A few months back while browsing YouTube, I found a video of a segment from the game “Sam & Max” where the two titular characters are in a support group style meeting for obsolete electronics. The group, known as the Computer Obsolescence Prevention Society, or C.O.P.S is a quirky little group, made up of an old Pong type console, an Osborne 1 styled computer, an arcade game much like Sinistar, and one of those conference phones used in big business meeting rooms and offices.
I haven’t played the game, so I know zero about what the characters roles actually are in the game, but that’s not what I’m wanting to talk about here. Far from it. When you encounter these characters in their support group meeting you don’t just talk with them – you also get to hear their motivational song “Useful To Boot”, an anthem to the idea that so long as the device actually does what it was made to do, it’s still useful.
I share this because this quirky little song so perfectly encompasses not just how I, but many others, view old technology of all types – if it still does what it was made to do then it’s fine! Of course, we don’t live in the past – oh no, we keep up to date where we need to, or want to, with things, but we aren’t the kind of people to just say “okay, this is useless” just because it’s old.
Granted, today, devices are made with that in mind – throw it out once the new one comes along, but as you go back in time, things were built with more purpose and in some cases, many game systems, computers, or other non-electronic machines seem damn near indestructible by comparison, still doing what they were built to do decades ago.
They just work, and that’s something some of us appreciate far more than others.
Oh, I could go on and on about so many prime examples of this, but I’ll save that for another time. For now, I just want to present you with the song, both in-game and on it’s own, for you to enjoy.