The photo above was taken by me in June 2006.
So sixteen years ago.
I found it recently in my flickr file.
I don’t know if I ever used it for a post.
I’m not sure where I took it – though I assume Singapore airport.
But I bet you I captured it because I found it weird to see someone playing games.
On their computer.
At the airport.
Remember, 2006 is way before the very first iPhone.
Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Google Earth had only just started.
Shakira was number 1 with ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ and the first Cars movie had just hit the cinema.
And while gaming was huge – and handheld systems had been around for years – the idea of someone playing on their computer – at an airport – was obviously strange enough for me to take a photo.
But would we think that now?
Well, maybe the idea of needing a big-ass laptop to do it may still be considered strange – for totally different reasons than it was in 2006 – but the idea of someone gaming at an airport at all times of day wouldn’t cause a blink of an eye.
And here’s the point.
We – as an industry – are quick to kill new.
We write off different without any hesitation.
Believing if it makes no sense to us, it can’t make sense to anyone. Like we’re the fucking gods of everything.
And yet history has repeatedly shown new needs time.
Time to grow. Time to find its place. Time to find its energy.
From Apple computers to the internet to electric cars to gaming culture.
And while sometimes it may burn out, it’s worth remembering what a Fast Company journalist once said about reviewing tech.
“The biggest mistake is reviewing new tech against established tech. It will never win that because it’s not trying to be that”.
Which is why when you see new habits, beliefs or trends emerge that make little sense to you, it may be worth remembering before you pass judgement that it’s not them who have got it wrong, it’s possibly you who has misunderstood.