There is this moment, when you go back to a game that you’ve loved for a while, in a previous life.
You’d let the game go, gather dust under the bed or in a box or the back of a deep drawer; moved onto other things, digital and human and otherwise. Then something happened to make you remember the game, the experience and experiences within; a mention in the press, the sight of another person playing, unpacking boxes when moving house, reviewing what was good and fun and rewarding in recent times.
So you charge up the console, slot the cartridge in, start, see the screen brighten, go through that routine of beginning, picking up where you left off, remembering and recalling the adventures you completed and compiled in your collective saved position. The muscle memory, pressing the right buttons instinctively. The familiar music, characters, sights and sounds kick in, triggering little flashes of recollection in the recesses of your mind. And new events, predicted and unexpected, come to pass, open the game further like the slowly flowering spring snowdrops outside; these little historical moments built on, add to, what you now recall from playing the game in a different time.
A new character. A new object. A new place. A challenge finally overcome. The Aurora Borealis, unexpectedly shimmering across the night sky when you looked up.
The comfort of being with old friends again, carbon-based or paper-based or digitally-rendered, is a deep comfort. And the comfort was there, is there, because you remembered where a home of sorts was, and you went back.