This Is a New One: ‘Reality Privilege’
My cmnt: There were no video games when I was growing up instead we had pinball machines (which I didn’t play because I had no money) but my cousin did for hours at Treasure City. He played because his mom gave him money and wanted him out of her hair and he was good enough to make four quarters last a very long time. Pinball was so cool (still is) they had their own song “Pinball Wizard” which came out in 1969 by “The Who”.
My cmnt: My kids and now my grandkids love to play video games. My wife and I went to some expense and a lot of battles with them to have our kids learn to play the piano. They both fought it tooth and nail. Today they can still play video games fairly well and the piano not at all.
Examining Meta, Michael Brendan Dougherty shares an anecdote:
At some point in my adolescence, a friend who played guitar explained to me that he gave up video games because it just meant spending time building up skills and achievements that had no meaning outside the game or to anyone else. The guitar, as a discipline, gave my friend an outlet for artistic expression, and he was able to bring real joy to people in the real world with it. Becoming a guitarist not only changed the way he thought, but physically changed his hands over time.
Cam and I talked a bit about video games in the early chapters of Heavy Lifting. If you enjoy video games, fine; it’s a free country, and everybody relaxes in their own way.
But if you relax by painting or doodling, after a while you’ve got a painting or a doodle. If you channel your thoughts and feelings and stresses through creative writing, you end up with a story or poem. If you relax by cooking, you end up with a meal. If you play video games . . . what do you have when you’re done?
Michael also spotlights what strikes me as a spectacularly odd argument from Meta board-member Marc Andreessen:
The Reality Privileged, of course, call this conclusion dystopian, and demand that we prioritize improvements in reality over improvements in virtuality. To which I say: reality has had 5,000 years to get good, and is clearly still woefully lacking for most people; I don’t think we should wait another 5,000 years to see if it eventually closes the gap. We should build — and we are building — online worlds that make life and work and love wonderful for everyone, no matter what level of reality deprivation they find themselves in.
Was this written by the machines in The Matrix or something?