Look at this guy. When I become an aged grizzly bachelor uncle, I hope to be like this guy. In my weird house, sitting in my griffin throne playing Mechwarrior 2 on my 486 computer. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a working CRT by then. But this hotboy right here knows the joys and pains of retro computing.
You sit down and you’re ready to pop that floppy and you immediately get all kinds of errors. Oh the CMOS battery is dead. Ope! Windows 98 is corrupt and needs to be reinstalled. Oh damn, this game doesn’t work in this resolution on this monitor. Oh man, it needs a Voodoo card?
Part of the allure of old computers was that they made you feel like a wizard. You had to know what you were doing, you learned weird arcane command line prompts and there was usually no one else to consult. Getting a game to run in the early/mid ’90s was an act of magic.
I’m really bummed out that the wizard/mushroom/dragon aesthetic of the mid ’70s never continued. One of the most frustrating things about retro design is how things got pigeonholed over time. At one point, wizards and dragons were the height of cool. Then they got relegated to ghettos of “nerd culture” and dismissed as hokey or childish.
But what’s wrong with being a little childish? What’s wrong with loving something colorful and fun and exciting and magical? What’s wrong with being a fucking wizard?
I think more than anything, modern design culture doesn’t allow anyone the space to be themselves. Every single little choice is made for other people and the approval of others. From our color choices to kitchen remodels – the #1 decision making thought appears to be: “How will this affect my home value when it comes time sell?”
Imagine that thought process. It literally means that for the foreseeable future – a kitchen you spent tens of thousands of dollars on, and you have to look at, use and live in every day – is for some future person who might buy your house.
This is pathetic. You want a red kitchen? Do it. You want your kitchen to look like a hobbit hole? Do it. You want pink appliances? Do it. It’s your money and your kitchen and you have to live in it. Who cares if your Aunt scoffs at it and thinks it will hurt property values.