Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Change and Pointlessness

with 12 comments

I’ve been thinking, for the last week or two, about change. Specifically, change for the sake of “keeping up with the Joneses.” Or, to put it another way, change to be more “technologically current.”

(I wish you could see the eye roll I just gave to that.)

Look, I get it. Technology, in the main, is a good thing. The internet has revolutionized life and communication, and has for the most part made it better. But that was a change to make something better. Not a change for the sake of change alone.

“So, if you’re not talking about the internet, Barb, what are you talking about?” you ask me in exasperation.

Mostly, I’m talking about the “upgrades” at Pogo.com. I have been a member for quite a number of years now. (Well over ten.) And because of the phase-out of some staples of gaming technology, including the impending retirement of Java and lessening of Flash, many games I’ve enjoyed playing over the years are being retired right along with them. These games include Crazy Cakes, Dice City Roller, Pogo Addiction Solitaire, Pinochle (yes, they aren’t “upgrading” it to HTML5 anytime soon, it appears)…and to say I’m not happy is the understatement of the year.

Now, the fun of most of these games was never in the graphics. They were instead in the strategy. How were you going to be able to serve the most customers and make the most money with the ingredients you had on hand (Crazy Cakes)? How were you going to be able to make the most points with the rolls you received, and did you want to do the Auction rooms (which would slow you down, but perhaps give you more time to get more points to win extra dice) in Dice City Roller? (And if you haven’t played Pinochle, it’s much like most card games; you need to learn your basic strategy, but once you get that, it’s a lot of fun.)

Still, Pogo.com has apparently figured out that graphics and high-tech things are the way of the future. Even games like Tri-Peaks Solitaire, which did get an upgrade to HTML5, got better graphics even though the game-play didn’t change. (Unfortunately, they also changed the music behind it. They did better with Aces Up!, where they kept the music after the conversion to HTML5.) And since none of these games needed those things, they’re on their way out.

I like better graphics as much as the next person. But I like strategy games far more than I like the best of graphics. And these games had that (still have it, until June of 2019, anyway) in spades…but that’s not good enough, not in a world where change for the sake of change is needed.

Or when the original Final Fantasy game couldn’t stand on its own, and we’re up to what, now, in the numbering? (How many more so-called final fantasies are out there to be mined, huh?)

I know life is like this. Nothing lasts forever. The original Star Trek lasted three years on TV. Star Trek: The Next Generation lasted seven. (I can list all the other Star Treks, but you get the point.) The recent reboot, One Day at a Time starring mostly Latino/Latina characters and featuring Rita Moreno, lasted three. (If you haven’t seen that show lately, find it on Netflix now. Even though it’s been cancelled, it’s still available and it is hilarious.)

And yes, you have to take your enjoyment where you find it, because you know it won’t last. It never does.

That said, I find the current “upgrades” at Pogo.com to be unnecessary. I am definitely going to be playing my favorite games until the bitter end, and do my best to enjoy them even as I know that “all good things” inevitably find their conclusion.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. (And I obviously don’t.)

What say you to change for the sake of change? Did this blog make any sense? What would you like to add? Comments? Brickbats? Sobriquets? The floor is open…

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 12, 2019 at 4:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. The problem isn’t so much “let’s go forward” but the “once we go forward you can’t go back”. I (and you) don’t care if everyone else goes gung-ho for their newest shiny, but we DO mind when they cripple our OLD shiny in the process. (my example: I can’t play Neverwinter Nights on my Mac any more, because one of the OS upgrades broke it some time ago.)

    seawasp

    April 12, 2019 at 8:25 am

    • (side note) If you don’t know, “Final Fantasy” was named that because Squaresoft thought this would be their final game. Then it turned into a runaway hit that demanded sequels, so, yeah, every one’s more Final than the last. The last one released was 15, 16 is now approaching release, just FYI.

      seawasp

      April 12, 2019 at 8:27 am

      • LOL Well, that explains it!

        I’m glad it wasn’t Squaresoft’s final game, mind you. But it does seem odd that they keep having more and more “final” fantasies…though I suppose each one is more final than the last? 0:-)

        Barb Caffrey

        April 13, 2019 at 12:15 am

    • Yeah. That’s exactly it, Ryk. I’m OK with them upgrading stuff, just so long as they don’t break what wasn’t broken in the first place.

      Barb Caffrey

      April 13, 2019 at 12:14 am

      • Talking about upgrades. Later this year I’m buying a Desktop Mac Pro just as long as the video card is upgradeable. My iMac can’t play any intensive video games.

        thomas Monaghan

        April 13, 2019 at 9:29 am

      • That’s a good idea, Thomas. Thinking ahead makes sense.

        Barb Caffrey

        April 13, 2019 at 2:46 pm

  2. c4c

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    April 12, 2019 at 8:43 am

  3. I cracked SimCity back in 1996 and should have given up while I was ahead.
    Did try a rally racing game, whose demo was fine but couldn’t get the whole thing to work. Failed on a game about the colonisation of the USA because I couldn’t get my head around native Americans in canoes sinking a galleon with arrows. Last attempt was a download of The Battle of Gettysburg where my entire Confederate Regiment marched off in the opposite direction to which I wanted them to go.
    These days I stick to cardboard board games….

    Woebegone but Hopeful

    April 13, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    • LOL

      You sound like me, Roger! I used to play RISK, (which is a board game), and things never happened the way I thought they should. I could plan and plan and plan, and no matter what, the plan didn’t match whatever would happen.

      The only thing I learned from that is, if planning (in simulation) doesn’t match battle (in simulation), we’re in trouble! 😉

      Hope you’re doing well, and your comment put a smile on my face.

      Barb Caffrey

      April 13, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      • Glad to put the smile on Barb.😃
        Risk was always tricky because of the rule which allowed a player on their knees to suddenly pick up a large number of troops.
        Now I play military board games, and some of them in an attempt to simulate the difficulties of operational command have rules so complex as to delight a corporate lawyer!

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        April 13, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      • 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        April 13, 2019 at 10:33 pm


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