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The title of an article from Polygon:

Doom was rising, the Amiga was dying, and these weird clones met in the middle

I don't quite understand what is meeting what (or maybe who?) in the middle? Does it refer to the clones that meet themselves in in the middle between rising Doom and the dying Amiga? Or possibly users meet (play, see) these clones between rising Doom and the dying Amiga?

I'm sorry but I have no other ideas. :(

  • The clones met in the middle. Presumably, if you read the article it tells you what "clones" they're talking about. – The Photon Dec 30 '14 at 22:11
  • @ThePhoton I think I'm slowly starting to understand this. So can one say that here "met in the middle" means simply that the clones "appeared in the middle"? And yeah, I know what these clones are. :) – user12257 Dec 30 '14 at 22:21
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First, let's get through the background. The clones that the title refers to are Doom clones. "Doom clone" was a popular name for first-person shooter video games in the late 1990s. (Many of these games were seen as copying Doom, which is where the name comes from.)

The article links to a video about Doom clones on the Amiga. The Amiga was a line of computers made by Commodore. They were notable mainly for having advanced multimedia features and a very loyal fan base. The Amiga was never a very popular platform, and eventually died due to lack of sales.

The title of the article tries to establish the time, circumstances, and subject of the video. Doom came out in 1993 and quickly became very popular. Commodore declared bankruptcy in 1994, which mostly killed the Amiga. The Amiga-based Doom clones were a connection between these two events.

The title starts with a contrast (rising/dying) and then draws a connection between them. It's a clever idea. Unfortunately, the title is not very grammatical. Meeting in the middle requires two nouns. It's understandable to a native speaker, but it sounds a little odd. Something like "these weird clones were in the middle" might have been better. It's a subjective judgement, and I haven't seen the video.

  • The last paragraph of your answer is exactly what I wanted to know. – user12257 Dec 30 '14 at 22:37
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The primary idiomatic meaning of meet in the middle is to compromise, especially when negotiating a price. For example, if I am trying to sell a used car and I ask $10,000, and you offer me $5,000, we would “meet in the middle” by agreeing to a price of $7,500. Another phrase for this is meet halfway.

The phrase's use in the title of the web page is inept. The idea is that Doom called upon graphics capabilities that the Amiga did not support well. So, various people wrote clones of Doom that sacrificed some quality in order to run on the Amiga. Thus the clones implemented a sort of compromise between Doom’s requirements and the Amiga’s hardware. But meet in the middle suggests that Doom and the Amiga would meet each other in the middle. It doesn’t make sense to say that the clones “met” in the middle. As you observed, parties meet each other; the clones did not meet anyone or anything, nor did some clones meet other clones.

So, you should probably learn the phrase from other examples, not this one. Here is a very typical example (search for "in the middle"), and here is a typical example not involving money.

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The "middle" is that period of time when the Amiga was moribund and the FPS genre was being born. As the Commodore Amiga was on the decline because its graphics capabilities were being surpassed by new technology, and as the game Doom was on the ascendant, running on this new more powerful hardware, copycats of the Doom FPS experience (Poom, Gloom, Alien Breed, et al) appeared on the scene. They ran on the Amiga and offered Amiga owners an FPS-like experience, albeit with somewhat inferior graphics.

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