Childhood nostalgia and the present day

I can’t remember where it was I saw this, but I do recall once reading a comic where someone was talking about the fact that we now live in an age where childhood memories are just a click away. As kids, we often remember the shows we used to love- I can think of totally loving ReBoot, Stickin’ Around and the first few Power Rangers series when I was a boy.

Now all of those shows can easily be accessed, through any individual use of or combination of NetFlix, YouTube, illegal downloading or purchasing on Amazon. Memories aren’t just memories anymore- we can relive them. Last summer, the first summer I ever owned a credit card, I went a bit nuts and bought the complete ReBoot series on DVD. I enjoyed rewatching it and caught so many references that I certainly wouldn’t have got when I was six or seven years old.

In this case, some franchises are basically gone but have aged well, and still have somewhat loyal fanbases who will jump on the chance for a series reboot (if you’ll excuse the pun) or any remotely interesting bit of news.

In some cases, though, a franchise doesn’t wither and die. Sometimes franchises can go over a decade without really losing any steam. The best example I can think of here is Pokemon. I received my first Pokemon game, Pokemon Gold, when I was ten years old. I still remember the look of wonder as I opened my limited edition Pokemon Gold & Silver-themed Game Boy Color, featuring Pikachu on one side and Pichu on the other.

I wasn’t very great at Pokemon Gold. I recall needing a friend to help me get through the Ice Cave before Blackthorn City, and I think it took me an incredibly long time to finally beat Lance at the Pokemon League. I couldn’t deal with three Dragonites.

Over the years, the franchise has put out tons of iterations, many of which I’ve played. I helped my brother play through Ruby, I got Emerald, later played Pearl, then Black, then White 2.

The next entry into the franchise is Pokemon X & Y, coming out worldwide in October of this year.

With every new Pokemon iteration, though, are more and more people complaining that the new Pokemon aren’t creative (or they just plain suck), or even worse, there are the people who insist that only the first 150 Pokemon are cool.

This is an example of not being able to let your childhood go. Childhood is always associated with a sense of wonder and glee at new things, and thinking back to a time when you were much happier and more ignorant of the world’s troubles is comforting. But people seem to not realize sometimes that they’ve grown up. In all honesty I’ll probably end up playing Pokemon X or Y when it comes out even though I’ll have turned 22 by then. But I’ve accepted the fact that I am older now, and that there are hordes of children who may yet become new fans of this long-surviving franchise.

So to some extent, it’s nice to go back and watch TV shows that you loved as a kid, but eventually there should come a time when you accept the fact that you’re no longer that kid. Living in the past is never a good thing, and clinging to childhood memories probably isn’t too healthy.

The internet has enabled this nostalgia to a degree never really seen before, When we can bring up classic ThunderCats episodes with a few clicks of the mouse, we’re no longer solely living in the present anymore.


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