I’m really beginning to hate progress. What it seems to ultimately mean is, at least where television is concerned, is “you can’t watch this, and so you can’t discuss it with your friends.”

Is Hulu the way of the future? Not for me, it won’t even let me watch something as basic and elementary as The Simpsons or Saturday Night Live, which I can get on TV just by turning on my TV and switching the channel to Fox or NBC out of Buffalo, among others. And that’s part of the cable options, it’s not like I’m receiving an antenna signal or anything.

I swear, between stuff like these videos-online websites and online gaming, it’s like the world is somehow getting more and more xenophobic or something. Believe it or not, it can be a real hinderance at times, too. It’s ok for me to read a story on MTV’s Multiplayer website, but if the story is in video form? “Oh, too bad. What’s that? You actually have MTV in Canada, too? Um, well… bye!”

I did finally get my answer back on the whole Nintendo Wii Shop Channel Gift thing. For those who aren’t familiar, the issue is that it seems two countries within the same region– Canada and the US, in this case– cannot use the gift feature to send Virtual Console games and such to friends in the other country. Despite having the exact same selection of games. It’s not like a Europe/Japan thing, which I can understand. “This is simply the way Nintendo has set up the technology,” I’m told. Wow, way to address the issue, guys. I swear, sometimes they are so lucky that FPSes and God of War stuff just really aren’t my thing… yeah, I know, they’re doing well enough that it likely doesn’t matter what I think, but I’m sure there are others out there with the same mindset that’ve supported Nintendo over the years… I guess I should be glad that I can still play Super Smash Bros. Brawl against my friends in the States, even if the lag can be rather troublesome…

Still, it worries me a little. Are we going to face a time where we can’t even chat with people from another country online without any trouble, due to some unexplained complications? Is the world going to eventually try and erect some sort of series of virtual iron curtains (I hope the term is applicable here; if not, feel free to give me something more accurate) that keep people between countries from having anything to do with each other online, except maybe on the most political and economic levels?

At one point, it seemed like the web– the World Wide Web, mind you– was poised to unite the world in a way it had never seen before. Could there possibly be some sort of gradual, unseen force at work here to try and prevent that from happening? I’d love to hear other peoples’ similar-such experiences in this sort of thing.

–LBD “Nytetrayn”