|The ancient top-loader. Pure steampunk.|
Now whatever is left out there on magnetic video tape that is playable will be stuck in a world that’s rejected its playback technology. Like the V-disc, the 8-track tape, the player piano roll, the filmstrip, and the LaserDisc, it has dead-ended, become a sport in the genetic sense of the word. It’s a now-pointless mutation.
As a legacy medium, the VHS tape still has cachet. Yale picked up 2,700 of them last year, mostly horror films. Stephanie Rogers’ story for the Yale News points out that the VHS and VCR spurred the rise of low-budget cinema, particularly in the cost-effective horror genre, and direct-to-rental market helps to undermine cinema-going. (Pornography was, as always, on the cutting edge of whatever technological development came along, and thrived as well.)