BLOGGER: TSAHI LEVENT-LEVI
People say that we are what we eat. If that’s true, then a few years ago most of us were potatoes, spending far too much time just sitting on the couch, passively watching TV.
To see whether this still the case today, let’s take a look at Wikipedia…
In a 2008 blog post entitled “The TV Dividend,” Seth Godin asked:
“Where did Wikipedia come from?
All those hours, all that work. Where did the time and effort come from?”
Answering his own question, Godin quoted Clay Shirky’s book “Here Comes Everybody”, and argued that:
The energy behind Wikipedia comes from the TV that we’re NOT watching.
And while I don’t actually think most people are busy researching and writing Wikipedia entries, I do think that what we’re doing in front of our TV screens is changing. According to the BBC, sales of computer games in the UK last year were higher than video sales for the first time. Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA described it as:
“…a historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector.”
You could argue that DVD sales have slipped because of video streaming services, but at the same time, “TV games” have also had to face competition from games on smartphones and tablets where their prices are lower.
To me, the shift to playing games as opposed to watching a TV series or a movie makes more sense than filing Wikipedia entries as a way of filling out our TV time: we’re still consuming entertainment, but now a growing portion of that is interactive – in the form of games.
A Google search for the latest Angry Birds game yields 221 million results, while “Harry Potter Deathly Hallows” garners around 71 million results.
Our entertainment consumption is shifting from passive to active.
In fact, we’re becoming so active, you’ll have to excuse this couch potato – I’ve got a Wii karate lesson to go to.