How Much Is Escapism Worth?

July 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

$1 billion apparently. Zynga, the company behind games like Cityville, Farmville, Frontierville, etc, just filed for its IPO which will likely happen in the Fall. What’s also likely to happen is the increase in this valuation closer to the date it goes public.

It just blows my mind that a company specializing in what is effectively a product that feeds on boredom can be worth so much. And Zynga is not the only one – the combined value of IPOs in social media exceeds those in the green tech sector. In a nutshell, we’re placing more value on our boredom than on solutions that will actually help the environment.

There’s talk of a tech bubble currently underway in Silicon Valley. That much is obvious. But what’s more worrying is the online bubble that people are locking themselves into – living in ‘virtual worlds’ instead of the real one. I know reality is hard, but is a virtual existence so much better?

It’s hard not be misanthropic and disgusted with trends like this. While I don’t profess to lead a very exciting life (bed by 10, up at 6), the obsession with online games is a pretty sad state of affairs. Whatever happened to the value of activities like reading, baking, conversing, knitting, wood-working, gardening, etc? I realize this makes me sound as vibrant as an 80-year-old grandma, but there’s something to be said for the value of the ‘analog’ world, one in which we actually create new things and interact with real people, not some user handle on a screen.

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§ 2 Responses to How Much Is Escapism Worth?

  • Yyogini says:

    Society has always spent more money on entertainment than on health and wellness (both environmental and personal). Look at the annual revenues of TV and movie industries, video games, professional sports. If people watched a few hours less of sports on TV per week and used those hours to play a sport, the cost of health care in developed countries would go down by a lot 😀

    • D says:

      You nailed it with your last line! I tend to take a more cynical view and see how the whole media conglomerate becomes a real black hole and neverending cycle of consumption. Watch tv and you’re constantly bombarded with messages about how to perceive the world, how to consume, how to speak, etc, in order to be one of the ‘cool kids’. I really need to stop ranting… 😉

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