Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Annoyance

John Siracusa’s “Annoyance-Driven Development” article, published this weekend, makes the argument that there’s far too much legacy in today’s technology based on his experiences with Netflix’s “House of Cards“, and the PS4. The latter argument makes a lot of sense:

But when I look at the PlayStation 4 hardware itself, I see a shrewd acknowledgement of the true nature of innovation. It doesn’t cost much to add dedicated silicon to handle background network transfers and video encoding and decoding, and it sure isn’t sexy, technologically speaking. Low-power sleep states, instant suspend/resume, progressive downloads, and remote play are all features that are a giant pain to implement and do precisely nothing to make games look, sound, or perform better. But it’s these things, not the number of CPU/GPU cores or the amount of RAM, that really have a chance of making the PS4 gaming experience stand head and shoulders above what has come before.

His argument against “House of Cards”, however, is disappointing:

But even Netflix has been unable to escape some of the trappings of the days of video past. A TV series like House of Cards that’s released a season at a time naturally lends itself to multi-episode viewing sessions. But as I recently tweeted, watching a minute and a half of opening credits before each episode can get tiresome.

Harry Marks replies:

True innovation in television does not come from eliminating 90 seconds from the beginning of every episode, it comes from making terrific content more available more widely (and by shutting down the Bravo network…please…).

I completely agree. I don’t see why Siracusa used opening credits as an example of legacy carryovers. The idea that a production shouldn’t provide onscreen credit to those who worked on it seems to be based purely on selfish irritation. If you can’t spare ninety seconds of your precious, precious time to see who worked on the episode you are about to enjoy, you shouldn’t watch the show in the first place; you’re clearly much too busy and important for the names of pesky “artists” and “writers”.

If you also disagree with Siracusa, but find Harry Marks to be too civilised for a Monday morning, John C. Welch has your back:

How-EVER does he put up with the aaaaagony of mandatory opening credits. MY GOD, IT’S LIKE NETFLIX IS SLAPPING HIM IN THE FACE WITH THEIR DICKS! WITH ALLLL THE DICKS!!!