Andrei Pechelin’s “Disco Elysium’s Post-Socialism Evokes Nostalgia and Melancholy”

Enjoyed reading Andrei Pechelin’s take on Disco Elysium which offers a perspective of the game through the eyes of someone who grew up in post-Soviet Union Russia.

Disco Elysium works hard, in other words, to cultivate the feeling of wry melancholy I recall from after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The parallels with my childhood memories are not exact, but they don’t need to be. The ideas are more universal precisely because they are not confined to any particular real-world analogue, but tap into the mood of post-socialism in general.

“It gives the nostalgia the game invokes a fever dream quality – it’s what I remember, but not quite, like a slightly distorted, compressed miniature that could be another’s memory of post-socialism just as easily as it is mine. No doubt those of us who remember post-socialism experienced it differently, some hurt or advantaged by it much more than others, but there is some piece of it that I imagine each of us can relate to in Disco Elysium.

Pechalin, Andrei. “Disco Elysium’s Post-Socialism Evokes Nostalgia and Melancholy.” The Escapist. March, 24, 2021

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