Here is very sad story that should make all parents sit up and take notice. This has serious implications for society down the road, and we need to recognize that before it is too late.
“22 percent of men between the ages of 21 and 30 in the U.S. with less than a bachelor’s degree reported not working at all in the previous year… And there’s evidence that video games are a big reason why.”
We are losing a generation of young men who are being unproductive in their prime working years. The time when young men should be building a career and preparing to have a family are spent with things that will have no relevance decades from now. A future employer will not care how great you were at Fortnite, and your future wife will not care either. The later young men decide to be productive, the more difficult it will be to catch up and the less time they will have to prepare for retirement.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) can be a great thing. Wanton piracy of games greatly harmed the market for PC games, and services like Steam have led to a resurgence of the PC games market. Preventing piracy is obviously a good thing for developers, but it benefits gamers as well. Piracy raises costs and restricts consumer choice. All gamers pay for the selfishness of a few.
But there is a dark side.
Two years ago, I predicted that games for the next generation of consoles – the third Xbox and the fourth PlayStation – would be distributed via digital download instead of physical media. Obviously, I was wrong. But it is worth reviewing Microsoft’s major blunders into the world of digital distribution and what it means for gaming.
Microsoft had the right idea with digital distribution, which I maintain is the future of gaming – especially as hard drives get bigger. The current generation of consoles (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii) all have extensive libraries of games that are available via digital download, and games for iOS and Android are distributed only by digital download. The PC game market also relies heavily on digital downloads thanks to services such as Direct2Drive and Steam.
It is no secret that Microsoft and Sony – both of which lost a significant amount of money when they launched the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3 – want to extend the life of the current console generation as long as possible. Video game consoles have always operated on the “razor and blade” model, where the money is made on the software rather than the hardware. Microsoft and Sony want to milk the “blades” as long as possible.
It should be no surprise, then, that both companies are waiting until 2014 to launch the next generation of consoles. This is good news for people who are already in the current console generation, because their system of choice will be supported for a few more years. This also means the current generation of video game consoles will have a much longer life cycle than we have seen in the past. Twenty years ago, a nine-year life cycle for a console was unheard of.