What are we going to do with all the spare time that is heading towards us?
What kind of question is that? - People are busy as never! Or are they? Clay Shirky, blogger and internerd visionary, says in his new book that people are less and less spending time watching TV. Yet they are more educated and affluent so there is what he calls “cognitive surplus”, unused human potential. And he asks: What are we going to do with all the time that will be freed from the TV prison?
One answer may be gaming.
As Adam Walden puts it (see the video below), the games evolved from nerd and geeky stuff to casual and social activities (68% American households engage in gaming); so there are only the hard-to-crack laggards to be targeted. The average age of gamers is growing as more and more people find playing interesting (25% of serious gamers are 50+). Frost and Sullivan’s 2010 report describes the rise of online gaming community to 80 mil worldwide. It also envisions people spending more time in virtual reality. And with broadband spreading, the internet-capable console boxes may be indeed be the new delivery channels to people homes.
Moreover, it’s not only one-purpose platform gaming. Kinetic sensors brought gaming to smart phones. An there are others: Think of iPad or augmented reality, think of platform-independent Facebook’s most popular game FarmVile which attracted 83 million players. Where does the gaming take place? And why should it be limited to just one platform (“… playing my 20 mins on my way home and another 40 later.”)
I’m being a bit pushy here but only to show how fruitful (and lucrative) thinking this direction may be.
Be the future in favour of games or not, Shirky points out it will be definitely internet-driven. And here is the most important message that must not be overlooked. Internet-driven activity is a good news because it requires ACTIVE participation which is something that the TV consumers almost forgot.
Some other reading: