Ahead of its time

Today I learned that in 1983 I could have downloaded games into my Atari 2600 using a modem, stored them in ROM and played them off-line. In 1983.

And that the company that offered that service only offered it because their original idea to allow you to download music over a modem to listen to it on demand was, of course, rejected by the RIAA-member record company they approached, in 1982.

A restructure and a strategic pivot later and the company the provided the on-demand game downloads would become AOL.

And the record company? Warner Brothers, who two mergers later would become 45% of AOL Time Warner.

AOL Time Warner would fail spectacularly, and sell off it’s music business and go through three more failed mergers to become, as of this writing, WarnerBrothers Discovery, whose main purpose for existing seems to be being toys for the U. S. media landscape, that weird kid from Toy Story that tortures toys, destroying things and putting the pieces together in macabre ways for their own perverse joy.


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