Nick Bowman, associate professor of communications, co-authored the paper “Nostalgia in Video Games,” with Tim Wulf of Ludwig Maximilian University. The paper was published in Current Opinion in Psychology.
Video games have been a popular form of media entertainment since the 1970s, with gamers of all ages experiencing and engaging digital worlds and creating lasting memories in those spaces. As video games mature, so are their players—by some estimates, the average age of a gamer is in their 30s, and often playing games with their children. As such, video games are a potentially powerful elicitor of nostalgia, as is being recognized in more recent research and discourse. In this article, we describe and explain nostalgia as elicited from video gaming experiences, discuss the effects of gaming-induced nostalgia on psychological well-being, and offer direct avenues for fostering and growing this research.