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Volume 9, No. 1Paradise Lost. Presentation of Nostalgic Longing in Digital Games

Published May 14, 2023

Issue description

Since Milton’s poem, the notion of “Paradise Lost” (1667) has found its way into popular culture in general and digital games specifcially. While digital games have been an arena to imagine the past since their early days, in the past decade, there has been a surge in retro-gaming as a kind of narratological, ludological, visual, and technological longing for the early days of gaming, prime examples being CUPHEAD, CELESTE or UNDERTALE. Linked to such a longing for the early days of gaming is an emergence of various remakes of old-school classics, like ODDWORLD: ABE’S EXODDUS as ODDWORLD: SOULSTORM. Yet other games explicitly and deliberately employ and reflect on the idea of a rupture in human history; that is, the loss of an earlier (potentially utopian) state one strongly longs for but is beyond reach, like HORIZON ZERO DAWN. Articles in this issue reflect on and discuss the various phenomena in digital gaming that play with and cater to an idealized, romanticized, and glorified past, a more innocent time in human history.

Issue Editors: Frank Bosman and Alexander Darius Ornella

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