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Surviving The Disposible Digital World

Written By: Supreme Leader
Date: August 12, 2019

We live in a time where everything is temporary. You're expected to watch Netflix, listen to Spotify, read books on Kindle and download games via distribution services on the latest consoles and PC. At any time these things being pulled from service as corporations hosting them either lose rights or just feel like pulling the content for new content, or to push their own "original" garbage. Aside from that being some serious bullshit we're left with this attitude that'll leave a world of overloaded landfills as physical ownership becomes passe. Perfectly good stuff still exists out there that you consider out of date, antiquated and obsolete. This article's main focus is mostly about this behaviour and a sort of hail mary to convince you that the digital age is leading to literal trash heaps. We can perserve, discover and maintain so many things that are still beautiful if you just look. This article will be a work in progress and it's publish date will reflect updates.

Digital Games At current it looks like the industry is moving toward no physical copies of new games anymore but this doesn't change the fact that a lot of great games still exist in physical form. The idea that you can exprience the same thing on an emulator is utterly silly. The games do not play or look the same on an emulator. As a speed runner myself I notice very minor issues in keeping up when I emulate a speed run vs. using the actual hardware. it's minor but very real. Not to mention you'll never get the true experience of any old game through the lense of your phone or HDTV. HDTV is probably the worst method of playing old games. Get off your ass and buy a CRT Tube TV from local swap meets/flea markets. Find them, play them. A lot of them are challenging unlike a lot of games that people buy these days it is expected that everybody will beat the game or it's somehow a waste of money if it's too difficult. Dare to be challenged. There will come a time when the current retro gaming scene is dead along with it's players. Pass these items on and the mentality that they should be saved. A game is not good because it's well designed in 3D or plays in 4K. That's bullshit brainwashing passed down from an industry that doesn't want you to play old games. They want to continue crapping out half done games with DLC and distribution of those games in their hands.. not yours.

VHS I hear this tired line all the time from those who laud digital movies, Blu-Ray and DVD.. "VHS is an outdated technology they're gonna all die soon". There is absolutely no study to hold any substantial data that makes this true. VHS could easily last another 100 years based on storage and condition of the tapes. But, what if you did happen to buy a VHS tape that was broken, unplayable or moldy? You wasted what.. 10 cents? Yes. These things commonly don't cost much money. You could own a respectable collection for not much money and you own it for as long as YOU want. They often are far less expensive than the average rental price of the rental days and you can have it forever. These things will become largely landfill fodder if they are left unsaved. VCRs often sell for very little cost as well via anywhere you can buy second hand items. The most expensive of VHS tapes often were not widely distributed and are often rare. There is no worry of these tapes becoming landfill fodder as the demand is high and the supply is low. Collect tapes, don't let garbage like Netflix dictate what you watch. They routinely lose rights and take away things from their menu. You will not always have the things you want from a streaming service. You'll end up "settling" to watch their own garbage likely. A film with lots of CGI and 4K resolution doesn't dictate quality either. Stop that shit. The "resolution wars" are literally stupid. Get a tube TV, a VCR and save the damn tapes. They will be yours forever and they are fun to watch. A big library of media only has to take up 6 inches away from your wall. That's nothing and you'll be able to fit DVDs and classic games too with the 6 inch spacing. Fill your boring home with cool shit!

Computers There are a metric fuck ton of computers out there right now that are in obsolete status. These things are fucking awesome too. Odds are you're not even experienced with these old games that flooded the personal computer market of it's time. You don't need 12 cores, a hugely expensive graphics card with loaded RAM to have fun on a computer. You don't need to be slave to an online game like most popular PC games are these days. The retro gaming scene largely focuses on old console games and that's fine but everybody turning a blind eye has missed out and IS missing out. DOSBox is a great tool to experience old PC games but it can be tricky to get them to all run properly and sometimes require a lot of tweaking that can be a bit of a learning curve for some people. You could easily setup 3 old computers on a round table and have the authentic fun that anybody of that time had if you just went out and bought these things. BBS ANSI art A great bonus is buying a legit copy of these games is mostly not required. You can just as easy pile in copies of games on to these computers and it's not technically a big deal nor will you experience a lack in the gameplay in any way. A lot of companies are dead or have let their license fall to freeware so people who are interested can play registered games from 20-30+ years ago even legally. You can even run a BBS if you use a serial to ethernet adapter, manage to get the FOSSIL drivers working (not so much in Linux) or have a TCP/IP pre-supported board software. "Duh what's a BBS?". BBS Documentary Look it up, or watch the documentary, they were fucking RAD and ANSI art was fucking RaD.. Man and the scene isn't even completely dead. Even on a modern computer you could load up Synchronet BBS and have a multinode experience for you, your friends, or anybody who wants to sign up. There is support for downloads, forums, games, polls and a literal ton of old addons (doors) that you can pile in from old BBSes. It's customizable and works really well. The developer Rob Swindell and his team are still working on this fully functional BBS, as of this article a release was just put out January 1st, 2019 and under constant development revisions. As far as other software goes I tried pretty hard to get Linux and Renegade BBS working hand-in-hand, managed to get a proxy running to connect but the downloads did not work in spite of a ton of effort, so, take that note as you will. It works fine in Windows. Synchronet works right away with very little learning curve to get the basics running. BBSes deserve another run as they could be, and are the coolest thing a community to use to unplug from corporate bullshit where you're only data points for cash to the highest bidders.

Boombox Music.. oh boy. People are so connected to streaming music these days. They are to believe that they need access to thousands of songs that they can never listen to in a single day while cassette tapes and compact discs rot in thrift stores for the cost of nearly nothing. Tons of good music is ready to be tossed out because people can't get off their phone and stop being brainwashed by these corporations that it's OK that they just take music away. Nevermind the fact that these streaming services don't even benefit the artist worth a shit. If you want to support an artist you'll have to buy tickets or merchandise these days. Nobody is making much money on the actual music anymore. They gotta work a lot harder to accomplish the riches you think they all have. Boomboxes are super cool and the even more super cool ones might cost you a little bit but it's totally worth it over this garbage bitrate streaming music you're being fed now. Get a damn boombox, get a good pair of headphones, you're all set for listening to music at home at any hour at great quality. Be careful of bootleg MDR-7506's. I wouldn't normally recommend Amazon but if you can find them from an official distributor you're gonna want to do that.

None of these links are affiliate links. Anything I add here is not a cash incentive for me to push it, it's just free advice.