Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Load Already, Damn It

People are always talking about how the "future is now." We've got all sorts of new trinkets, gadgets, and electronic goodies. So much, in fact, that we forget how it used to be. I don't like sounding all old-timey, but I seriously think we had it made in the 80's and 90's. People are very fascinated with all this new technology, when really it's less convenient than we tend to think.

Let me start off with my favorite example. When I was growing up, the big thing to have was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was sleek, had unforgettable games, new buttons were introduced, and overall, a pretty kick-ass machine that said it all in it's name: Super. There were no loading screens, nothing to wait for, no problems that you couldn't fix with a brief dust blow in the cartridge. It was sweet, simple, and it would be 50% better if it had a sex hole on the side. The SNES certainly had its pros, and it's hard for me to think of its cons, other than that there were some really shitty games, which is just the norm for any console. The only effect that's made the SNES hard to use has been time itself. It still works, but the games aren't as high quality as they used to be when I was a kid.

Compare that to my newest console, the XBOX 360. It's a good console, and it certainly has its fair share of good things, however I can easily, EASILY tell where it lost its paddle going up Shit Creek. First off, Xbox Live costs $50 a month. Other consoles have online multiplayer for free, but even those share the next problem: Loading times. Deep fried Jesus on a stick, does loading time piss me off. I'm convinced that you spend a majority of your life waiting for things. It's been true throughout the ages, but in today's terms, it's more evident than ever before. When you put a CD in the 360, you turn on the console, wait for the menu screen to pop up, choose to play the game, wait for 6 minutes for the game to load, press start, wait 3 more minutes, choose a character, wait 5 more minutes... By the time you get to play the game, it's already been a week since you turned it on.
Why does so much time have to be wasted on shit that was immediate in the 90's?

To put it in easier terms for those who don't play video games: Imagine you're planning on seeing a movie with your friends at a theater. You wait in line, buy a ticket, wait for each other to get done buying snacks and drinks, walk down a huge hallway, go to the second-last screen, find a seat, and wait for the movie to start. That waiting period is understandable, as it provides time for people to come a little later before the movie begins, but imagine if there wasn't a movie. What if you just had to do all that just to watch the previews and go home, would you say it was worth all the effort and money spent? So you buy a movie on DVD and watch it at home. Then what happens? The DVD glitches up, and scenes start skipping. "What the bitch," you say to each other as Scarface eternally does a line of cocaine onscreen, forced to be frozen in that spot until you either clean the DVD or pronounce it broken and shoot each other's heads in frustration.

"Future is now" my ass. The future was in the 90's. That's when things did well enough to stand on its own instead of requiring constant recalls due to errors in the technology. This was back when phones called people instead of acted as hand-held sensory overload. Back when things did what they needed to do and nothing else. So who tells us we "need" the shit we've got these days? Is it so important that you're able to check your Twatter accounts every 10 seconds on the road going at 60 mph? Is it a requirement that you wait 50 years to play "Nazi Zombies?" So fuck it, I've lost hope in technological advancement. We forgot how important it was to live, and now we're all just asking for a faster way to go to our graves. In revolt, I suggest we all do a little self-righteousness. Find one piece of modern technology you own, or something that you absolutely don't require, and trash it. Don't litter or anything, just destroy it and make it sad it existed in the first place. It's your choice what stays or goes.

Goodbye, phone.

1 comment:

  1. That's what the altered free market did to media. People are willing to pay for something that has a lot in it, even if they have to wait a little longer. You and I are holding minority expectations of products, so catering to us is less profitable.

    On a side note, not many people seem to know this, but if you install the game onto the 360, it will load faster. If you can get a solid state drive into it, it would load like an SNES game (which did have loading times, hidden by level introductions and other clever tricks).

    Also, there are a lot of people that didn't get laid in high school because they were getting an education good enough to make these things that the people that do get laid in high school use (and often complain about), but would have to live without had other people not made "sacrifices".
    I'm sure that's not every game/tech developer, but you know what I mean.