Nostalgia

A while back this video ellicited something I had reserved in the back of my mind for quite a while. Nostalgia. A universal human experience that not many people seem invested in picking apart. Personally I don't really get nostalgic about specific content. Whether it's games, music, or TV, the media itself isn't what induces these certain emotions. When it serves as a footnote to that specific time of my life, that's when it reveals its emotional baggage to me. Flat out regret or a yearning for the past is easy enough, but I don't think that entirely encompasses the cacophany of emotions I've felt.

A large, fondly held part within my memories is gaming. I never grew up with consoles so I was raised on handhelds and the PC. Flash games were my bread and butter, and I was around when Youtube hosted fetish porn. The rise of gameplay commentaries on Youtube was surprisingly personal. Hutch and Seananner's videos used to revolve around often heavily introspective talks. Genuine, if one-sided conversations about life trajectory and intrapersonal relationships were pretty much the norm back then. I truly believe I have them to thank for introducing me to introspection and critical thought. Many similar COD channels like Holidaydoc were pretty much the same deal. After the Machinima bubble burst I continued to seek those types of channels, which is a deceptively difficult task. 3kliksphilip is my absolute favorite today, with videos on nostalgia, insomnia, and life cataloguing.For me the games in the background are simply themes that I can loosely associate with a timeframe. It really is a strange dichotomy. Gaming which is cathartic and transient, superimposed on talk about self-reflection and nostalgia.

Oh god I also used to love halo 3/hl machinimas, thank god arby n' chief didn't disappear and Ross from accursed farms is still pumping out good stuff.

Back then video recording software like Fraps was immeasurably shitty, espcially when compared to modern programs like DXtory and shadowplay. High CPU usage and limited hard disk space kept me from saving stuff, and I really regret that. $100 for a HDD would've been small price for saving memories. All I really have left are miscellaneous screenshots, most under 5 years old.

Music is the same deal to me. Started out with Swing and Big Band. Accesible and inoffensive but comes with the saccharine Enka feel. Regardless, Julie London and Doris Day is what I've settle onto. More of the transitional period between big band and Elvis/Beatles rock. Julie London on a dark night, Doris Day on a warm windy day. I listened to music incessantly during insomnia-induced walks around the neighborhood. Back then I wasn't really looking for answers to my unsatisfactory life, I just wanted to escape the perennial suburban landscape of white walls and popcorn ceilings. Those walks turned heavily introspective and I started to pick apart aspects of my experiences despite the present being seemingly static. Looking back now, those otherwise meaningless trips really stood out and defined my memories of that period. My memories of that period retain a strange duality: Massive self-growth at a time of undeniable stasis. Same deal for travelling, I have folders of music I listened to on those trips. And that's really how I regard music. Tracks are reduced to life bookmarks. Such to a point where I consciously avoid the same songs in order to preserve that association.

3kliksphilip's video also touches on what I feel strongly about the less glamarous parts on memories. The mundane is often more retrospectively interesting than the outliers. What I ate, how I interacted with my friends and relatives, it's all a blur now.

Discovered my gmail bookmarks from ~2007.

It's also very odd to consider that reddit as a whole has grown substantially. Back when I made an account 3K upvotes was a very popular post. Today 30K+ isn't terribly surprising. The general feel of comments also feels younger. I mean the shitty puns are still there, but the askreddit threads no longer feels like a conversation between my parents. Nostalgia threads now encompass what I remember about my childhood.

So what do I get nostalgic about? I missed out on the early PC boom of 90's england as well as the bright-eyed middle class west coast living of the 80's.(Goonies anyone?) I vividly remember the amount of cheap plastic shit and late 90's Japanese Playstations. We had an old white PC during the dial-up days but I don't remember much about it besides the trackball mouse. For the cheap plastic shit I remember the duality of its horrific quality and the luxury it was trying to exhude. Then again my parents' taste in furniture was pretty baroque.

Flash games on stickpage and maxgames, addicting games was sketch back then

Horrific looking American candy

Veneer tables and gaudy, gold sprayed lamps.

Dustbusters that were outclassed by physically picking up the trash with your hand

80's Japanese science magazines with gorgeous desaturated illustrations

late 90's Pokemon cards

Coupon dispensers

these fucking things

70's Japanese interiors that smelled of wood and mechanical pencils

These places

Scholastic catalogs that had more plastic toys than actual books (and oh god the little form you would fill out)

Scholastic Book fairs

TI-108's built like military surplus

kidpix

Playground diggers

rubber transparent balls with stuff inside

Styrofoam planes that disintegrated with minutes

flipping chairs

Video cameras are at an age now where methods of cheap, quality recording is everywhere. I remember journaling my 6th grade school trip on paper towel with a stolen pen because my Fuji camera had a 5mb xD card. My dad quickly followed that up with it's speedy transfer in the trash. Christ. Past 2010 though, I don't really have an excuse.

The only aspect worse about nostalgia is when there is none. To live a life so repetitive, so one-sided, that there's little to remember it by. 2016 and 2017 were those kinds of years for me. They were also the years I were working and going to class. Growing up, those years encompasses the aspects I abhorred about adulthood. Monotounous, an almost autonomic existence. Complaining about the passage of time is immeasurably pointless, but retrospective regret is a very real dilemma. I wish I had the tools to spend my time efficiently back then. I was emotionally destitute, and I attributed that to my life circumstances.

wip

Created: 7/8/18

holy fuck this is a mess

oh boy time to unleash my verbal diarrhea here

Everyone archives. No doubt your parents have a dusty bin full of prints and negatives somewhere, the rest ornately framed and sun-damaged. Speaking from personal experience people are much less inclined to take pictures of the mundane, even when the process has become so accessible and simple as it has today. It feels too analgous to really be of any value, "why now?" As a kid with a cheap Gateway PC, I had the potential to save many of the memories that would fade through time. I can say with vigorous certainly that archiving your life, even on the internet, will be of considerable interest 5, 10 years into the future.

Broadly speaking, I divide my digital archiving into the following categories:

Images can be anything, really. Memes, cute pictures, cursed images, anything.

Desktop screenshots are actually pretty useful. Logging what you watched or what you played feels surface-deep and it can be better conveys through images in my opinion.

Vlogs were the hardest to maintain consistently, as you need a certain element of privacy as well as brevity in your talking. Meandering with your worders is frustrating to film and watch back later.

Audio clips consisted of Skype, teamspeak, and discord recordings. I used tools like OBS and Amolto call recorder. I saved the funny moments as well as the mundane conversations.

In 2015 I also started a life recap in my notebook, divded by school semesters. I don't adhere particularly well to schedules, so most notebook projects don't last long. This one, however, I've dilligently continued. It gives me a holistic image of periods in my life, better contextualized by the music, videos, and games that enriched my time.

What do I regret not saving? Videos of my surroundings is one. I barely remember what the School dorms look like, and the surrounding forest was gorgeous. My childhood home is another, although I made a 3D map of it while me and my friend were considering making a game. I also wish I took more family videos. There's an old camcorder somewhere with some stuff but nothing from 3~6 years ago. My parents are getting old man. Eventually I'll forget what they used to sound like.

to be cont'd