In a world where technology is developing at a rapid pace, products once considered past their sell-by date are instead making a comeback. Whether this is a backlash against an increasingly online and digital world or an act of nostalgia is not entirely clear. What is certain, however, is that there are a number of games and gadgets which are making a reappearance in everyday life.
Vinyl has undoubtedly made a comeback, with record sales overtaking digital ones in the UK for the first time ever in December last year. In an increasingly digital age, it offers the listener a very different musical experience. First of all, there is the fact that a record is a physical thing; there is a tangibility to it that has been lost with digital downloads. Not only that, but it provides the experience of going to an actual shop to browse and look for a title, old or new, rather than simply clicking a button on an online store. All of these things combine to offer a very active and engaging experience, which is why many people are choosing to return to records after a long time away.
- Polaroid cameras
Another product which is making a comeback is the Polaroid camera. First seen in the 1970s, these instant-style cameras are now a regular appearance at social gatherings. They are especially common at parties and special events such as weddings, where photo booths are increasingly popular as a fun way to take pictures of guests on the big day. Polaroid cameras could also be making a revival due to their tangibility factor. Rather than take lots of pictures on your digital camera, never for them to be seen again, these offer instant printouts that you can hold and stick on the wall (or fridge). A Polaroid camera also scores highly on the nostalgia value, with shaking the photo whilst it develops and waiting in anticipation for the image to reveal itself invoking feelings of fun and affection for the past.
- Retro mobile phones
Nokia in particular has gone back to basics with its latest handset, a reboot of the iconic Nokia 3310. Despite only being launched this month, there has been strong demand for the handset already. The new model, being made available nearly 20 years after its original release in the 2000s, offers some of the old classics like the game Snake as well as new features including a radio and camera. These simpler models of phone are easy to use and functional, and offer a welcome alternative to the smartphone for those who prefer longer battery life and not being online whilst on the go.
- Online versions of classic games
It’s not just gadgets making a comeback; traditional games, this time in an online form, are seeing a revival too. Classic family games such as Scrabble, Monopoly and even Pickup Sticks that were once played around the kitchen table are now freely available on the web and as downloadable apps. Other games more commonly played face-to-face in special clubs are now seeing a surge in popularity in digital form, too. These include, amongst others, online cribbage, online hearts and different kinds of online bingo. These digital versions are easy to play and still offer users social interaction via the chat rooms which run alongside them; Sun Bingo, for example, has a number of chat hosts who run regular promotions for bingo players. Online games like these are attractive as they offer the advantage of not having to find the necessary number of people to play as well as the opportunity to take part without even leaving the house.
- Arcade games
Arcade games are also making a comeback, albeit in a slightly different form to their heyday in malls during the 1980s and 1990s. A barcade, a concept which originated in America, combines classic arcade games such as Pacman and Mario Kart with a bar environment, where fans can come to drink, socialise and play. These social spaces are rising in popularity across the globe as people seek a bit of escapism as well as a pint. Barcades often offer a range of vintage as well as more recent games to choose from.
These are just some of the gadgets and games making a comeback right now. Whether their new lease of life continues or not, they are providing people with the chance to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and relive moments from their younger days.