered any semblance of calm for an afternoon carefully curating the 1000 songs that’ll go on your first generation iPod (and who wouldn’t swap the soul-sapping noise of Twitter for the more charming mess that was MySpace - especially given recent news of a certain egomaniac choosing to spend his fortune on the platform rather than addressing any more pressing concerns).

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