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The Real Reason Some Characters Use Older Technology On American Gods

The characters on "American Gods" are divided heavily into two sides: the old gods and the new gods. Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), Bilquis (Yetide Badaki), Easter (Kristin Chenoweth), and Ibis (Demore Barnes) form a part of the old gods, while Media (Gillian Anderson), Mr. World (Crispin Glover), and Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) represent the new gods in America. Both sides need faith and attention to survive, so naturally, the groups are at odds with each other.

All of the deities in "American Gods" were created from humanity's efforts and rituals. Old gods like Odin manifested when ancestors arrived in America, while new gods like Media were created by the constant attention from humans' newfound fascination with television and phones.

Certain old gods have turned towards new technology to continue receiving the worship they need. Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen) is a prime example. Once the Roman god of fire and forge, he began to wither away as those who believed in him died off in America. He made a deal with Mr. World for an artillery factory in his name, ensuring that every act of gun violence made with Vulcan bullets would be committed in his honor. What Media refers to as "religious Darwinism" should ensure the survival of the old gods, but not all of them are willing to submit and change their ways so quickly. There's a specific reason why some characters stick with older technology on "American Gods."

The gods have little reason to trust each other

In an interview with Black Girl Nerds, "American Gods" author and exec producer Neil Gaiman explained, "It's never as simple as the new gods are the good guys or the bad guys and the old gods are the good guys or the bad guys." If so, then the old gods would have no qualms with cutting deals with the new. While the old gods could accept a new form of technology to receive worship, any technology utilized would give power to the new gods. 

Bilquis, for example, accepted Technical Boy's help and was granted new power by being worshipped via online dating sites. This benefits Technical Boy, who exists because of humanity's dedication to modern communication systems like the internet. For gods like Odin (Mr. Wednesday) who want to return to their full power, being under the thumb of a younger god is a fate worse than death.

Some gods are bound to the old ways

Some gods must hold on to their ancient rituals to protect the world. You know what they say — with great power comes great responsibility. The necessity of the ways of old is best shown through the Slavic clan in Chicago.

Czernobog (Peter Stomare) is the personification of all evil in Slavic society (per Vulture). He lives with the Zorya sisters, Slavic daughters of the sun god. The three sisters are named The Morning Star, The Evening Star, and The Midnight Star. The goddesses are in charge of opening the gates for the sun every morning, closing them after his return at night, and guarding the night skies, respectively. Similar to the god of Money (mentioned but not yet introduced), their powers revolve around concepts outside of modern technology, at least for the time being. 

Czernobog laments on their eventual demise as old methods fade, bitter about the use of modern technology at his job in a slaughterhouse, which will eventually put him out of a job that helps maintain his existence. We can understand why he would want to cling to the classic methods for as long as possible.