Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies

First Advisor

Michael Z. Newman

Committee Members

Christopher Terry, Richard Popp


Commodification, Nintendo, Nostalgia, Retro Games, Videogames, Video Games


This thesis explores Nintendo’s past and present games and marketing, linking them to the broader trend of the commodification of nostalgia. The use of nostalgia by Nintendo is a key component of the company’s brand, fueling fandom and a compulsive drive to recapture the past. By making a significant investment in cultivating a generation of loyal fans, Nintendo positioned themselves to later capitalize on consumer nostalgia. The commodification of fan nostalgia is evident across multiple platforms, from the development of the Virtual Console digital game storefront to the use of pastiche and remediation in multi-generation, Nintendo developed franchises. Additionally, Nintendo frequently places their heritage front and center and creates tightly controlled spaces to guide fan discourse and continue to shape the Nintendo legacy on their terms.