Stranger Days Ahead, with Stranger Progress

The intermingling and hybridization of world cultures may appear to have an unstoppable momentum. Meanwhile, the flaws and weaknesses of the human condition itself can be seen everywhere, globally, from the micro to the macro, since our media and news are showing us more reflections than ever before in human history.

From Truth to Tolerance

If it is true, that humanity finally is moving in the direction of greater empathy driven by technologies that are exposing our similarities to an epic degree, then it stands to reason that a global era of new tolerance and cooperation is very possible.

However lest we slip into a state of hopeful naivety, it would be fair to point out that experiences like greed, aggression, envy, avarice, insensitivity toward others and so forth are not likely to disappear. Instead, they may even increase, or seem to increase, when more people have new opportunities to witness the bare-bone realities of human life, all over the world.

It is our response to human frailties that may be changing in unprecedented ways. We probably will find more of extremes in responding to the human condition as we witness it more and more exposed: greater disavowal and greater acceptance.

Whenever people (across cultures, nationalities, languages, and so on) do find themselves in a more honest and more accepting attitude toward themselves and others (and not liable to act from “survival mode”) then it does seem natural that this will engender more tolerance, right? What if radical tolerance became more than merely a meme, but entered a kind of global common knowledge of what is imperative and necessary?

From Superficial to Profound

If the optimistic comments above seem too wishfully abstract, then let’s take a concrete example to test this idea that more tolerance and acceptance is on the way this century, shall we?

Some say we live in a crazily superficial age. Some observe that in certain places there is a troubling return to conservative patterns like more class divisions, artificial separations people groups, more racism. Others just can’t believe the world could de-volve after gaining something as unifying as the Internet, to which all countries contribute and which is enjoyed by most everybody who uses it.

Here’s a possibility: perhaps grade forms of progress, like tolerance and acceptance, are coming about in smaller ways, as baby steps, and in unexpected places or settings. Social media, for example, may be written off as so many forms of trivial narcissism — however, what if healthy exposure to these forums has been decreasing how many polarities that we see the human world?

There is another contemporary medium that mixes entertainment, communication and art forms, as well as deploying some of the most sophisticated technologies: it is cutting edge computer gaming. Mobile gaming also is a massively popular new pastime, if you will, that may be all too easy to underestimate.

How Games May Be Changing Our Reality

Is it strange that during decades of economic uncertainty around the world, meanwhile online gambling has been becoming more legitimate, safer, more reliable, cheaper, easier to learn, vastly more popular than land-based casinos, and, even more legal? When times are tough there seem to be two possible responses, which are conservatism and progressivism.

When people become progressive during uncertain periods then we might consider this a kind of gambling on the future (rather than trying to consolidate any bits of security from familiar things and habits).

Now, if we look closely at the real boom of interest and participation in online gambling (and you may even include the fact that poker tournaments have become televised content for spectators also) two things may come to mind: one, people generally could be getting more comfortable with the idea of risk and taking chances, and two, taboos about hobbies like gambling are breaking down and people do not fear being judged negatively (for example, celebrities playing cards openly in Vegas).

It may not be so much that games are changing our reality but that they are reinforcing how our realities are changing, and providing an exciting and fresh format for people to experience a dropping of past prejudices against activities and against other kinds of people. After all, players of online games including casinos seem to care more about their common experiences rather than the identities of other players.

Online casino software that permits live multi-player poker rounds, for example, will often place people together according to their betting and skill levels, and people find themselves in the company of other players from anywhere in the world. The record breaking diversity of games introduced last year (see proves that this inclusive, barrier-busting type of fun is very popular indeed.

It seems rather reasonable to say that we are in for many surprises during this century regarding ways in which significant social and cultural and political changes come about, and that new media cannot be written off so easily (least of all online gaming).


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