History DorkAge / RealLife

16th Feb '17 3:49:03 PM Yalsaris63
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* The Ford Mustang II, 1974-78. Basically a [[EveryCarIsAPinto Pinto]] with a fancier body, no V8 option, and enough mid '70s chrome, vinyl, and fake wood for a much larger car. Ford was returning the car to its roots as basically an economy car with a big engine after the previous car had gotten larger and become a decent road racing platform. Sales for the Mustang II were actually much better than the late 60s/early 70s Mustangs, but it alienated enthusiasts. Even after it got a V8, any performance benefits gained from the lighter, more nimble body were negated as Ford [[{{Nerf}} nerfed]] its engines in response to emissions regulations and fuel economy concerns; this lead to disgruntled fans calling it the "Disgustang". Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the Mustang's [[TheRival rivals]], the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird twins, underwent something of a GoldenAge in the '70s. While they too felt the effects of the new standards (they were nearly killed in 1972 due to a UAW strike concerning the new regulations), their performance didn't suffer nearly as badly as the Mustang's, and their bodywork wasn't nearly as garish as other cars during the era. The Camaro and, to a lesser extent, the Firebird outsold the Mustang by 1977, because they were some of the only cars at the time worth getting for sports car/post-muscle car enthusiasts (especially made all the more apparent with the release of ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'', [[TheRedStapler which really boosted sales of the Camaro and the Firebird that year]]). To this day, the Camaro and Firebird are probably the only American performance cars to not have their legacy stained by WTH engineering/[[WTHCostumingDepartment designing]] departments even during TheSeventies. The only low point in the Camaro's career was the [[TheAllegedCar Iron Duke design]] of TheEighties, but that was a separate model and did rather little to hurt the Camaro's popularity[[note]]the Iron Duke engine option for both the Camaro and Firebird models would last from 1982 to 1984, and customers would rather choose the more powerful (though still rather flaccid by 80s standards) V6 and V8 options for personal preferences[[/note]].

to:

* The Ford Mustang II, 1974-78. Basically a [[EveryCarIsAPinto Pinto]] with a fancier body, no V8 option, and enough mid '70s chrome, vinyl, and fake wood for a much larger car. Ford was returning the car to its roots as basically an economy car with a big engine after the previous car had gotten larger and become a decent road racing platform. Sales for the Mustang II were actually much better than the late 60s/early 70s Mustangs, but it alienated enthusiasts. Even after it got a V8, any performance benefits gained from the lighter, more nimble body were negated as Ford [[{{Nerf}} nerfed]] its engines in response to emissions regulations and fuel economy concerns; this lead to disgruntled fans calling it the "Disgustang". Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the Mustang's [[TheRival rivals]], the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird twins, underwent something of a GoldenAge in the '70s. While they too felt the effects of the new standards (they were nearly killed in 1972 due to a UAW strike concerning the new regulations), their performance didn't suffer nearly as badly as the Mustang's, and their bodywork wasn't nearly as garish as other cars during the era. The Camaro and, to a lesser extent, the Firebird outsold the Mustang by 1977, because they were some of the only cars at the time worth getting for sports car/post-muscle car enthusiasts (especially made all the more apparent with the release of ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'', [[TheRedStapler which really boosted sales of the Camaro and the Firebird that year]]). To this day, the Camaro and Firebird are probably the only American performance cars to not have their legacy stained by WTH engineering/[[WTHCostumingDepartment designing]] departments even during TheSeventies. The only low point in the Camaro's career was the [[TheAllegedCar Iron Duke design]] of TheEighties, but that was a separate model and did rather little to hurt the Camaro's popularity[[note]]the Iron Duke engine option for both the Camaro and Firebird models would last from 1982 to 1984, and customers would rather choose the more powerful (though still rather flaccid by 80s standards) standards at the time) V6 and V8 options for personal preferences[[/note]].
16th Feb '17 3:48:15 PM Yalsaris63
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* The Ford Mustang II, 1974-78. Basically a [[EveryCarIsAPinto Pinto]] with a fancier body, no V8 option, and enough mid '70s chrome, vinyl, and fake wood for a much larger car. Ford was returning the car to its roots as basically an economy car with a big engine after the previous car had gotten larger and become a decent road racing platform. Sales for the Mustang II were actually much better than the late 60s/early 70s Mustangs, but it alienated enthusiasts. Even after it got a V8, any performance benefits gained from the lighter, more nimble body were negated as Ford [[{{Nerf}} nerfed]] its engines in response to emissions regulations and fuel economy concerns; this lead to disgruntled fans calling it the "Disgustang". Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the Mustang's [[TheRival rivals]], the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird twins, underwent something of a GoldenAge in the '70s. While they too felt the effects of the new standards (they were nearly killed in 1972 due to a UAW strike concerning the new regulations), their performance didn't suffer nearly as badly as the Mustang's, and their bodywork wasn't nearly as garish as other cars during the era. The Camaro and, to a lesser extent, the Firebird outsold the Mustang by 1977, because they were some of the only cars at the time worth getting for sports car/post-muscle car enthusiasts (especially made all the more apparent with the release of ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'', [[TheRedStapler which really boosted sales of the Camaro and the Firebird that year]]). To this day, the Camaro and Firebird are probably the only American performance cars to not have their legacy stained by WTH engineering/[[WTHCostumingDepartment designing]] departments even during TheSeventies. The only low point in the Camaro's career was the [[TheAllegedCar Iron Duke design]] of TheEighties, but that was a separate model and did rather little to hurt the Camaro's popularity [[note]]the Iron Duke engine option for both the Camaro and Firebird models would last from 1982 to 1984, and customers would rather choose the more powerful (though still rather flaccid by 80s standards) V6 and V8 options for personal preferences[[/note]].

to:

* The Ford Mustang II, 1974-78. Basically a [[EveryCarIsAPinto Pinto]] with a fancier body, no V8 option, and enough mid '70s chrome, vinyl, and fake wood for a much larger car. Ford was returning the car to its roots as basically an economy car with a big engine after the previous car had gotten larger and become a decent road racing platform. Sales for the Mustang II were actually much better than the late 60s/early 70s Mustangs, but it alienated enthusiasts. Even after it got a V8, any performance benefits gained from the lighter, more nimble body were negated as Ford [[{{Nerf}} nerfed]] its engines in response to emissions regulations and fuel economy concerns; this lead to disgruntled fans calling it the "Disgustang". Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the Mustang's [[TheRival rivals]], the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird twins, underwent something of a GoldenAge in the '70s. While they too felt the effects of the new standards (they were nearly killed in 1972 due to a UAW strike concerning the new regulations), their performance didn't suffer nearly as badly as the Mustang's, and their bodywork wasn't nearly as garish as other cars during the era. The Camaro and, to a lesser extent, the Firebird outsold the Mustang by 1977, because they were some of the only cars at the time worth getting for sports car/post-muscle car enthusiasts (especially made all the more apparent with the release of ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'', [[TheRedStapler which really boosted sales of the Camaro and the Firebird that year]]). To this day, the Camaro and Firebird are probably the only American performance cars to not have their legacy stained by WTH engineering/[[WTHCostumingDepartment designing]] departments even during TheSeventies. The only low point in the Camaro's career was the [[TheAllegedCar Iron Duke design]] of TheEighties, but that was a separate model and did rather little to hurt the Camaro's popularity [[note]]the popularity[[note]]the Iron Duke engine option for both the Camaro and Firebird models would last from 1982 to 1984, and customers would rather choose the more powerful (though still rather flaccid by 80s standards) V6 and V8 options for personal preferences[[/note]].
16th Feb '17 3:47:03 PM Yalsaris63
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* The Ford Mustang II, 1974-78. Basically a [[EveryCarIsAPinto Pinto]] with a fancier body, no V8 option, and enough mid '70s chrome, vinyl, and fake wood for a much larger car. Ford was returning the car to its roots as basically an economy car with a big engine after the previous car had gotten larger and become a decent road racing platform. Sales for the Mustang II were actually much better than the late 60s/early 70s Mustangs, but it alienated enthusiasts. Even after it got a V8, any performance benefits gained from the lighter, more nimble body were negated as Ford [[{{Nerf}} nerfed]] its engines in response to emissions regulations and fuel economy concerns; this lead to disgruntled fans calling it the "Disgustang". Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the Mustang's [[TheRival rivals]], the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird twins, underwent something of a GoldenAge in the '70s. While they too felt the effects of the new standards (they were nearly killed in 1972 due to a UAW strike concerning the new regulations), their performance didn't suffer nearly as badly as the Mustang's, and their bodywork wasn't nearly as garish as other cars during the era. The Camaro and, to a lesser extent, the Firebird outsold the Mustang by 1977, because they were some of the only cars at the time worth getting for sports car/post-muscle car enthusiasts (especially made all the more apparent with the release of ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'', [[TheRedStapler which really boosted sales of the Camaro and the Firebird that year]]). To this day, the Camaro and Firebird are probably the only American performance cars to not have their legacy stained by WTH engineering/[[WTHCostumingDepartment designing]] departments even during TheSeventies. The only low point in the Camaro's career was the [[TheAllegedCar Iron Duke design]] of TheEighties, but that was a separate model and did rather little to hurt the Camaro's popularity.

to:

* The Ford Mustang II, 1974-78. Basically a [[EveryCarIsAPinto Pinto]] with a fancier body, no V8 option, and enough mid '70s chrome, vinyl, and fake wood for a much larger car. Ford was returning the car to its roots as basically an economy car with a big engine after the previous car had gotten larger and become a decent road racing platform. Sales for the Mustang II were actually much better than the late 60s/early 70s Mustangs, but it alienated enthusiasts. Even after it got a V8, any performance benefits gained from the lighter, more nimble body were negated as Ford [[{{Nerf}} nerfed]] its engines in response to emissions regulations and fuel economy concerns; this lead to disgruntled fans calling it the "Disgustang". Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the Mustang's [[TheRival rivals]], the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird twins, underwent something of a GoldenAge in the '70s. While they too felt the effects of the new standards (they were nearly killed in 1972 due to a UAW strike concerning the new regulations), their performance didn't suffer nearly as badly as the Mustang's, and their bodywork wasn't nearly as garish as other cars during the era. The Camaro and, to a lesser extent, the Firebird outsold the Mustang by 1977, because they were some of the only cars at the time worth getting for sports car/post-muscle car enthusiasts (especially made all the more apparent with the release of ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'', [[TheRedStapler which really boosted sales of the Camaro and the Firebird that year]]). To this day, the Camaro and Firebird are probably the only American performance cars to not have their legacy stained by WTH engineering/[[WTHCostumingDepartment designing]] departments even during TheSeventies. The only low point in the Camaro's career was the [[TheAllegedCar Iron Duke design]] of TheEighties, but that was a separate model and did rather little to hurt the Camaro's popularity.popularity [[note]]the Iron Duke engine option for both the Camaro and Firebird models would last from 1982 to 1984, and customers would rather choose the more powerful (though still rather flaccid by 80s standards) V6 and V8 options for personal preferences[[/note]].
5th Feb '17 1:26:36 PM karstovich2
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* [=A&W=] Restaurants went through this in TheSeventies and TheEighties. This was mainly due to their drive-in restaurants aging and becoming less feasible as [=McDonald's=] took over the fast food world -- except in warmer climates, drive-ins often had to close in the winter, as very few had indoor seating, while the increased presence of drive-''through'' at [=McDonald's=] and its ilk made drive-ins seem dated. The chain went on a huge closing spree and franchise freeze, slimming the numbers down greatly. A subsidiary was spun off to sell [=A&W=] root beer in grocery stores. New sit-down locations with drive-throughs were piloted, and [=A&W=] began to push into shopping malls as well (due not only to a buyout of Carousel Snack Bars, but also due to the company being owned by shopping mall developer A. Alfred Taubman at the time). Many locations were also co-branded with Long John Silver's or KFC, which were briefly under the same ownership. This, combined with a rise in Baby Boomer nostalgia, helped stabilize the restaurant side of [=A&W=].
* Food in general took a nose-dive in quality during the early UsefulNotes/ColdWar, with the American diet becoming a giant buffet of artificial chemical garbage loaded with dangerous amounts of sugar and fat with trace amounts of real nutrients. Food preservation technologies developed during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, combined with the perceived need to stockpile food heavy with preservatives for UsefulNotes/ColdWar-era fallout shelters, and general public ignorance about the potential health risks of chemical additives spawned a wave of food production emphasizing price and speed over quality. Unsurprisingly, heart attack and cancer rates skyrocketed during TheFifties and TheSixties thanks in no small part to the garbage people were putting in their bodies. In America, this nearly destroyed drip coffee's reputation and spurred the organic and slow food movements as an explicit rejection of the trend. Entire websites like [[http://lileks.com/institute/gallery/ Lileks Gallery of Regrettable Food]] show some of the awful recipes to come out of this era.

to:

* [=A&W=] Restaurants went through this in TheSeventies and TheEighties. This was mainly due to their drive-in restaurants aging and becoming less feasible as [=McDonald's=] took over the fast food world -- except in warmer climates, drive-ins often had to close in the winter, as very few had indoor seating, while the increased presence of drive-''through'' at [=McDonald's=] and its ilk made drive-ins seem dated. The chain went on a huge closing spree and franchise freeze, slimming the numbers down greatly.greatly; they also sold all of their Canadian locations to Unilever (to this day, Canadian A&W has no connection with its southern counterpart). A subsidiary was spun off to sell [=A&W=] root beer in grocery stores. New sit-down locations with drive-throughs were piloted, and [=A&W=] began to push into shopping malls as well (due not only to a buyout of Carousel Snack Bars, but also due to the company being owned by shopping mall developer A. Alfred Taubman at the time). Many locations were also co-branded with Long John Silver's or KFC, which were briefly under the same ownership. This, combined with a rise in Baby Boomer nostalgia, helped stabilize the restaurant side of [=A&W=].
* Food in general took a nose-dive in quality during the early UsefulNotes/ColdWar, with the American diet becoming a giant buffet of artificial chemical garbage loaded with dangerous amounts of sugar and fat with trace amounts of real nutrients. Food preservation technologies developed during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, combined with the perceived need to stockpile food heavy with preservatives for UsefulNotes/ColdWar-era fallout shelters, and general public ignorance about the potential health risks of chemical additives spawned a wave of food production emphasizing price and speed over quality. Unsurprisingly, heart attack and cancer rates skyrocketed during TheFifties and TheSixties thanks in no small part to the garbage people were putting in their bodies. In America, this nearly destroyed drip coffee's reputation and spurred the organic and slow food movements as an explicit rejection of the trend. Entire websites like [[http://lileks.com/institute/gallery/ Lileks Gallery of Regrettable Food]] and [[http://www.midcenturymenu.com/ The Mid Century Menu]] show some of the awful recipes to come out of this era.
31st Jan '17 10:07:39 AM Meyers07TheTroper
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** That is until over the hood it's unable to set updates (normally Windows 10 will download any and all available released update and install them as soon as available while Windows Update since its Windows 7 and 8 times has rather bad track record of conflicts and system instabilities) to download manually although workarounds do exist, mobile app style content delivery (which means expect suggestion and ads to Windows apps on Windows store and the flood of freemium), alleged collection of user data, and the fact that support for the more personalize-able Windows 7 and 8 is increasingly deprecated to the point that CPU launched from 2016 onwards only supports Windows 10.

to:

** That is until the free upgrade promo (from July 2015 to July 2016) abuses Windows Update to the point that those who didn't want Windows 10 are getting it, conflicts and all, without setting up updates manually...
** As for Windows 10 itself,
over the hood it's unable to set updates (normally Windows 10 will download any and all available released update and install them as soon as available while Windows Update since its Windows 7 and 8 times has rather bad track record of conflicts and system instabilities) to download manually although workarounds do exist, mobile app style content delivery (which means expect suggestion and ads to Windows apps on Windows store and the flood of freemium), alleged collection of user data, and the fact that support for the more personalize-able Windows 7 and 8 is increasingly deprecated to the point that CPU launched from 2016 onwards only supports Windows 10.
31st Jan '17 10:03:25 AM Meyers07TheTroper
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** That is until over the hood it's unable to set updates to download manually (workarounds do exist though), mobile app style content delivery (which means expect suggestion and ads to Windows apps on Windows store and the flood of freemium), alleged collection of user data, and the fact that support for Windows 7 and 8 is increasingly deprecated to the point that CPU launched from 2016 onwards only supports Windows 10.

to:

** That is until over the hood it's unable to set updates (normally Windows 10 will download any and all available released update and install them as soon as available while Windows Update since its Windows 7 and 8 times has rather bad track record of conflicts and system instabilities) to download manually (workarounds although workarounds do exist though), exist, mobile app style content delivery (which means expect suggestion and ads to Windows apps on Windows store and the flood of freemium), alleged collection of user data, and the fact that support for the more personalize-able Windows 7 and 8 is increasingly deprecated to the point that CPU launched from 2016 onwards only supports Windows 10.
30th Jan '17 2:35:14 AM Meyers07TheTroper
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** That is until over the hood it's unable to set updates to download manually, mobile app style content delivery (which means expect suggestion and ads to Windows apps on Windows store and the flood of freemium), alleged collection of user data, and the fact that support for Windows 7 and 8 is increasingly deprecated to the point that CPUs launched from 2016 onwards only supports Windows 10.

to:

** That is until over the hood it's unable to set updates to download manually, manually (workarounds do exist though), mobile app style content delivery (which means expect suggestion and ads to Windows apps on Windows store and the flood of freemium), alleged collection of user data, and the fact that support for Windows 7 and 8 is increasingly deprecated to the point that CPUs CPU launched from 2016 onwards only supports Windows 10.
30th Jan '17 2:34:32 AM Meyers07TheTroper
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** The common joke about Microsoft's [[UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows Windows operating systems]] is that [[StarTrekMovieCurse they go in a cycle between a Dork Age and a quality product]]. Windows 95 was successful for the innovations it brought, but also extremely buggy to the point where it was the butt of many jokes in the '90s, while Windows 98 corrected the technical flaws and provided an all-around quality product. Windows Millennium Edition (or ME) was such a notorious dud that it [[FranchiseKiller killed off]] the Windows line derived from MS-DOS, with many users choosing to either stick with 98 or, if they had to upgrade, going with Windows NT (their ''business'' OS) instead. Windows XP, derived from NT, was a return to form and arguably the most successful operating system in history; released in 2001, it didn't drop its title as the OS with the greatest market share until 2011, when it ceded it to Windows 7, and it was still supported with regular updates until ''2014''. The reason for this is Windows 7's predecessor, Windows Vista, a buggy mess that quickly became an OldShame for Microsoft, with Windows 7 generally seen as the 98 to Vista's 95 in terms of correcting its problems. Windows 8, released in 2012, didn't suffer from the bugs that plagued ME and Vista, but its "Metro" user interface, built around touchscreens, met a scathing reception from users of conventional desktops and laptops, again leaving people (especially business/office users, historically the core of Microsoft's base) hesitant to upgrade from XP and 7. Amidst this fiasco, Microsoft went to work on Windows 10, skipping over 9 completely in hopes of distancing themselves from the poor reception of 8, which combined 8's technical innovations with a UI that was far more user-friendly for people using a mouse and keyboard, to the rejoicing of Windows users.

to:

** The common joke about Microsoft's [[UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows Windows operating systems]] is that [[StarTrekMovieCurse they go in a cycle between a Dork Age and a quality product]]. Windows 95 was successful for the innovations it brought, but also extremely buggy to the point where it was the butt of many jokes in the '90s, while Windows 98 corrected the technical flaws and provided an all-around quality product. Windows Millennium Edition (or ME) was such a notorious dud that it [[FranchiseKiller killed off]] the Windows line derived from MS-DOS, with many users choosing to either stick with 98 or, if they had to upgrade, going with Windows NT (their ''business'' OS) instead. Windows XP, derived from NT, was a return to form and arguably the most successful operating system in history; released in 2001, it didn't drop its title as the OS with the greatest market share until 2011, when it ceded it to Windows 7, and it was still supported with regular updates until ''2014''. The reason for this is Windows 7's predecessor, Windows Vista, a buggy mess that quickly became an OldShame for Microsoft, with Windows 7 generally seen as the 98 to Vista's 95 in terms of correcting its problems. Windows 8, released in 2012, didn't suffer from the bugs that plagued ME and Vista, but its "Metro" user interface, interface implemented on Start Screen and Setting Screen, while only affecting few user interface leaving the desktop unscathed, was built around touchscreens, met a and it had such scathing reception from users of conventional desktops and laptops, again leaving people (especially business/office users, historically the core of Microsoft's base) hesitant unwilling to upgrade from XP and 7. Amidst this fiasco, Microsoft went to work on Windows 10, skipping over 9 completely in hopes of distancing themselves from the poor reception of 8, which combined 8's technical innovations Metro User Interface with a UI Start and Settings that was far more user-friendly for people using a mouse and keyboard, desktop users, to the rejoicing of Windows users.users...
** That is until over the hood it's unable to set updates to download manually, mobile app style content delivery (which means expect suggestion and ads to Windows apps on Windows store and the flood of freemium), alleged collection of user data, and the fact that support for Windows 7 and 8 is increasingly deprecated to the point that CPUs launched from 2016 onwards only supports Windows 10.
28th Jan '17 10:27:55 AM Jhonny
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* The German Baltic Sea Coast had this, particular in the former East due to no fault of its own. During the 19th century, resorts at the Baltic coast were among the most priced and widely sought after places for the well to do to spend a ''Kur'' (a unique German type of stay at a spa that supposedly rejuvenates and increases health) and many grand old hotels date to that era and had crowned heads among their guests. The introduction of the railroad made more and more spas accessible to the growing middle class and soon tourism vastly overtook fishery in economic importance. Then two world wars hit and with it came German partition. While the resorts had always bounced back before, some were now close to the border and could not continue to operate whereas others lost almost all of their former cross-border guests. Still those in the GDR enjoyed a steady stream of tourists of all classes, aided by the fact that travel to the West was out of the question and even holidays in "socialist brother countries" like Hungary or Poland were a bureaucratic hassle for GDR citizens to say nothing of the long trips there in relatively slow trains or [[TheAllegedCar the Trabbi]]. After 1990 the border opened and suddenly GDR citizens either moved West, had become unemployed or wanted to explore all those countries beyond the Iron Curtain that had always been beyond their reach. Baltic Sea towns suffered and even some in the West had problems with (ironically) Westerners abandoning them for resorts in the East. At the same time dockworks in Rostock (one of the other major employers in the region) collapsed and the GDR fishery, which had been unsustainable to begin with, lost its reason for existence. It seemed for a time that with rampant emigration of every young person who could and economic problems the region had entered a deadly tailspin, but while some of these problems still persist, tourism has bounced back. In part because (former) GDR citizens did in the end return to the beaches of their youth, in part because some Westerners found their love for East German beaches and in part because the G8 summit in Heiligendamm (the one with the [[https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Teilnehmer_G8_2007.jpg quirky picture of world leaders in a ''Strandkorb'']]) put the region onto the international tourism map for the first time in over half a century
28th Jan '17 10:15:23 AM Jhonny
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* Among {{pinball}} fans:
** Creator/{{Stern}} is widely considered to have gone through a dork age between 2003 and 2012. The reason is simple: During this interval, Stern was the ''only'' non-boutique manufacturer of pinball machines. As a result, innovation and creativity mostly stagnated during this time. (That being said, Stern is also partially MisBlamed for this stagnancy, as they got caught in the tail end of a patent war among several other manufacturers that left Stern with next to nothing to use.) Stern was off to a good start with well-acclaimed early hits like ''Pinball/LordOfTheRings'' and ''Pinball/TheSimpsonsPinballParty'', but they got complacent soon afterwards: TheProblemWithLicensedGames took full effect here, as Stern was able to get themes for hot properties at the time of release, like ''Series/TwentyFour'' or ''Ride/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', meaning Stern's machines typically got the price of the machines back simply because passers-by familiar with the license would drop in some coins out of curiosity. This convinced operators, who mostly do not play pinball, to just buy whatever machines Stern would release. In addition, the rules were released in [[ObviousBeta such an incomplete state]] that some games, like ''Pinball/BatmanStern'', were near unplayable on release. The build quality also suffered, most noticeably with ''Iron Man'''s rivets and screws shaking loose in as early as six months. This changed in 2012, when Creator/JerseyJackPinball emerged as a competitor to Stern, and Stern's machines took a noticeable leap in quality, both in build quality and in gameplay. Whereas Stern was once practically a derogatory name among pinball fans, they are universally respected except by the most diehard [[Creator/MidwayGames Bally]]-[[Creator/WilliamsElectronics Williams]] fans. This leap is so dramatic, several of Stern's dork age machines have since been VindicatedByHistory, with Stern now manufacturing re-releases of machines they never sold much of when first introduced.
** After dominating the electromechanical era (from post-WorldWarII to 1979) and some hits right after that, most notably ''Pinball/BlackHole'' (which charged double per game compared to surrounding releases and was ''still'' popular in every arcade), Creator/{{Gottlieb}} got caught in a dork age from roughly the mid-80's and onwards that they just couldn't shake off. This downturn caused the company to financially trail behind its competitors and go out of business in 1995. The reasons, however, are not entirely clear: Ask 50 pinball fans and they will give you 50 different answers, but they all agree that the Gottlieb machines weren't quite as good. A likely underlying reason is that as Gottlieb's competitors created more intricate rules,[[note]]This was when goal-based gameplay got started, with multiballs and the WizardMode becoming standard[[/note]] deeper integration of their themes,[[note]]Prior to the 80's, designers would create the rules and tack a theme on. In the 80's, the norm became deciding upon a theme, then basing the machine around it[[/note]] and incorporated new technology,[[note]]Resulting in gameplay advances like pre-recorded audio, variable point awards, the ability to save multiple high scores, and the evolution of scoring reels to digital alphanumeric displays and then dot-matrix displays[[/note]] Gottlieb's design team were stuck in electromechanical ways of design had trouble adapting, lagging behind Bally-Williams and Creator/DataEast by two to four years. When Gottlieb ''did'' adapt to the mode-based progression in the 90's, however, the disjointed gameplay, lopsided scoring, and clunky playfield geometry[[note]]This means the angle of the lanes and ramps don't line up with the ball's paths from the flippers, causing the ball to zigzag within a lane by bouncing off the sides, killing its momentum and otherwise just looking poorly-designed[[/note]] earned it few fans. There are a few highlights within this era though, such as ''Pinball/{{Stargate}}'', ''Pinball/{{Rescue 911}}'', and ''Pinball/CueBallWizard''.


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[[folder: Pinball manufacturers]]
* Creator/{{Stern}} is widely considered to have gone through a dork age between 2003 and 2012. The reason is simple: During this interval, Stern was the ''only'' non-boutique manufacturer of pinball machines. As a result, innovation and creativity mostly stagnated during this time. (That being said, Stern is also partially MisBlamed for this stagnancy, as they got caught in the tail end of a patent war among several other manufacturers that left Stern with next to nothing to use.) Stern was off to a good start with well-acclaimed early hits like ''Pinball/LordOfTheRings'' and ''Pinball/TheSimpsonsPinballParty'', but they got complacent soon afterwards: TheProblemWithLicensedGames took full effect here, as Stern was able to get themes for hot properties at the time of release, like ''Series/TwentyFour'' or ''Ride/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', meaning Stern's machines typically got the price of the machines back simply because passers-by familiar with the license would drop in some coins out of curiosity. This convinced operators, who mostly do not play pinball, to just buy whatever machines Stern would release. In addition, the rules were released in [[ObviousBeta such an incomplete state]] that some games, like ''Pinball/BatmanStern'', were near unplayable on release. The build quality also suffered, most noticeably with ''Iron Man'''s rivets and screws shaking loose in as early as six months. This changed in 2012, when Creator/JerseyJackPinball emerged as a competitor to Stern, and Stern's machines took a noticeable leap in quality, both in build quality and in gameplay. Whereas Stern was once practically a derogatory name among pinball fans, they are universally respected except by the most diehard [[Creator/MidwayGames Bally]]-[[Creator/WilliamsElectronics Williams]] fans. This leap is so dramatic, several of Stern's dork age machines have since been VindicatedByHistory, with Stern now manufacturing re-releases of machines they never sold much of when first introduced.
* After dominating the electromechanical era (from post-WorldWarII to 1979) and some hits right after that, most notably ''Pinball/BlackHole'' (which charged double per game compared to surrounding releases and was ''still'' popular in every arcade), Creator/{{Gottlieb}} got caught in a dork age from roughly the mid-80's and onwards that they just couldn't shake off. This downturn caused the company to financially trail behind its competitors and go out of business in 1995. The reasons, however, are not entirely clear: Ask 50 pinball fans and they will give you 50 different answers, but they all agree that the Gottlieb machines weren't quite as good. A likely underlying reason is that as Gottlieb's competitors created more intricate rules,[[note]]This was when goal-based gameplay got started, with multiballs and the WizardMode becoming standard[[/note]] deeper integration of their themes,[[note]]Prior to the 80's, designers would create the rules and tack a theme on. In the 80's, the norm became deciding upon a theme, then basing the machine around it[[/note]] and incorporated new technology,[[note]]Resulting in gameplay advances like pre-recorded audio, variable point awards, the ability to save multiple high scores, and the evolution of scoring reels to digital alphanumeric displays and then dot-matrix displays[[/note]] Gottlieb's design team were stuck in electromechanical ways of design had trouble adapting, lagging behind Bally-Williams and Creator/DataEast by two to four years. When Gottlieb ''did'' adapt to the mode-based progression in the 90's, however, the disjointed gameplay, lopsided scoring, and clunky playfield geometry[[note]]This means the angle of the lanes and ramps don't line up with the ball's paths from the flippers, causing the ball to zigzag within a lane by bouncing off the sides, killing its momentum and otherwise just looking poorly-designed[[/note]] earned it few fans. There are a few highlights within this era though, such as ''Pinball/{{Stargate}}'', ''Pinball/{{Rescue 911}}'', and ''Pinball/CueBallWizard''.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=DorkAge.RealLife