Perhaps one of the driving factors in the sudden resurgence of love for all things pre-1990s is that socialisation these days is in fact, becoming a very singular activity. Never before in human history has there been a time where we spend more time connecting with one another virtually as opposed to in actuality and interacting with others without ever even leaving home. The seemingly far simpler days of a pre-internet era feel like a warm, distant memory filled with images of analog television, bicycle riding aliens (who didn’t love watching ET powering that bike across the silhouette of the moon?) and having to use a walkie-talkie to find out what your friends were having for their dinner.
Whilst the dawn of the internet era has enabled many people who would otherwise never had had the means or opportunity to reach out and explore the world from the comfort of their sofa, there is no denying that it has also led to a steady decline in genuine interaction. Why pop over to your neighbour’s house to borrow a cup of sugar when you can just text someone to grab some for you? It is little wonder, in that case, that people are now turning their minds back to a time when playing games meant sitting around a table or on the floor with your family and friends enjoying some quality time together.
The rise in popularity of TV shows like Stranger Things, The Goldbergs, and Glow has inspired a wave of 80s themed pop culture. Movies like 2018’s Ready Player One, with its references to the original Atari gaming system and cult classic The Shining as well as 2017’s neon-infused He-Man-esque Thor: Ragnarok evoke the spirit of a time when video games were something that you played in an arcade, or huddled on an old sofa with all your mates in the basement of that one kid in the neighbourhood who had a console and a copy of Q*bert or Missile Command.
If like many people these days, you find yourself hankering for a simpler world, we say just do like The Goldbergs do – throw on your best geometric print hand-knitted jumper, dig out your best of INXS album and get the family around for a few games and a nice glass of Midori or two. You’ll all be reminiscing in no time. Just stay away from the double denim.