The kids of tomorrow are losing a healthy sense of fear and self-loathing that previous generations were saddled with. That illogical and fear-born sense of inadequacy that plagued you at every turn because you were sure someone was judging you, even if you didn't know why. Now everyone's that varsity jock just high on their own sense of unfettered phone confidence, calling people left and right and only talking to them like some kind of majestic phone barons of a future telecoms utopia.
In the realm of gaming, look at what the Go-Gurt gobblers of tomorrow are missing out on. When I was a kid, I had to go to Blockbuster to rent a new Playstation game and so help me God if I was late bringing that thing back, lest the dreaded late fee be put on my bill. Try to explain that to a kid in ten years, that there was once a time when you not only needed to go to a business to rent a piece of physical media which is probably going to not exist in a decade's time thanks to streaming and online gaming, but my playing the game meant someone else couldn't play it. Some poor schlub had to wait for me to bring it back and if I was late, Blockbuster charged me again because Jimmy Guntstubb was desperate to play Battletoads and I fucked up.
Basically, gaming in any practical form, for any kid whose parents weren't rich enough to buy every new game on a whim, was a community endeavor. Everyone had a tacit agreement to work together for the joy of the game, or the whole system was fucked harder than a Fleshlight thrown into a prison yard.
There was literally no way to see gameplay outside of a commercial unless you caught an episode of Video Power with Johnny Arcade, so renting was the best way to test the waters and see if you were up to the challenge of Contra. You and every other kid had to be orderly and patient. You rented that game, you put in your time, and you took it back. Every late asshole threw the whole system into chaos.
The very idea that you couldn't play a game or watch a movie today because the kid down the street's parents refused to vaccinate him and now he has polio is damn near absurd. Why should someone else's shitty punctuality affect your gaming? It shouldn't. But dammit, it did. The struggle was real and the only defense that existed against it was Blockbsuter's unshakable adherence to the rule of late fees, the most strict punishment and deterrent they could muster.
If A Game Failed, It Was Likely Your Fault For Being A Filthy Slob
Obviously technology today is a hell of a lot different than tech from the 80s, or 90s, or from about 5.27 seconds ago. Rest assured technology in 2027 is going to be full of brain-wave-activated toasters that can give you a hummer while making Pop-Tarts for you, the way Edison intended. But that doesn't mean toasters won't exist in the future. There is, however, a good deal of stuff kids are never going to get to see or experience. It's not evolving or getting updated, it's simply been rendered obsolete.
The big issue with physical media is the general maintenance and upkeep. If you had a VCR you probably remember the thrill of adjusting the tracking when your video inexplicably just started oozing down the screen and tweaking like it hadn't had a drink since this morning. Or how about that VHS copy of Splash you watched too many times that eventually became so worn out and static-riddled it was like watching garbled porn on a cable station you didn't get (which is another thing your kids will never know about).
Gamers went through this, too. When I bought vanilla World Of Warcraft back in the day, I think it came on five or six CDs because the idea of actually downloading the game was as silly as the idea of eating a ham sandwich with no bacon on it. If even one of those fuckers got scratched, you were screwed. Or let's say you installed it just fine, but in the middle of a big boss fight, your mouse suddenly spazzed out, and the cursor shot up to the corner of the screen. That old style mouse had a ball and rollers in it. A little, grey ball that sucked up desk-based schmutz like a magnet. You'd have to pop the bottom of your mouse, pull the ball out, swab off the layer of dog hair, dust, and dried tears on it, then do the same for the tiny little wheels inside. That's a lost art now, like polishing your monocle (the real way, not the euphemism for sticking Pop Rocks in your pee hole).
The point is that the game failed because you failed. You took such poor care of the components, it crapped out. Already today that can be circumvented thanks to a having a hard drive to store games, and in the near future, companies like Sony and Microsoft will just drop the idea of physical media altogether so you have one less thing to get sticky with your Mountain Dew. Because, as we all know, true gamers Do the Dew. Everything will exist in the cloud, and if a game failed, it's not on you -- it's all them.
No more discs means no kid in the future is ever going to have that moment when they take a scratched copy of Earthworm Jim and try to rub peanut butter across the bottom of it because someone somewhere once said that will repair surface scratches ... even though I've never actually met anyone who got that to work and it mostly left my Final Fantasy VIII smelling like a middle-schooler's sandwich from back when middle-schoolers were allowed to have Final Fantasy VIII sandwiches.
For more check out 6 Things Our Kids Just Plain Won't Get and 5 Oddly Specific Things That Won't Exist In Our Kids' Lives.
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