Nostalgia videogames as playable game criticism

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The aim of this paper is to consider the emergence of nostalgia videogames in the context of playable game criticism. Mirroring the development of the nostalgia film in cinema, an increasing number of developers are creating videogames that are evocative of past gaming forms, designs, and styles. The primary focus of this paper is to explore the extent to which these nostalgia videogames could be considered games-on-games: games that offer a critical view on game design and development, framed by the nostalgia and cultural memory of both gamers and game developers. Theories of pastiche and parody as applied to literature, film, and art are used to form a basis for the examination of recent nostalgia videogames, all of which demonstrate a degree of reflection on the videogame medium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2016


  • Parody
  • Pastiche
  • Retro games
  • Game design
  • Nostalgia


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