The Limitless Draw of Nostalgia

In September of 2019, I made a small point & click game called July 25, 2005 on Scratch. You can play it here, but this is the basic concept.

You wake up in the middle of the night due to a strange sound. Unsure of what caused it, you explore around your room, trying to find the source.

I won’t spoil the ending here, but what I do want to talk about is my love of Y2K era nostalgia, which is laid on pretty heavily in this game

When I was a kid, this is what computers looked like.

The internet was in the very first stages of community, and it was before Facebook was the all-consuming force it was today. Way before Instagram, too. When I was around on the internet in those days it had a sort of ‘Wild West’ feel to it, a feel that there were unknown reaches at the edges of the familiar websites. Due to the pretty shoddy antivirus/firewalls on the Windows XP machines, the chance of getting a virus was pretty high – and things like Screamers or shock websites like Goatse or Lemon Party were always a danger too, so clicking links was usually a bit of a minefield – you never knew what you were going to get.

Creepypastas were born during this time, too – a lot of the ones that are the most famous, Slender Man, Huntsville Camping Trip, etc, were written during this time. Similar to the Blair Witch Project, where the fear was transmitted through the medium of a personal camcorder, and the creators did everything they could to make it feel real – these creepypastas were just written by people on the internet and put out there, the urban legends told around the digital campfire.

At the time, it felt like nobody was holding your hand. I think that’s why so many people have nostalgia for the internet of those days, why so many people miss ‘the old YouTube’. It was a much freer time.

My game, July 29, 2005, capitalizes on that fear of the unknown, especially relating to technology. Right now it’s all around us, but having grown up in the age of the family computer, technology once felt like the woods surrounding a pioneer village. Mysterious, and full of danger.