How Nostalgia Keeps Gamers Coming Back to the Basics

No matter how complicated newer video games get, the classics never stop selling.

By Alain StephensAugust 4, 2016 12:51 pm

We all know the sound of the Super Mario Brothers theme, even three decades years after it was originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983. The video game industry has come a long way since then, but it seems nothing can shake the classics. Nintendo recently announced that it will re-release the NES this November with an assortment of classic games.

But in a world of hi-definition graphics and online multiplayer, why would anyone want to go back to the basics? Helping us answer that question is digital savant Omar Gallaga of the Austin American-Statesman’s 512 tech.

“These are games that people grew up with that they remember fondly, and a lot of them really do hold up,” Gallaga says. “The graphics may be dated, the gameplay maybe be really basic, but they were well-constructed games that had lasting appeal.”

Whenever there’s a new console – especially from Nintendo – gamers always ask: “When am I going to get to play Super Mario on it?”

“It sells over and over again,” he says. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a copy of Super Mario 3 on various consoles… It’s like when you go from cassette to CD to digital.”

What you’ll hear in this segment: 

– How classic games evolve over time as updated versions are released on newer consoles

– Why “old-school” gaming is so popular for old (and sometimes young) gamers

– Simplicity vs. complexity in modern video games