The psychology of the GameStop phenomenon, explained

“I think there is a cultural and kind of class element to this,” Shue says.

As one Reddit user wrote on the subreddit WallStreetBets: “For the past two weeks, the pro-GameStop investors have shown great interest in the potential turnaround story of a store that plays a big role in their childhood memories.”

GameStop is a brick-and-mortar retailer that many young people grew up with, but that had been declining in recent years. “GameStop is sort of written off” as something that can’t compete with Amazon, van Dreunen says. (Other stocks that were targeted include BlackBerry, Blockbuster and Nokia.)

So ”[n]ostalgia becomes a reason to do these things,” digital culture expert Jamie Cohen told Time. “They see this as like the last gasp of a troll. You can’t save a GameStop, you can’t probably save Blockbuster, but what you could do is kind of play around with it before it expires.”