boutique handheld discourse has me really wishing there was a homebrew platform that excelled at:
- cheap, widely available, open (as much as possible) hardware
- SDK + simulator that runs on anything
- large community of people hacking on it & sharing knowledge
- diverse, welcoming culture that views games as an art form, doesn't care about the boundary between "game" and other stuff
I really, really wish OUYA had had different people in charge of its platform vision and marketing. If they'd pointed it squarely at homebrewers, it would've given backers and players much healthier expectations, and I think it'd still be thriving today.
One challenge is that a huge amount of the resources invested in tooling today happens around the two big commercial game engines, which don't really care about being able to target cheap, weak hardware (and their editors running on it is totally out of the question). A new wave of homebrew engines and tools has been gathering for the past ~5 years, but it still has a ways to go before its energy can change things in a big way.
These kinds of projects will almost always have an air of, for want of a better term, "junkiness" about them. Everything that people fetishize about Apple products is absent - carefully designed branding, packaging, a single company controlling everything about the product and its use. And this is fine; we should embrace this, while being firmly committed to "approachability" as distinct from the Apple slickness that has seized a lot of the rhetorical territory around approachability.
I try to think of these hardware and software project goals as acts of political imagination: in a world that has stopped capitalism's stranglehold on our species, what does personal computing look like? What choices do we have, how does ownership work, what are the aesthetics? What does it mean for technology to have aesthetics independently of consumerism?
Apple's hardware aesthetics have an almost terraforming effect: the sleek MacBook makes the rest of your desk look cluttered and irregular, their stores feel like alien temples you must assimilate into the customs of. I would like technology to feel more like going down to a local co-op hardware store where a lesbian sells you a hammer you will own for 30 years.
But if you pretend you’re a character in a William Gibson story, the Macbook-and-clutter look fits right in.
@jplebreton so you sterilize the desk to match the macbook's aesthetic at which point the quote "a messy desk is a sign of a busy mind" comes to mind
@jplebreton This is exactly why i am super nostalgic for early 1980s IBM hardware. It has both the durability of a tank as well as the grace & aesthetics of one.
@jplebreton A 4u rackmount cluster running BSD. 8u systems for the power users with higher I/O needs.
@jplebreton I specifically backed the Ouya because it seemed like a super rad thing for that kind of stuff and as like a super-portable thing to take places for multiplayer/party stuff or just demoing personal projects
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