You’ll find many people willing to bemoan the state of the world these days. And, of course, those people aren’t entirely incorrect: there are a lot of negative aspects that will have you yearning for a return to the perceived golden periods of yesteryear. But the idea that everything was better in the past is misguided. In fact, today’s world is in better shape by virtually every metric with which we would care to measure the world. And that’s not insignificant.
And then there’s the matter of entertainment. Would anyone realistically trade in what they have now for what they had in, say, the 1950s? We don’t think so. There’s every chance that we’re living in the golden age of entertainment. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why that may be.
All The Devices, All Of The Time
If you grew up in the 1950s, you’d be fortunate if you had a television to watch. If you grew up in the 1990s, you’d be fortunate if you were in control of the remote when your favorite show was on.
Now, you’re in control of just about everything connected to entertainment. You decide when to play and pause television shows, where you watch your favorite movies, and on which device you do so. That’s a staggering development that would seem wizard-worthy to people of the past. Today, you could watch a live stream of your favorite sports team while sitting on a tropical island on the other side of the world. That’s pure magic.
Entertainment hasn’t always had a cost attached to it. But good entertainment has. In the olden days, you could entertain yourself with a stick and some rocks, but you’d need to have some coins in your pocket if you wanted to visit the arcade. But that’s not the case today. Today, you can keep yourself entertained for hours without spending a penny. There are websites where you can play poker online for free, as well as classic arcade games (such as Pac-Man) and more modern games, such as Runescape. And then there are those puzzle games, such as Wordle, which brings a big dose of joy into millions of peoples’ lives every day, completely free of charge.
You often hear people say that music was better in the olden days. There’s something to that argument, even if it fails to take onboard the masterful, complex, and evocative music of today. Yet you never hear anyone say that the television shows of the 1970s were better than what came out in the 2010s, and you never will, because that would be a ridiculous argument. Television has gained a respectability that was previously only reserved for movies. So it’s not just the ability to watch shows whenever you want that makes entertainment today so interesting. It’s the sheer quality of those shows that does that.
Range of Content
The digital era broke down the entry barrier for content, too. Up until recently, control of content was kept within a few powerful hands. If you had an idea for a TV show, you’d have to first convince a network to give their support. Now? That’s not the case. A personality can create their own videos and upload them to YouTube and other streaming sites without the need for network approval. This has led to a more meritocratic entertainment landscape, where quality rises to the top, regardless of who has produced it.
That’s all happening right now. And there’s every chance the future will be just as amazing from an entertainment perspective. NFT games, VR and the metaverse, anyone?