The generation that grew up on videogames is blurring lines between real life and games

futurelab default header

by: Lynette Webb

I like this quote, although I would take it even further – in my mind, it’s not only video games, it’s social networking, blogs…etc. For many people today, the lines between real life and ‘virtual’ life are already blurred and becoming more so.

Click image to enlarge.

But what does this really mean, in practice? It’s something that’s come up in conversation with quite a few people recently. It started when a friend said he was amazed at how my instinct is just to share everything on Flickr, from the 'quote slides' to holiday snaps to any other random stuff I collect, and only selectively choose to keep a few things private. Whereas for him – even though he's nearly 10 years younger than me – his instinct is the reverse… to keep everything private, and then very selectively choose what to make public. Which in practice means he never gets round to making anything public, as he never finds the time. In other words, we're both doing the same thing… uploading our photos to Flickr, but our fundamentally different instincts means that what we do is positioned very differently.

And it's not just Flickr. The same thing for delicious, my houseblog, the videos I post online, etc… overall, my instinct is to share it. a) because I can't see any reason not to. b) because I want to contribute to 'online society'… in fact, it almost feels like I have a civic duty to do so. c) because I get a kick out of the feedback and thought-provoking input.

But, to my friend, and then to others we talked to, this instinct of mine was seen as fundamentally odd. 🙂 In fact, they decided my mindset & instinct was actually akin to a teenager's, as the generation growing up today appears to think nothing of sharing important aspects of their lives online. Which is pretty bizarre considering I don’t even know any teenagers…but hey, I’ll take it. 😉

So… when I talk about merging of the online world and the real world, it is this kind of thing that I mean. This instinct to share stuff, to participate in online society, to document and record stuff about your life and have it open to all and sundry to see… for the things you do online to be interwoven in your daily life, and be as important a part of your life as anything that happens in 'the real world'… this is what I mean by blurring. It's not just about the online services you use, it's the way in which you apply them and the role they play for you.

The quote first appeared in this set back in May 2006, but it was before I’d got into the style of using Flickr images so I decided to rework it. It originally comes from this Business Week article

Image from Flickr CC thanks to Schaaflict 

Original Post: