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Digital Just Isn’t That New

October 30, 2013

This is a reminder that I’m not that young anymore, but it’s more than that.  We’ll just start with the fact that I’m not young anymore.

If you remember the likes of Tetris, the  early games console ZX Spectrum and were among the first to use the web, prepare  to feel very old.

An upcoming exhibition being held at the  Barbican in London is relegating these retro childhood favourites to the world  of ‘digital archaeology.’

Video games and computers from the 1970s to  1990s including Space Invaders, Pong, the Gameboy, Mac Paint and the Linn LM-1  drum machine will be on display at the museum from July.

What most worries me here is that I never had a Gameboy, because that was for younger kids.

But that’s irrelevant.  I think it’s somewhat cool that we’re recognizing the influence and significance of the electronic game on the world, and how it has shaped generations of humanity.  My wife would say shaped for the worse, but I’m more neutral.

I won’t get into the “my first computer” experiences, mostly because you’d realize what a TOTAL geek I am (though you already know).  But I do think that it’s important that we recognize the influence that those early games and devices had on a growing group of kids (mostly boys, but that’s another post).  Those of us who were around to drive the PC and computing to be available to everyone were the same ones fascinated by the cool digital technology of yesteryear that showed us a new reality.  It was a way to exercise the brain and be the best at something that didn’t involve throwing a ball, and it was new territory for all of us.

So when Facebook gets relegated to the museum back room, we old-timers will just nod and say it’s proof that technology keeps moving at faster speeds, and we’ll be happy that we were there for a time to push it.

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