In Jaakko Suominen’s The Past as the Future? Nostalgia and Retrogaming in Digital Culture, he brings up many issues regarding why we, as gamers continue to return to the old familiar games of our youth. ‘Nostalgia’ comes from a Greek word meaning the ‘agony of coming home.’ It is related to melancholy, sadness even, and a yearning to replay the simple games of childhood, with their clear rules and colorful graphics.
The relationship between games and their ever-aging audience is complicated due to the proliferation of a large number of systems, genres, and characters. That is why certain system mascots have come to be associated as cultural touchstones. These include Pac-man, Mario, Sonic, Link, Lara Croft, Solid Snake, Master Chief, etc. Having these big names in a crowded market allow gamers to see their favorites recreating using new technologies, or simply using the old technologies to keep those favorites alive and relevant.
In the competitive gaming crowd, it is not the latest iteration of a franchise that leagues choose to play, but the stable performer, that is emblematic of the best features of the franchise. This includes such titles such as Counter Strike, Marvel Superheroes VS Streetfighter, or Starcraft 2- all at least several years to over a decade since their initial release.