Thursday, January 26, 2012

Acceptance/Resistance to Change

In my life I have been both the early adopter and the crabby old guy who's too set in his ways and refuses to accept change.  When it came to fads, if I found something I really liked, I would try to pass it on to the rest of my friends like some kind of communicable disease.

  • Pogs - Remember Alf? He's back--in pog form!  I got into pogs because Mega Man X pogs came free with my Nintendo Power subscription one month.  I tried to get some friends into it, but pogs never really caught on for a variety of reason, such as the economy and because pogs just sucked. 
  • DDR -  After playing the Korean version of DDR called "Pump" in my friend's room in college, I got addicted and bought a dance pad for my Playstation and invited people over to play.  Among my friends back in Houston, it only really caught on after I had left the country and they all turned into experts, schooling me the next time I saw them. 
  • Gaming Parties - A long time ago I had the idea of multiplayer first person shooter games.  I told my friend: "What if Wolfenstein 3D was multiplayer?  Wouldn't that be cool?"  And of course he laughed at me and at how ridiculously stupid the idea was.  Of course now we all know that my idea was brilliant and beyond its time since that multiplayer fps games are everywhere.  It started off with PC games like DOOM, Duke Nukem 3D, Hexen, and Quake... calling up that same friend to play cooperatively over a 56K modem.  Then it evolved into lugging your whole computer system, monitor and all, to someone's house to play games over a local network... games like Counterstrike, Starcraft, Quake 3 or whatever multiplayer games we could get our hands on.  I spent money for routers and network cables even though the lan parties only occurred maybe once every few months at most.. Next was the idea of "console" gaming parties... bringing my Gamecube and four controllers to someone's house to play Mario Kart Double-Dash and Smash Bros. Melee.  Of course, console gaming parties really took off after 4-player Halo on the Xbox  became popular.. another thing which I sucked at while my friends all became experts.   Let's not forget the Wii of course.  I bought 4 wiimotes and 4 nunchucks just for those times when people needed something to spice up their party with some nerdy fun (Just Dance).
  • Non-electronic games - In what may have been an outlash against video games, boardgames and card games made a huge comeback.  Games like Mafia, Nerts, Bang!, Puerto Rico, Monopoly Deal and the ubiquitous Settlers of Cataan.  These games bring back the old school feeling of playing boardgames with your friends back when you were a kid.
  • musical instrument games - before Rock Band and Guitar Hero, there was Konami's Guitarfreaks and Drum mania. I even bought a real electronic drumset just to hook it up to my computer and play DTXMania, the free "open-source" version of drum mania.  Then guitar hero and rock band became all popular and we of course had to get the whole set so that we could have it for parties.  Of course the era of musical instrument video games seems to be fading, but maybe the new Rocksmith game will revitalize it since it's both educational AND fun! 
For most things though, I like to play it safe, and I prefer for others to be the early adopters (beta-testers) and work out all the problems and kinks before I get to it.  Take for example, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs.  Think about how much CD-R burners and CD-Rs cost when the technology was still brand new.  It was freakin' expensive.  Probably the same cost of Bluray writers and Bluray recordable media now.. same thing for DVDs, but eventually the prices of both the burners and the media started coming down, the technology became a lot more mature and they started to include burners in all new computer systems.
  • Pagers - In the 90s, despite everyone owning a pager, I resisted getting one for years, much to the annoyance of my friends who always had trouble getting in touch with me in my pre-pager days.  Eventually the prices for pagers and pager service became so dirt-cheap that I was dragged to a pager shop on ghetto West Belfort Road and forced to get one.
  • Cellphones - Sadly, just as I joined the pager society, cell phones started to get cheaper and more popular.  I, however, hung on to my antique pager for as long as possible while other people and again I started to annoy my friends by refusing to get a cell phone.  It wasn't until much later when the plans started to get cheaper and they started offering family plans with unlimited talk-time on nights and weekends that I got one together with the rest of my family on a group plan...around the time I was a senior in college.  
  • Ubiquitous internet - A few years ago, I lamented the fact that I had to carry around so many devices and didn't have one gadget to rule them all.  Today's phones have a lot of storage, let you play games, take high quality pictures and video, and even let you call and text!!  All in one glorious device!  Yet to this day I still don't have an iPhone or Android phone or any kind of these current-generation smartphones.  Ok, I do have an Omnia, running on ancient windows mobile 6.1 technology but it's about 3 years old and  I've never signed up for a data plan and I've been using prepaid cards for seven straight years.  Why?  Because I don't think I'll be able to function in society while constantly connected to the internet.  I'd constantly be checking facebook, email, and updating this blog.  Also, I'm cheap.

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