Thursday, December 21, 2006

We Are Kings (and Queens!) of the World

Appropos of the upcoming radio radio-stravaganza hosted by our own patron saint of Geekdom, Kid Dork, a news story surfaced this morning which got me thinking that it's been a pretty good year for Geeks. The BBC is planning to make a variety of programming available to the masses via a Bitorrent-based download service - in High Def no less! From the article:

The new deal means that users of the software will be able to download high-quality versions of BBC programmes, including Red Dwarf, Doctor Who and the League of Gentleman. Classic series such as Fawlty Towers will also be available through a BBC "channel".
This is pretty good news - and further entrenches the BBC at the vanguard of embracing the Internet Age. But this isn't the only good news for Geeks in 2006. Consider:

Time magazine's 'Person of the Year' is you. Or is that us? With the growth of grassroot collaborations such as Youtube, Wikipedia, Linux, and Myspace, the editorial staff at Time opined, "It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes." Sounds a little hyperbolic to me, but maybe it'll get someone to put aside their PC Gamer mag for a few minutes and leaf through a copy of Time..

Video games truly entered the mainstream - and just in time for Christmas! There was the expected media hoopla around the arrival of Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii, of course. But what I find a far more fascinating turn of events is the TV advertising push for Gears of War and Call of Duty 3. Gears of War is the far more impressive ad in its use of of Tears for Fears' Mad World and it's generally melancholic feel. CoD3 seems to be a much more pervasive ad; and I'm officially sick of seeing it! The fact that both of these ad campaigns are buying major air-time during non-Geek programming is (to me) a pretty significant shift. Are they marketing to parents? Is this a recognition that gamers no longer 'fit' a cliched demographic? Perhaps the bargain bin at EB Games will tell the tale come January.

Worldwide sales of video games (and related products) are expected to reach $30 billion (US) in 2006. That's billion - with a 'b'. To put this in perspective; this twice the combined revenues of the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball. Furthermore, there are kids out there making 6-figure incomes on the professional video game circuit. If I could only convince my own brats to forget about math and spelling and fire up the PS2 for a little practise session. Hell, I'll supply the Doritos and Jolt.

My mother can now record a program on her VCR while she watches a DVD. My father knows the meaning of podcast. Now that's progress.

So what does this all mean, you ask?

It's simple - we are all Geeks now. We can dress poorly with pride, pasty-white skin is 'in', and our lunch money is safe. Rejoice!