2. There’s something to be said for just deciding to not be part of certain network effects that you feel are too strong. This is a big part of why in the past I decided to switch to firefox, stop posting on social media (except mastodon), and even part of why I moved out of San Francisco
3. I wasn’t born yesterday. I don’t care about the friendly smiling man. Market forces are more powerful than intentions, and Microsoft gon Microsoft. Maybe not in the short term, but on the multi-decade timescale where we need a place to organize ourselves around code this almost certainly will go sour.
One of the coolest things about gaming is its potential to connect different people. As I travel, often some of my strongest touch points with different cultures and geographies are gaming-centric. When I was in Seoul, having been a StarCraft fan for the better part of a decade I felt like I was stepping into a city and culture with which I was already somewhat familiar. Coming to Taiwan, in the back of my head was that this is where Sen is from. This is where the Flash Wolves are from. Without gaming, I might not have any frame of reference at all, and I might not have even been inspired to visit these places at all. The difference between knowing nothing about a place and knowing of someone incredible from that place is absolutely enormous.
In a similar way, gaming has been something that has helped open my eyes to people who play in entirely different ways. Watching NoHandsKen (a twitch streamer who plays PC games using just his mouth) has given me a huge window into an experience I’d otherwise never get to know. Following AbleGamers on twitter has given similar insights.
Because of this I was pretty elated to see the new accessibility-focused controller from Microsoft. I hope things keep moving more in this direction as gaming becomes more prevalent in pop culture and as things shift towards VR/AR. After all, when your representation of yourself is digital, where and how you exist physically no longer matter anyways. A lot of gaming’s potential on this front (connecting people across lifestyle/culture/geography/experience/perspective) is still very much unrealized, but the potential of games to breed empathy is huge.