I don't know that it's a phenomenon but the simple answer is life and people simply change and the fact that the vast majority of us here are similarly aged makes it look like a phenomenon. I'm heading quickly to 50 and my priorities and goals have changed and a lot of it simply doesn't include this hobby and in fact I've sold off about 75% of collection since last fall. Once I was able to let go of my Tandy Coco collection the rest was easy to let go. I'm not out and I don't expect to ever get out but I've gone from looking at what remains as a collection to simply a corner of a room that has some old games from my youth that I enjoy playing from time to time.
As such I post less here and other forums and I've decided to stop making videos altogether. I'll always enjoy this hobby, I've been doing it for too damn long but in my case I've simply decided to give it less priority in my life than in the past. Even I can't say I'll never get rid of it all. I'm not planning on it but I can't say "never".
Well... to be honest... I was seriously addicted to atari 8bit and everything about it. And although addiction has a 'bad taste', I have extremely fond memories of that time. I wished I could fly back in time, and I would do it all over again. Serious.
I'm still happy with my a8 stuff, although I'm less attached to it. Meanwhile I have created such a insanely huge 'spare' collection, that a few years ago it almost 'paralyzed' the way I could enjoy the hobby. I was seriously afraid that I would be 'without a working a8' some day... It needed some serious change haha.
I did rent an external storage and 80% of what I currently have is stored there. In my house I have a few a8's and some equipment and books that is handy to have around or what I actually use. This action did increase my fun with at least 1000% ... less distraction, less worries.
The only thing missing yet, is time and peace-in-mind to actually sit there and do some coding. There is always time for playing a game or too, but coding is a creative process that needs (endless) time. Which I don't have... pity. I also use my a8 for my business administration. This works excellent, and gives me still reasons to keep using a8!
Besides all this, there is another story, which people might recognize.
During many years I was looking for the ultimate atari 8bit setup. What would be the best setup for AND coding, AND enjoying all games/demos, AND running a BBS, and everything else, without instability, but with high speed storage. It took me 2 decades to search for the best, and alternating my setup. I was pretty much involved in hardware, do some cool solder jobs and all that stuff.
But... the search-journey kept me going. It was fun! I did not realize this, until I found my ideal (stand alone!) setup.
Once I found what I was looking for,... well you know how these things go, the fun decreased. A lot!
My favorite setup is: Stock Atari 800xl (with +5v on PBI), A Turbo Freezer 2011 (which also gives me XE compatible 576KB XL), A IDE+ 2.0 harddrive interface, An ABBUC-RAF Sio2USB, an Atari 1050 with mini speedy, Atari 850 and a nice printer. This is actually doing everything I want/need. It is a fabulous setup, and yes I'm happy with it. I can code, debug, play, compose, write, work, game... it's all there. And it just works! Where I changed my setup before every 2 weeks or so, it hasn't been changed for the last 4 years now. Incredible eh?
But strange enough, when my setup was less 'perfect'... it kept me writing tools for compensating what the setup did lack, or it kept me inventing other creative solutions for what my setup or my experience was missing. Lol. And with that insight, I realize that THAT was the biggest part of the atari 8bit hobby. Finding creative solutions. Perhaps I should do the journey all over again. I must say... I really miss my black box.................
Anyone recognize this?