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|Loading screens that disguise the length of time that a program takes to load were common when computer games were loaded from cassette tape, a process which could take five minutes or more. Nowadays, most games are downloaded digitally, and therefore loaded off the hard drive meaning faster load times, however, some games are also loaded off of an optical disc, faster than previous magnetic media, but still include loading screens to disguise the amount of time taken to initialize the game in RAM.|
Because the loading screen data itself needs to be read from the media, it actually increases the overall loading time. For example, with a ZX Spectrum game, the screen data takes up 6 kilobytes, representing an increase in loading time of about 13% over the same game without a loading screen.