A thought that I have played with for sometime has been around the way the Internet has changed. Like me, the Internet we know today grew more or less in the last 25 years. My family, although we lived in a rural community, ended up with the Internet around 1995. PCs and computers were creeping their way into the everyday lives to many middle class families around the world.
Computers were my best friends. The internet allowed me to explore the world outside my community, it exposed me to things that I probably would have never have known at the tender age of 10. I do not believe everything needs to be said, but then the internet was merely a spot to play with other people. I discovered MUDs, or Multi-User Dungeons. They were text-based games were we connected, quested and gamed. I didn’t know anyone else in person who knew of them or had played them. In High School even the nerdiest had only ever played Paper RPGs. Now with the raise of high-speed connections we have games like WoW, were millions of people from all backgrounds player and game together. The mainstream is a gaming culture. Our lives are shared to Facebook and through the Night Elves we push around all day.
The Internet and it’s offerings are highly addictive however and, when left unchecked does create a lot of problems for people and their lives. I sometimes wonder if we didn’t have these personal-online interactions if we would really spend so much time playing them.
I find in the Winter I do the most gaming. I recently picked up a copy of Bioware’s “Dragon Age: Orgins”. The thing it lacks: connection to an online world. It reminded me that, in a good way, content makers can take me in to a world that they imagined and can tell me a story without me having to interact with anyone at all. However what I have noticed is both me and my girlfriend seem to want to play it a lot and, by doing so we’ve mostly ignored everything else from cleaning, to our pets and to our relationship. You may say that it is because we don’t wish to dedicate time to those things but I disagree. I picked up on it right away and have since talked about it.
Honestly it is the idea that our wish to live vicariously through our friends, co-workers and videos games while sharing our experiences online leaves us without true experience. If you gave yourself to 150 to learning how to rock climb instead of playing Dragon Age, where do you think that would take you? Perhaps this is the pinnacle of the middle class. To be educated but without passion or ambition outside the walls of our computers. This is something I hope to expand on and define. I may do some more research as well, since obviously I am being hypocritical, as both a gamer and a ‘techy’.