Anybody here play Arc Symphony back in the day?

I never had a PS1, but my bff in elementary school would invite me over with promises of Mario and then show this game off to me. All the systems were beyond me, but that music…

Jokes aside, this is cool as all get-out:

I’m honestly kinda super uncomfortable with this whole thing but I’m having trouble articulating why. So hopefully someone else can see this and go “ah yes my chance”

[full disclosure: I am actually friends with Sophia Park, one of the developers of Arc Symphony]

Yeah I totally get where that’s coming from. The whole thing feels… clique-y in a way, given that basically everyone involved in the promotion was from the Toronto indie game scene, though that’s almost definitely just because Sophia is from Toronto and the game was promoted at TCAF.

I’m very much of two minds about this promotion - on the one hand, I think it’s super cool that Sophia went through the trouble of making a fake game case and getting all these people to reminisce about the game, and it’s totally in line with the aesthetic of her previous work. On the other hand, I feel kinda icky about nostalgia generally, especially this kind of nostalgia which seems to have the accidental side effect of being super exclusionary to anyone who doesn’t “remember” Arc Symphony. Games already have enough of a problem with people being made to feel unwelcome if they haven’t played whatever old games their particular clique values, or whatever old games broader “gaming culture” has decided are “classics”.

[EDIT: I want to be 100% clear: I am talking about the promotion of the game as separate from the game itself. I actually quite like the game, and like I said, I do think the promotion was interesting and cool, but I simultaneously felt conflicted about it.]

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Its the LIES. You’re an honest soul.

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That makes sense! I love the idea of playing with shared fiction for a thing that doesn’t actually exist, and super-love recreating disused aesthetics to do it—Christine Love’s Apocalypse Sentai Skyfighters Fansite blew my mind when I first saw it—but the way the kayfabe here interacts with certain sorts of elitism around classic games doesn’t feel great.


Yeah and like, I should add that I was never really part of any communities like this when I was younger - my formative internet years took place mostly on, like, 4chan (eugh), and I didn’t really start playing and thinking about video games a lot until like, 2010. Prior to that I played some games, but I mostly played garbage and didn’t really think about the idea that there might be like, whole communities of people having discussions about the games I was playing.

This puts me in a weird position when interacting with things like Apocalypse Sentai Skyfighters or anything Sophia has made or anything by the Arcane Kids (though I know Sophia probably wouldn’t like me comparing her work to the Arcane Kids), because it’s so far removed from anything I’ve personally experienced. I’ve never participated in a fan community or written fanfic or had OCs or made a fansite.

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Funnily enough, that’s a big part of what draws me to stuff like this? It’s like a museum’s reconstruction of a village, or a Colonial-Williamsburg–type thing, for all these internet (and pre-internet) communities that are totally alien to me. I can sort-of play the tourist without blithely intruding on people’s actual spaces. I’ve deffo had that feeling of experiential distance pop up when trying to get in on the joke, though—like you say, it makes interacting in a larger way weird!
[Edit: You can make your forum header a gif? Whaaaaat.]

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