J. Martin

October 16, 2022

Looking Back

Yesterday, I watched the final stretch of Action Button’s six hour review of Boku no Natsuyasumi / ぼくのなつやすみ by Tim Rogers. Besides everything you can learn about games and game design, this review is also a very personal journey into the nature of nostalgia. I’ve always been interested in nostalgia as a phenomenon; but the last time I dug into the scientific literature was many years ago. While there was a substantial corpus of research, particularly on the question of how nostalgic experiences are triggered by memories (or memories triggered by nostalgia, depending on how you look at it), the question that really interested me fell short: whether different experiences of nostalgia correlate, quantitatively and qualitatively, with individual differences in memory formation, retention, and retrieval. In late 2019, I’d begun to dig into memory research once again for my next paper—but then I needed shoulder surgery, the pandemic hit, and 2021 put a huge load of exciting new teaching responsibilities on my plate. So that’s still pending. As far as I got, I didn’t come across anything about my question on memory and nostalgia. But maybe I just have to dig further and deeper. Anyways, and more practically, there’s a good chance that we will look back at the beginning of this decade with its global rise in temperatures and sea levels and fascism through a thick veil of nostalgia in a not-too-far future where all this has evolved into apocalyptic proportions.

Last week, I wrote a post on the Lancer edition of Conan the Adventurer at my Voidpunk blog, and another one on tools for AI-generated images at my primary blog between drafts. Also, there’s a new album on Flickr with twelve images from Sentosa Island, Singapore, and a highrise-shot re-edit on Glass, also from Singapore. Plus, as usual, one post each with commentaries at my Instagram accounts betweendrafts and voidpunkverse.

I did play a lot of games this week, and I’m still at it; but I can’t yet tell or recommend anything as it’s about jury duty for a game award. (That’s also the reason why I haven’t progressed with Playdate games lately.) For the Sunday funnies, please enjoy Russ Jones’s latest #TheWeekInTory, this cup of coffee that behaves somewhat strangely, and this PhD student attending first big conference, with advisor