Sunday, July 24, 2011

Online Gaming

Believe it or not, there was once a time when you, actually, had to go to a physical place to play a stranger in a video game; we called them arcades. If you talked serious trash before a match and lost, you were publicly humiliated, everyone remembered your dumb face, and you probably never came back. If you threatened someone, you'd be lucky to get away with just being kicked out and banned. Also, the only way to keep in contact with people—involved slowly getting to know them, which often lead to great friendships. Yeah, this was a problem that sure needed "fixing."

The earlier days of Internet gaming had an intrinsic learning curve: you had to install and patch the game—sometimes, for your specific video card. You had to keep your drivers updated and manually go through settings to make sure things worked, with maximum FPS. Finally, you had to find a server to play on where your ping was circa 200. Windows 98 was the most common OS, and it was crash happy. Even basic computer maintenance, to play a game regularly, required a geek merit badge.

This all lead to an Internet that was filled with people who were far more tech savvy. And who were, by and large, a lot more intelligent than your average console gamer is today. In the very least, it kept the insanely moronic away. Of course, computers weren't very cheap, and online gaming was a very niche market. To top it all off: there was no real-time video streaming, mp3s, Wikipedia, or Facebook. There was nothing here for most people. The Internet was for those who craved actual knowledge; for those wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves... and porn.

Yeah, I know things change: Michael Jackson has been replaced with Justin Bieber, a loonie is worth more than a dollar, Transformers are now synonymous with Michael Bay, TV shows have huge booths at Comic-Con, gas is $4 a gallon, the Karate Kid is about a preteen doing Kung Fu in China, teachers don't check spelling, everything is in 3D, normal people took over the internet, and fast food tastes cheaper while costing more.

Yay! :/

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