A compulsion took hold of me, had to keep typing, had to keep searching. I found an interesting site from the past (IcyBrian.com). Coincidentally that site got me thinking since a review on the site despairs about how the Final Fantasy IV rerelease for the PSX could not be updated to the graphics of FF VII, the crazy things we believed a decade ago.
In a decade’s time, if I come across a noughtie site, if don’t think that it would be a similar experience. For one thing, the done things when it comes to site layouts – thanks to relentless focus on search optimisation – has changed so that searching through the method of the simple following of hyperlinks no longer feels so easy and as sweet. If you come to this blog in ten years time, then your best port of call would be to use the search function. However, if you do that it would be a surprise if you discover that I’ve done a post on Photopia. You’re unlikely to search for it, and once all reference to it is off the first page you’ll have no clues to its existence.
Perhaps that is a function of the constant updates that named this blog post, that there is simple too much content for the manual – serendipity abetting – search function. However, one of the websites that I was mad about when I was an infant was RPGClassics.com. That has a huge amount of content, but one searches through it manually meaning that if looking for information on one game, you’ll learn that they also have shrines on things you’d never heard of before.
Does this form of serendipity help people expand their horizons and keep people out of their comfort zones? Maybe a little. What I think would cause a bigger difference is that a world without constant updates, where web pages are more static, one’s desire for novelty will force them out to seek. Nowadays, I can (more or less) sit stagnantly on the web on a couple of web pages and a couple of communities. When I was younger, I had to risk clicking on some new site to avoid the crushing boredom, but perhaps that was because I was younger.
One thing I can say, is that I smiled joyously when I found on my searching the grand list of RPG cliches in the exact form I spent days reading it, as I put my browser of ‘Work Offline’ since the internet was down, including that same lonely picture. I think SEO makes a big difference to the web today than in yesteryear, but the reliability of the internet also plays a part; plus stuff like wikis are a technological improvement that might not match my tastes.
Of course, this is all without mentioning the great difference between today and yesterday: Tiles.
Our contemporary games are subject to constant updates. Do the two facts have more in common than simple choices of language? Yes, nobody would deny that the piecemeal improvements after being released of the modern game is a function of the reliability of internet connectivity. It also keeps away from that frozen nostalgia. When it does exists it is less a marble monument to marvellousness, like that list of cliches, but a lifeless lair like Pompeii.
Speaking of cliches.