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It seems gaming will change humanity as we know it


It seems gaming will change humanity as we know it

It’s outpacing culture and will do the same when it comes to regulations, unless regulators ... up their game

Tyler Cowen

The advent of gaming, especially computer gaming, marks a fundamental break in human affairs. Gaming is profoundly transforming two central aspects of the modern world: culture and regulation. There will be no turning back.

When it comes to culture, the West has been in a dialogue with itself for centuries, indeed millennia, stretching at least as far back as the Bible and the ancient Greeks. Literature, music, cinema and the visual arts provide a common body of knowledge with which intellectual elites are expected to be conversant. Knowing one part of that canon usually helps you master the others; Verdi drew upon Shakespeare, who influenced Orson Welles, and so on. Culture has never been about self-contained worlds. Quite the contrary.

Games break that continuity. Typically a game is a closed system that requires a lot of time and attention to achieve mastery, thereby encouraging specialised consumption. It is easy to become a world-class performer in a game without knowing much about the broader culture. By the same token, most of today’s cultural experts know very little about gaming, and they get on just fine. The worlds of culture and gaming are largely separate...

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