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January 2019 Retro Gaming Article


January 31, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I know we're supposed to believe streaming from the cloud is best, but... No

Blockbuster made renting cool
Stalking the shelves at Blockbuster on a Friday night only got better when we could also rent video games!
I began in Mom & Pop video stores in the early 80's as they often rented Beta tapes - the best format ever. The porn revolution arrived and deemed VHS the winner which was an awful fate for the superior quality of the Betamax. I went through several of them before I had to relent to VHS. At this point, Blockbuster became my weekend destination.

Renting was such a great concept. If I were to buy a movie, it had to be good. Better than good. It had to be awesome. But those standards went out the window when snagging a weekend flick off the shelf at Blockbuster. Even crappy movies were fair game and met with excitement. Couple that with an N64 game and all standards were scrapped.

If you relish simpler times, discard the tech that's dragging you down!
Sure, we'd spend an hour looking through movies and games, even though we'd settle for anything with awesome box-art! Those were the days. Blockbuster made renting cool! I'm not sure how they did it, but my innate need to own things just didn't kick in when browsing their endless aisles and wondering how they managed to have forty copies of the latest hit film. Crazy days.

Technology Should Put Empowerment Over Profit

Today we're stuck in our homes with hundreds of channels full of garbage. We can talk to our remote in a desperate effort to navigate all the junk. Then you remember that awesome flick you rented as a kid and sift through all your apps and channel guides only to discover that sick flick was removed from the stream last month. Screw the cloud!

As Hulu and Netflix vie for my dollars, I have a grand stockpile of DVDs that I can watch 24/7. My arsenal also includes video games from the Atari 2600 through the PS4. I can appreciate modern technology, but I feel we are being force-fed a lot of useless tech offering little more than bells and whistles. Are we benefiting from this.

Social networks strand us from personal interactions and technology is about big businesses maximizing profits with paltry benefits to their customers. I'd rather browse a book store than Amazon. I'd rather spend an hour at Blockbuster than sift through crowded viewing menus. Chose your tech wisely. Use what benefits you, not what big business says you should use. You know best and i you like the cloud, go for it. If you miss Blockbuster, you're not alone!


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