Alison Gazzard – Between Pixels And Play: The Role of the Photograph in Videogame Nostalgias

“Between Pixels And Play: The Role of the Photograph in Videogame Nostalgias” by  Alison Gazzard.

Photography & Culture Volume 9—Issue 2 July 2016 pp. 151–162 DOI: 10.1080/17514517.2016.1203589, © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17514517.2016.1203589?journalCode=rfpc20

The histories of videogames are so often contained with nostalgia for the screen, for the arcade, console, computer or game box design, and for the experience of playing itself. Various amateur photographs now archived on Flickr allow us to remember beyond the stereotypical, albeit iconic, imagery of PacMan and Space Invaders. The essence of play becomes captured in the photograph as a “collective memory” and “reflective nostalgia” for the places, times and actions inherent in the histories of the early 1970s and 1980s videogame era. It is through debating the so-often implied “reconstructed nostalgias” offered by videogame companies to consumers in their remakes of classic game titles that this paper explores “reflective nostalgia” of videogames by examining the role of photographs taken during the act of playing these games. In doing so it reframes 1980s videogame nostalgias beyond the “mediated space” of the screen, and moves instead towards the “play space” as another way of keeping these histories alive.

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