Why we love nostalgia and how this influences consumerism

By Matthew Dunn

First the NES and SEGA, so when will the GameBoy be coming back? Photo / 123rf
First the NES and SEGA, so when will the GameBoy be coming back? Photo / 123rf

Ask any ageing rock star making a motza from sold-out concerts and they will tell you our love of nostalgia is probably the greatest thing ever.

But what is it that makes us want to re-experience things from our youth?

Neurologist Alan R. Hirsch has previously described nostalgia as a yearning to return home to the past.

"[Nostalgia] does not relate to a specific memory, but rather to an emotional state," he famously wrote in Nostalgia: a Neuropsychiatric Understanding.

"This idealised emotional state is framed within a past era, and the yearning for the idealised emotional state manifests as an attempt to recreate that past era by reproducing activities performed then and by using symbolic representations of the past."

Associate Professor of North Dakota State University Clay Routledge took things one step further, saying latching on to happy memories from the past gives us faith in the future.

"Nostalgia serves a crucial existential function. It brings to mind cherished experiences that assure us we are valued people who have meaningful lives," he told Elite Daily.

Psychologist Dr Sandy Jensen shares similar sentiments over the benefits of nostalgia.

"Being nostalgic is good for you to the extent that it makes you feel happy or content or connected to others who share the same memories," she told The Buffalo News.

In addition to making us feel good, nostalgia is also very popular in the world of consumerism.

Realising there is money to be made from our yearning of the past, more and more companies are jumping on board and revamping old items to capitalise on nostalgia.

With the tech industry being one such market, we have decided to look at some of the most popular products making a resurgence.

A new Mega Drive with 80 built-in games. Photo / 123rf
A new Mega Drive with 80 built-in games. Photo / 123rf

Sega Mega Drive Classic Console

Every child of the 90s would have played a Sega console at one point or another, before Microsoft and Sony took over the gaming industry.

However, knowing what's old is new again, Sega has developed a brand new SEGA Mega Drive / SEGA Genesis Classic Retro Gaming Wireless Console.

Loaded with 80 SEGA and SEGA Mega Drive games including Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat, the video game player is a compact, retro games console for kids and adults alike.

The Nintendo Entertainment System

More than 30 years have passed since the NES was released to the public, but it appears the appetite for the gaming console is far from gone.

In an attempt to return Nintendo to its glory days, the original console has been revamped for a 2016 reboot.

The revamped NES will use HDMI like modern consoles, work with a classic or Wii controller and have 30 classic games built into the system.

Samsung is paying homage the glory days with a new flip phone. Photo / 123rf
Samsung is paying homage the glory days with a new flip phone. Photo / 123rf

Samsung flip phone

While Apple is working to take its devices further into the future by removing the headphone jack, Samsung is paying homage the glory days with a new flip phone.

Promotional images show the phone, which looks eerily like a gold-plated Motorola Razr.

What makes this interesting is despite looking like your phone from high school, it will be able to function similar to your modern day smartphone.

Dubbed the Galaxy Folder 2, the phone will reportedly have a 3.8-inch display, a Qualcomm processor with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage.

Unfortunately, the Korean manufacturer is yet to confirm a release date.

The Kodak Super 8 camera. Photo / 123rf
The Kodak Super 8 camera. Photo / 123rf

Kodak Super 8 camera

People have fond memories of home movies 50 years ago and Kodak was quick to recognise this fact.

In an attempt to attract people who the film style offered from days gone, Kodka announced an initiative aimed at putting Super 8 cameras into the hands of a new generation of filmmakers.

At CES earlier this year, the company displayed an early prototype of a new Kodak Super 8 camera that combines the classic features of a Super 8 with digital functionality.

The cameras are expected to go on sale later this year.

Better listen to The Police and put it on wax. Photo / 123rf
Better listen to The Police and put it on wax. Photo / 123rf

Vinyl records

Streaming services might have killed CDs and DVDs, but vinyl records have been making a comeback in a big way.

A new generation has discovered the benefits of listing to wax, when compared to the dulled highs and lows of digital recordings.

According to RIAA, in 2015 sales of vinyl records were up 32 per cent to $416 million, which has been the highest level since 1988.

Polaroids have made a comeback in recent years. Photo / 123rf
Polaroids have made a comeback in recent years. Photo / 123rf

Polaroid camera

In 2008 Polaroid looked the have become the latest victim to the digital age, exiting the instant-film market.

But, just two years later the company felt there was a new interest in physical prints, so it they released the Polaroid 300 - a $109 point-and-shoot camera.

Seeing the success of Polaroid, a number of companies now offer cameras, which immediately prints card-size photos.

- news.com.au

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