My Digital Mid-Life Crisis

I am afraid I am getting at the age of being melancholic. I mean, brand names that were big when I was younger are hardly to be found, or gone completely, or simply a shadow of what they ever were. Kodak is going down the drain – Kodak! Polaroid is not the company it once was. I am glad Lego is still around, and I don’t think Coca-Cola is going anywhere soon, but still. I am slowly heading towards the 4-0 and I think it is part of the midlife crisis.

My first game console was an Atari 2600, playing Atroids and Pacman until I was so frustrated as a little boy that I kicked one of the knobs off… ahhhh… those were the times. With games delivered in cartridges that could withstand a nuclear blast. They were child-proof! Atari was huge back then, and not just a game publisher brand bought by Activision – which actually was a straight competitor back then with their own Activision consoles.

I was wondering this last weekend when I was, in the middle of the night, hiding in the attic behind my behemoth of a power computer, donning as Shepard saving the universe one more time before Mass Effect 3 is launched in early March. Gorgeous games, those Mass Effects – made by BioWare and, well, distributed by Electronic Arts. EA. They were a puny software house when I was a teen. Hardly any different from Epic games or Origin.

I always have been an advocate for the old times. Aren’t we all? Talking about how I loved the Sierra games, the LucasFilm Games/LucasArts and Origin ones. Playing Leisure Suit Larry in the Land Of The Lounge Lizards as an early teen and actually thinking it was pretty raunchy for that time. Then I got into the RTS games with Dune2 and the first series of Command & Conquers… WarCraft… and some FPS’s. But I got a bit out of it. I was losing touch with the ‘old computer gaming days’ and gave up one moment.

But you know what, I like the progress. Sure, things are differently and I am working now with computers mostly for creating new productions around CMS systems and making them up and building new platforms. I love that kind of stuff. And since the last few years have been liking again a couple of the newer games, like the Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls and Fallout series.

So, progress galore. Which is good. And then, I am coming back again to what I do not understand… where is the progress in Internet?

I mean, there is a lot going on. You now stream a television series or movie whenever you want to, with .Net, Ajax, PHP, Java and whatever you can build wonderful things… but, I noticed that internet is actually one of the slowest evolving systems around. Still, most basic skills I use still today have not been chanced in any way since almost 20 years ago. Building a web-page for MOSAIC is essentially not different than it is now. Sure, Style-Sheets, server-side/client-side scripting. Whatever. It still all throwing HTML out, and treating it the same way.

When Flash, and then Silverlight came along, it felt as we were really progressing towards a new level in development. And now that – alright, I know Flash is officially not gone – it seems that we are past that medium, we are falling back into HTML. Sure, HTML5, but we all know what my opinion is about that.

It feels like if Mass Effect 3 would be released in bright EGA/VGA colors and used the AdLib FM music chip to produce it’s soundtrack…

Well… to be honest…

How cool would that be?


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