Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Coming Together Over Smartphone Games

In Charles Murray's excellent book, Coming Apart, he describes how American society is pixelating into disjointed subgroups. It starts by noting that back in the day, when there were only three TV networks, everyone watched the same shows and through that medium, had a shared culture. No such commonality exists these days.

Or does it?

Recently, while bagging food down at Catholic Charities, I found myself in the middle of a conversation about smartphone games. The other two working the back were big fans of Candy Crush. They spent quite a bit of time comparing where they were in the game, how often they played it and so forth. I never got hooked on that, but my wife and I love the bubble blasting games. My son just turned me on to Hill Climb Racer. It's awesome.

While we don't all share the same games, we share the smartphone gaming experience. It's not quite the same as a shared cultural and moral foundation, but it's something we can discuss with almost everyone we meet. Maybe what's happened is that we came apart during the 90's and 00's and smartphones are bringing us back together.

Of course, we all share a common interest in funny cat videos.

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