Mario’s legacy and Sonic’s heritage: Replays and refunds of console gaming history

Suominen Jaakko
2012 DiGRA Nordic '12: Proceedings of 2012 International DiGRA Nordic Conference

In this paper, I study how three major videogame device manufacturers, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo use gaming history within their popular console products, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PS 3 and Nintendo Wii. These enterprises do not only market new game applications and devices but also recycle classic game themes, game characters as well as classic games themselves. Therefore, these corporations are a part of the phenomenon which can be called retrogaming culture or digital retro economy. The paper introduces the different ways in which the corporations began to use history and how they constructed their digital game market strategies to be compatible with the current retrogaming trend. In addition, the paper introduces a model for different phases of uses of history. The paper is empirically based on literary reviews, recreational computing magazine articles, company websites and other online sources and participatory observation of retrogaming applications and product analyses. Sociological and cultural studies on nostalgia as well as history culture form the theoretical framework of the study.