Monday, October 26, 2009

Delayed Gratification? What a Counter-Cultural Concept!

"Alt Text: New Cult Spares Members From Early Adopters' Pain"
Underwire, Wired (October 23, 2009)

"There are many strange religions in this mixed-up, modern world — Discordianism, Pastafarianism, the Church of the Subgenius — but one of strangest and most popular is the Cult of the New.

"People will pay more than twice as much to see a first-run movie compared to seeing it in a second-run theater or renting it and watching it at home. They'll pay $50 for a videogame that will clearly be a $20 'greatest hits' game before too long.

"They buy novels in hardback, comic books in their original run rather than waiting for the anthology. And then there are all those people paying $600 for video cards that, six months from now, will cost less than the shiny, full-bleed folding pamphlets currently being used to advertise the hardware.

"It seems to me that the best way to instantly raise your standard of living is to live in the past...."

"Live in the past"? Sort of: The author suggests picking up entertainment content two years after its release, and running it on the older equipment it was designed for. That's pretty counter-intuitive for many Americans, but I see Lore Sjoberg's point.

The article is light reading, with a good, common-sense message. And funny examples. Like " gets tiring listening to people rave about people playing Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad on the Xbox 360 when you haven't finished The History Channel: Battle for the Pacific yet...."

I thought Sjoberg might have made up that title. But now, Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad actually exists. And, judging by the review, is as tacky as the name suggests.

Exercising patience and restraint? I know: it's radically counter-cultural. But in this case, going against the flow seems to make sense.

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