Keeping the Spectrum Alive
My chapter about platform obsolescence in a book called Fans and Video Games: Histories, Fandom, Archives, edited by Melanie Swalwell, Helen Stuckey, and Angela Ndalianis.
You can get the book here, or read a pre-press version here.
In this chapter, I am continuing the story of Czechoslovak 8-bit gaming communities after the Velvet Revolution, and after the influx of newer 16-bit machines. This chapter shows how fans of a specific hardware platform resist its fall into obsolescence, both through discourse and creative hobby practices. It focuses on the Czechoslovak community of Sinclair ZX Spectrum users between 1990 and 1994, drawing material from the community’s most prominent publication – the ZX Magazine. It concludes that resistance against obsolescence takes three basic forms: treasuring of the platform, i.e. reiterations of its historical importance; squeezing of the platform, i.e. expressions of the belief that it has limitless untapped potential; and extending of the platform by connecting it to newer peripherals and devices.Tags: read more, ZX Spectrum