Quite a few young people I have recently met have decided to dedicate their mettle to the video gaming industry. Completely their prerogative and the best of luck to them. However is the video gaming industry good for society? Is the entertainment industry in general good for society? Should they be?
Probably the most beguiling element of the video gaming industry is that it is apparently a spectator sport. This is not the usual unathletic-never-played-the-sport-armchair-pundits-yelling-strategy-at-TV-screens or even pontificating in retrospect over drinks, this is wholesome young people watching other people play video games and show them tricks and strategy for (in many cases) unreal problems or shooting more zombies or torturing other human beings. Apparently, spectating video game expertise is a huge revenue source. And they will all mention the multicultural connections and camaraderie in justification too. Fine! If it is not one toy or another sport or yet another TV show that occupies these young minds then it is something similar. However a few key questions must be asked:
- Are any life skills being learned given the amount of time being spent?
- Are any social constructs and support processes being improved by so much time elsewhere?
- Should these different entertainment mechanisms (that ignore hunger and poverty and war) be contributing some or all of their enormous profits back to society?
These questions arose in my mind and over several discussions in the recent past. Video gaming and its effects on society were definitely a large part of those discussions. However, when one looks at the enormous outlays of sports, and social media, and entertainment in general, and in the last few years at news too, one wonders whether there should be a unifying rationale.
How much of entertainment is just fluff? Can there be silly but also sensible? Can there be opinion … but qualified … and without violent conflict? Should entertainment necessarily be educational … or attempt to evoke a better world? Should profit generated via entertainment be pushed back into social causes? Should entertainment only be…