The other day I pulled out one of my old FineScale Modeler magazines from 1996. Flipping through the pages I stumbled on an article talking about what the Internet was, and how you could use it in the hobby.
Reading this article with gems like “It doesn’t matter if your computer is a PC or a Macintosh, it ought to have at least 8 megabytes of memory”, and more references to “superhighway” that you can imagine, I was struck in a big way.
Can you imagine any hobby today that’s not been completely changed by the Internet? Back when I was buying this magazine and building plastic models regularly, the idea that I could connect with others offline (other than at random events once or twice a year) was pretty odd. Hell, I was amazed that some people in bigger cities actually had formed clubs to get together, but the thought of being able to instantly access any information I need from people all around the world was and still is amazing.
I think that one of the main reasons more and more people are entering hobbies, or even having multiple hobbies these days is because the barrier to entry is so so much lower than 5 or 10 years ago. In some instances, I think this is actually problematic, but I think overall, it’s good for every hobby.