Scaping a Re-birth

“Digital culture of today is becoming increasingly a field of retrospective” (Suominen, 2007)

Game culture is constantly evolving, so how is it that bringing back an outdated version of a game, save its dwindling number of players.

Throughout this digital artefact I’d like to explore how nostalgia can revive a games popularity or ruin its potential evolution. Specifically addressing the question of; why bringing back an outdated version of a game can result in more response and play time? Leading to the re-birth or division of a gaming community. 

To research this, I’ve chosen to focus on the online gaming programme RuneScape. RuneScape was originally brought out in 2001 and then underwent a major update after 2007 even though this update attracted many new players. The older generation of original game players were no longer interested. And with an ever growing community of online gaming services RuneScape wasn’t reaching as high a market share. Resulting in the company bringing back the old version of the game and calling it ‘Old school’ as well as still running the newer version, both made available on any smart device. Immediately their market share escalated. So what happened? That’s what I’ll be exploring and presenting throughout this digital artefact.

To explore this question and content, I’ve decided to use a WordPress Blog. Included in that blog will be a series of images as well as integrated podcast audio and music.

The pictures will include all things RuneScape from then and now. For example, screenshots of the original and updated games online, photographs of runescape fan art from previous versions to now, small video clips from game play etc.

These images will be used to capture the attention of viewers. Nostalgia is directly related to sensory experiences and visuals, therefore I hope to evoke the feeling of nostalgia in my audience as they look through the images and experience my produced content . Accompanying this collection of images will be a podcast. This 4-5min podcast will be critically discussing findings and academic research such as Jaakko Suominen’s ‘The past as the future? Nostalgia and retro gaming in digital culture’ and Anthony Byrnes’s ‘Theater’s nostalgic connection:nostalgia’s impact on the entertainment industry and strategies to solve an age-old problem’. Comparing the opposing sides to nostalgias impact on gaming, positive and negative.

Other potential sources of research are:

By collaborating all these aspects together on the WordPress platform I aim to give the audience a full nostalgic experience while still presenting a critical discussion.



Knorr, A. (2019). Why Nostalgia for video games is uniquely powerful. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Koenig, N. (2018). Theater’s nostalgic connection: nostalgias impact on the entertainment industry and strategies to solve an age-old problem. [online] California: University of California. Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Lange, P. (2011). Video-mediated nostalgia and the aesthetics of technical competencies. Visual Communication, 10(1), pp.25-44.

RuneScape. (2019). RuneScape Online Community – Forums, News, Events and more. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Semantic Scholar (2007). The Past as the Future? Nostalgia and Retrogaming in Digital Culture. [online] Semantic Scholar. Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

University of Lodz (2019). nostalgia in retro gaming. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Wulf, T., Bowman, N., Rieger, D., Velez, J. and Breuer, J. (2018). Running Head: Video Game Nostalgia and Retro Gaming. Media and Communication, 6(2), p.60.

8 thoughts on “Scaping a Re-birth

  1. Hey Serena!

    I love the idea of looking at the role nostalgia plays in the gaming industry. Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of ’80s-themed media (Stranger Things) so this is definitely a current topic.

    From your pitch, it seems like you have a very organised plan. It was great that you included a brief description of what RuneScape is (I’ve heard the name but never actually knew what it was).

    I also like how you’re using different mediums (music, photos, writing, podcast)- it will definitely draw the viewer in.

    Have you thought about using Soundcloud for your podcast? Or maybe YouTube would be good as well if you just layer the podcast over a few photos/clips? Another easy way to gain traction is to quickly drop your DA links into a Reddit sub-forum. Super quick and easy.

    IMO, it seems like when you grow up with something SO GOOD it’s definitely hard to recreate it and meet high expectations. Often the first movie of a series is the best and then it kind of goes downhill, commonly because of production deadlines, so maybe it’s similar in gaming?

    For your sources, it looks like you definitely have some good ones! Here are a few that might help as well…

    On nostalgia and the effects in gaming:

    Nintendo using nostalgia as a marketing technique:

    Psychological effects nostalgic games have on us:

    Older games:

    I noticed Tim Wulf has a lot on nostalgia in gaming so if you get stuck just search his name.

    Hope this helps! Good luck with your project and I can’t wait to see more 🙂


  2. Hey Serena,

    This is such a good idea to focus on for a DA!

    Firstly, I think your name ‘scaping a re-birth’ provoked a lot of interest in to what exactly you would be addressing and it encompasses your DA perfectly. You have a well thought out pitch and blog post due to the lay out of addressing different information in your blog in comparison to you pitch video. Furthermore, your inclusion of links to the sources you are going to use was extremely beneficial to understand the topic further.

    Additionally, you mention how you will utilise your information, it will be beneficial to explore the way you are going to receive feedback to continue to iterate and develop your DA. You could achieve this through posting your video essay and podcasts to subreddits to gain traction from a variety of users who could, in-fact, provide further information and ideas on what to do for your next podcast; as you have many options for podcasts as shown in your presentation and this could help define the ideas further.

    You may have thought of this since the publication of your pitch, but would you consider looking at other video games that have gone through a variety of iterations? I found a few articles in which talk about Mario Karts development over the years, which falls into your “scaping a re-birth” genre.

    I looked into this further and found a few articles that may be beneficial, if you wish to head forth in this direction.

    Overall, it was a great pitch and blog. It was extremely easy to navigate and look back on information when needed, specifically with the links to the sources for my own personal readings and understanding the background of your idea further. Hope you found this feedback beneficial and keen to see the progression of your DA throughout the semester.


    Secondly, this is an awesome topic especially in the time that we are in where it seems everything is either being rebooted or remade. Nostalgia is such a powerful emotion that marketing teams have been taking advantage of for years, but especially in the past decade.
    Runescape is a very interesting example to use, I would also take a look at World of Warcraft as an example. WOW has been around for a shorter period of time but has seen more success. It’s also seen many more iterations and releases than Runescape. The classic version has not always been available until this year when it will be re-released. The hype is real for WOW classic. VideoGameDunkey has a video on your topic that brings up some amazing points when it comes to nostalgia and remaking games. I highly recommend checking it out. Here are some other articles and journals that address your topic as well


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