Laptop computers are becoming increasingly popular. To my great frustration because they are often underpowered machines, certainly when it comes 3D graphics, and our games require every last bit of performance they can get. But is there something else going on too?
We’ve always been very fond of the intimate nature of desktop computing. One person alone with one computer in the sollitude of their home office. That’s more or less how we imagine the ideal environment for experiencing our work (not unlike a 19th century gentleman going through his secret drawer of lewd pictures). A very intimate situation in which the player can be at ease and concentrate on the work. But as more and more people use laptop computers instead of desktops, this ideal situation will occur less and less. Through becoming mobile, computers also become trivial. Mere accessories to take on the road, for convenience, not media that you actually devote some time to.
Would cinema have been so succesfull, culturally, if it had become mobile before even maturing as a medium? I highly doubt it. It is exactly the demands that cinema makes on the viewer, that give the authors the room required to create their art. Cinema, nor literature, or theatrical or musical performances, are casual media. But if computing becomes mobile, what will be left of it as a medium?
Picture by fabuleuxfab