A random video came up on my YouTube, and the statement "nostalgia is a form of depression" hit me like a brick to the face.
Let that sink in.
Especially in regards to gaming. Your purchases. How companies market to you. How you feel about roleplaying games. Classic gaming. Modules. The OSR.
Is what you feel is "good" based on nostalgia?
This is something that goes to the core of my feelings. Some older games did things better - mechanically. Most older games were trash. Today's games forget the past or go in a direction I disagree with. They pander to power gaming to create lifestyle brands, make it impossible to die, and encourage you to self-insert "you as your character" - when we were told repeatedly in the 80s and 90s that was NOT to be done. The DM is supposed to "cheat for the players" to "tell a good story," which removes any feeling of danger or challenge.
At a point, D&D will become the "who cares" shared-story game.
But a lot of this feels rooted in marketing to a form of depression. The want for a past that never existed. People laud the 1980s, but we had AIDS with no cure, plus the constant threat of nuclear war. Rampant starvation. Wars in Central America for defense contractor profit, with secret police disappearing scores. The drug crisis and neighborhoods being controlled by violent gangs. The Satanic Panic. Megachurches with television empires. Zero rights and respect for LGBTQ, and they could not even be talked about - or were jokes.
There were good things back then, too. The music. The flashy culture. MTV. Miami Vice. Comedy. Movies. Gaming. Nintendo. Fashion and the notion of glamour. Aerobics. Rock music. Rap. Not owning a cell phone. AD&D and its competitors. Car Wars. Battletech. Paranoia. Wargaming. Atari. Original Star Wars. The SNL cast movies. Up until the Challenger disaster, the 80s were fantastic.
We can still love these things, but I get the feeling letting them control our thoughts and feelings is a form of depression where we care so much about the past that it prevents us from seeing the future.
Are you letting companies use your depression to take advantage of you?
Open that wallet; Wall Street is calling.
The past will make everything all right.