The nostalgia buying cycle in videogames

Retro gamers will be familiar with the following cycle: you order a game online, you wistfully remember how awesome it was, the package arrives, and you have no desire to play it. This happened to me last time I stopped at GoG and bought Dungeon Keeper. Damien McFerran describes the problem at Eurogamer:

With the passage of time my adoration for ‘classic’ software and hardware has swallowed up more of my income than I dare think about; I’ve sought out pretty much every major format over the past decade or so, and each year fresh collecting obsessions break the surface. However, the end result is always the same: items are bought online, excitement levels rise prior to delivery and then when the big day comes, the products in question are lovingly cradled for a few minutes before being consigned to the shelf with a sense of grim inevitability, where they will remain until I feel like staring at them for a few minutes or sell them to fund some other ridiculous retro-themed venture.

McFerran acknowledges that many people do enjoy playing old games, but the memory of playing a game on a lazy Saturday afternoon with your brother might be an itch that can’t be scratched.

I would spend hours with my brother and close friends striving to complete them [The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Brothers]. It was an exciting time for all of us as we had never seen anything like this before and we had the freedom to just sit there together and take these games on. Now, when I play the same games they are not likely to fashion the same experience. However, it is that desire to recapture the experience that pushes me to play them; as retro gamers, we are chasing these memories.