The Stiff: Chapter 5: Page 202

The Stiff: Chapter 5: Page 202

It’s probably my age, but I never understood the massive power– and more to the point, cultural prestige– of “Tech” and the “tech world” until recently. My parents’ generation (the grandparents’ generation for some Millennials and post-2000s) generally never understood video games and like Roger Ebert (RIP) dismissed them as ‘art’; but I, as a ’70s kid, was obsessed with video games and eagerly awaited every new arcade game and every new Sears catalog that might list new Atari 2600 or Colecovision or Vic-20 products (I didn’t get a Commodore 64 till later -_-). However, although I fantasized about designing video games, and did lots of little notes and sketches for imaginary games as well as programming some text adventures in BASIC, I always held comics and films and books in even higher esteem (or at least equal esteem) and I always identified as “a writer” or “an artist” and never as “a programmer” (as engineers/game designers were called back then).

Today, OTOH, Tech obviously dominates EVERYTHING. The super-massiveness of the many things under the umbrella of Tech — perhaps not least of all Gaming — is the common language of the world. Is this all a long, maudlin way of saying that I wish I’d been a computer game designer? Definitely not, since I could still learn programming if I really wanted to! ;) But I think that perhaps, for people not very much younger than me, programming and video game design seems much more accessible and graspable, whereas for me the ultimate outcome, however delightful, was always lost behind a sort of misty barrier of machine-language magic.

But maybe the same thing could be said about a lot of things I enjoy but don’t personally know how to make, like music… or cooking, which was equally mystical for me ’till I started experimenting with it less than 10 years ago. I enjoy doing what I do but I’m curious about other people’s ways of expressing themselves artistically in different media. Hmm, or maybe I need to actually talk to more game programmers…

NEXT UPDATE: Wednesday!


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