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The entertainment vs computer industry

The entertainment vs computer industry

If you need an example of how the computer world is so cut-off and insular to the rest of human society, then consider this little letter from the computer industry to the entertainment one (courtesy of Boing Boing and blackbeltjones), and consider this choice quote:

“Look at us: every year, we churn out more computer games than your entire industry is worth.”

Yes, because the computer games industry charges £50 for its’ twenty hours of fun, whereas the cinema charges £10 for two hours of fun. That’s not even getting into the high cost (in terms of money and knowledge) of getting into computing, as opposed to just walking into your local cinema or pub or music gig. (Although people better than me have pointed out that the entertainment and computer industry are in the same team – trying to create better more useful things for consumers)

Stop 10 people at random in the high street – and I bet you at least 7 of them will profess to only using computers at work, and not for any real entertainment value beyond swapping email memes.

When I lived in London, I was steeped in the nu meeja dotcom world, where everyone arranged evening outings by email or IM, and when I proudly had a watch that played MP3s, no-one asked the simple question: Why?

Fast forward to my first days in Cardiff, back with my old school buddies. I’d have to actually use the phone, and they of course pointed out that said watch was an ugly carbuncle of a monstrosity.

This weekend, I realised that there were a lot of normal people in Cardiff. And I’m not even remotely normal. But more on that later…


  • Most amusing. The thing is most people will go to a movie, even a few time a year.

    But very few people, just play games on the odd occasion. You're either a gamer or you are not.

    Even console gamers, which is gaming without all the worry about PC hardware and the like, you're pretty hard core.

    Also I can easily devote a few hours to a movie. I just don't have the time to finish a game these days. When I was a student games where a few weeks of fun. Now it's months and I still don't finish.

    I can code a website quicker than I can finish a game. I just don't have the time for games.

  • I'm with Adrian – the cost of games is partially going to come down to units shifted. While a top-end classic game will shift maybe a million units if it's lucky, a top film will drag in that many poople to see it in a day for the first week or so.

    Also, I don't have time for games and I'm crap at them anyway though I do enjoy them when I get the chance. I don't have much time to get to the cinema (not as much as I'd like), but at least I know I'm not crap at watching moving images!

    I can't remember the last time I paid £50 for a computer game (2nd hand and budget are the way to go!) or £10 for the cinema, either. I rarely pay more than £6 for a film unless I buy it on DVD.

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