This is Behind the Blog, where we share our behind-the-scenes thoughts about how a few of our top stories of the week came together. This week, we discuss the year we've had, technology journalism as a complicated feeling, and some gift ideas for your last minute shopping.
SAM: Since it’s the holidays, let’s get a little nostalgic. Many people my age seem to have a core memory of this time of year: tearing through wrapping paper to some electronic gadget, a Nintendo 64 or a Game Boy Color or a PlayStation, screaming your fucking head off, ripping laps around the room clutching a box like you’d just won the World Series and making your parents nervous. I had a few of these moments as a kid, when I got a PlayStation one year, and then when I got an electronic typewriter a few years later.
I remember playing games like Tomb Raider and Tekken on Christmas morning and thinking this was as good as gaming graphics would ever get. How could it get more realistic without literally being a film??? Up to that point I’d been playing games like Cosmo’s Great Adventure, Castle Wolfenstein, DOOM and Jill of the Jungle on floppies shoved into our MS-DOS machine in the computer den, so the switch to this console world blew my seven year old mind. I think about that feeling a lot nowadays, when we talk about how fast things move, how quickly technology is advancing, how realistic or convincing one type of AI generated boob is over another. We’re so desperate as consumers of technology to have our gadgets get us as close to the real as possible, to “immerse” and “simulate.” Companies know this, and will do anything to sell it to us. Including, in some cases, steamrolling past principles, morals, and laws.