While my current rating system was forged during 9 years of cataloging 6188+ albums, re-cataloging anime I’d seen years ago got me thinking about changing opinions. What looks like garbage now, like these Street Fighter statues below, might take on a nostalgic or regretful bent in the future. I might look back 10 years from now and say, “I shoulda got these things!” No use buying crap you might want later, or holding onto regrets over missed opportunities.
Instead, when you find an incongruent opinion, change it.
After updating my entry of GWAR’s Ragnarök with this month’s tag, I retroactively gave an extra star to all of their albums, because I’ve dug 3 of their concerts now and I’m anticipating their next concert. I’ve been reviewing videogames after 30 minutes of gameplay, (       ,) and those opinions certainly could change with more gameplay time. Also, during that aforementioned anime rating migration, many of those old ratings fluctuated as I’ve translated them into my new rating system.
No use worrying about changing opinions.
Reassessing old opinions might be scary because it can mean we were wrong. I hated Amon Amarth upon first listen and now “Live Without Regrets” includes some of my central mottos. For years, I credited GUITAR WOLF as my favorite live band so they were the only band to get my subjective ★★★★★ or 5-star rating. I loosened up slightly, saw them again, and now they’re the only band I’ve given a special ★★★★★★ or 6-star rating.
There’s also reassessing the stuff you own and maybe wish you’d own.
I’ll occasionally think to years prior when I had an opportunity to buy something at a good price. Why fret over passing on a good deal… when it wasn’t such a good deal at the time? That might be where nostalgia starts to cloud our judgement. We might have enjoyed a crappy videogame in our youth, not so much for the videogame itself, as much as the carefree, innocent, and calm atmosphere we lived in.
Instead, we should forge ahead.
Recreate that low-stress environment of your youth. In the chaotic environment of adulthood, build spaces where you’re free to play. Spaces you can schedule time to revisit certain aspects of your childhood, explore new situations that can shape your present, which could even last well into the future. These judgement-free environments could allow you to remove that filter of nostalgia, experience events neutrally, and formulate opinions with as little external bias of stress as possible.
Then, constantly return to old, and new.
Even my own rating system is just a guidepost. As I’m playing these 30-minute videogame blocks, my ratings are informed both by childhood historical context, and direct comparison context. It’s difficult setting aside certain games for later. I want to play more 2064: Read Only Memories! However, I need more context within its genre to know whether it’s just merely pretty or really is a “best-in-class,” ★★★★★ or 5-star experience… just my first time seeing GUITAR WOLF.
If we’re flexible enough, opinions can help us understand the world.