Feb. 28, 2012 at 3:59 PM ET
Many of us have fond memories of the places we've visited, both in the real world and in video games. In the case of the latter, a particular pixelated vista can hold a special meaning to one person, which despite being personal, is still relatable to other gamers. And that's what Mapstalgia is all about.
The Tumblr asks people to submit maps that detail favorite game related environment. "Don't be shy, and don't worry about it being perfect: this is all about memories and folk art" is the advice given.
Most of the submissions on Mapstalgia are crude, especially when compared to the actual game's visuals, but the renditions are filled with the personalities of those who created them. Gaming can be a very personal experience; no two playthroughs of a game is ever quite the same, especially among different people, which the maps reflect.
What's more, Mapstalgia reminds us that before the advent of highly polished strategy guides or the Internet, when one was stuck in a game, map making was an essential skill that has since become a lost art. Plus, recreating game vistas is fun way to challenge one's memory and start a conversation with those who walked down the same virtual roads.
Many of the contributions, not surprisingly, are accompanied by anecdotes from their creators, such as musings about the games themselves, like this map from the original "Metroid" by katakis1:
Perhaps the most interesting submission (thus far) is by Jeff Canam, which doesn't detail a level from a game but the game store he used to work at:
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.