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The Blessings of Vintage: Exploring Technological Change made by Users of Discontinued Home Video Games Hardware

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  • Graça, Jorge

    ()
    (University of Algarve)

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    Abstract

    The paper analyses the relation between use and technological change, emphasising three points that are not usually mentioned in the literature: the need to study technologies and products beyond the typical Product Life Cycle model, the need to study the role of users as agents of technological change, and the need to study technology “in use”, and not only new and upcoming technologies. Based on those premises, an empirical study of the home video games industry was conducted, combing qualitative and quantitative research activities through the “crystallisation” technique. The qualitative component was used to analyse online communities of users that perform technological changes to discontinued home video games hardware (modders) and their activities. The qualitative component comprised an online questionnaire to 20 users. Results confirm that “old” technologies continue to exist and to be improved long after they are discontinued, due to users’ technological changes. These technological changes are complex processes, done through incremental steps, on an individual learning by doing basis, within a context of information sharing, and support within the communities. Although relevant from a technical point of view, the outcomes do not feedback into the innovation processes of companies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve in its series Spatial and Organizational Dynamics Discussion Papers with number 2011-8.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: 30 Jun 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ris:cieodp:2011_008

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    Postal: University of Algarve, Faculty of Economics, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal, email of President of the Centre: mtvaz@ualg.pt
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    Related research

    Keywords: use; technological change; angry orphans; technological obsolescence;

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    1. David S. Evans & Andrei Hagiu & Richard Schmalensee, 2006. "Invisible Engines: How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262050854, December.
    2. Klepper, Steven, 1997. "Industry Life Cycles," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 145-81.
    3. Matthew T. Clements & Hiroshi Ohashi, 2005. "INDIRECT NETWORK EFFECTS AND THE PRODUCT CYCLE: VIDEO GAMES IN THE U.S., 1994-2002 -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 515-542, December.
    4. Henderson, Rebecca., 1994. "Of life cycles real and imaginary : the unexpectedly long old age of optical lithography," Working papers WP 3661-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. Utterback, James M & Abernathy, William J, 1975. "A dynamic model of process and product innovation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 639-656, December.
    6. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
    7. Dosi, Giovanni, 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
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