“Makes Me Feel Like I Was Born in the Wrong Era”: Gamer Self-Efficacy and Appreciation, Rather Than Controller Type, Correlate With Historical Nostalgia When Playing a Retrogame

Nicholas David Bowman, Koji Yoshimura, Emily Bohaty, Megan Condis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Emerging research has suggested that retrogames can serve as vehicles for historical nostalgia among younger gamers without firsthand experience using older games and equipment—providing an opportunity to engage in a “bygone era” of video gaming. The current study focused on the historic nostalgia potential of playing a retrogame using original or modern-style controllers, expecting that older controllers would be perceived as more natural for retrogaming and thus, elicit higher levels of historical nostalgia (i.e., a mediating effect). Replicating prior work, controller manipulation had no impact on historical nostalgia. However, post hoc modeling of observed relationships among notable covariates revealed that as appreciation for the gameplay experience increased, individuals with higher levels of broad gaming self-efficacy felt greater levels of historical nostalgia. Participants also noted a distinct respect for “bygone gaming eras” especially relevant to games played by older family and siblings. This research has implications for how we understand and further investigate retrogames and historical nostalgia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Popular Media
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • experimental design
  • game controllers
  • historical nostalgia
  • retrogames
  • video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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