Illiterates. [Sigh.]

Not gaming right now is essentially the same as being illiterate in the 16th Century.

Imagine you couldn’t read. (Yes, I know, you’re actually reading at the moment, but work with me here.) Someone comes up to you with a bunch of paper tied together, in a leather backing. There are marks on the paper.

It would seem pointless to you. Books? Books are for monks and rich weirdos – people with too much time on their hands, sitting still reading when they could be doing something useful like burning more Catholics/Protestants [delete as appropriate]. What a waste of time. Something for the children, perhaps. But most adults don’t read, so it’ll be a phase the kids pass through before moving on to more important things. You certainly wouldn’t be interested in devoting money or resources to the medium.

But this is exactly the position we’re in with people who don’t game. The whole medium seems pointless and trivial to them, ’cause they just don’t get it.

You could say the same thing about social media – Facebook is for teens, isn’t it? Well, actually, social applications online are here to stay, and they’re going to totally change the way we work and play.

But that’s the thing about a paradigm shift – if you’re still in the old paradigm, the new one just seems like nonsense. And it’s hard to convert people out of a mental model that has served them well for years. It demands a lot of intelligence and flexibility. That’s why people who do this have cool job titles.

2 thoughts on “Illiterates. [Sigh.]

  1. I recently had to explain Facebook to an older relative in terms of LinkedIn (a work-focused social networking site targeted at professionals.)

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