Growing up, I was part of a generation that was introduced to video games late, after my teenage years, so I was awestruck. Playing video games suddenly, was like discovering alien life. A voyage into the unknown. I remember asteroids, pac-man, donkey kong, froger, hell I remember pong. Then I migrated to consoles and things changed. Then computers, then online. I spent hours, nights in a row playing various games. Everything was good fun. Of course I grew up and the gaming sort of slowed down. A lot. But it never stopped. Less free time of course, but still I sit in front of a screen if I can. Not just video games but games in general. There are people around me that I know play games as well. All grown ups with families, kids, jobs, the works. But playing games is always there. I call them the never agers. I thought that there is probably very few cases, but it turns out there is quite a lot. And they don’t play just video games with their kids. They form groups and play complex games like D&D for hours on end
. You have to love that.
This is not just a blimp either. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. This is a growing industry that some companies are catering to and in the process making millions, even billions. Here’s one you probably never heard of. Games Workshop. What was basically a small games shop in London Hammersmith, that designed and sold a table top fantasy game called Warhammer, became a global sensation that no one has heard before and a company worth over 1 billion. Heroin for middle class nerds
All this though does not adequately explain the social status of gaming. It is a huge part of our culture of course, it fills a certain need, but what we must realize is that some time ago, it stopped being part of our culture, it’s a culture in and of itself. You can tell that when it becomes a reference point. When it’s suddenly the subject of books, movies, tv shows, the topic of discussions, forming trends in fashion or across diverse areas, even considered art. Some would say one of the higher arts. Why the art of video games deserves wider recognition
OK i got one more interesting for you. If you like games, then you gotta like SimCity. At some point I spent a few nights playing this game trying to build a happy sprawling city, that grew and grew healthy and prosperous. Even today it’s a popular game. But you know who are the best IRL gamers on SimCity? The Chinese. I’ve talked to you about the Belt Road Initiative, trying to control global shipping routes and ports and trains all over the planet in order to ensure the uninterrupted flow of Chinese made products. Here an interesting little part of this. Somewhere in the border of China and Kazakhstan is the Pole of Inaccessibility. The furthest point in land from sea. The Chinese decided that it’s the best point to create, literally in the middle of nowhere, a global hub of commerce, one of the most important nodes of global economy. The Village of Khorgos, population 908
But this is not the most peculiar thing the Chinese are doing. This is actually pretty straightforward. This is about controlling the global infrastructure. They have so much money, they are just buying up anything that is for sale. Funding poor countries, which they know are going to default, in order to control them. But what is it that they are doing in Argentina? This is something different. It’s only a small military run space station in Patagonia
. That sounds fun.
OK enough with that, one last link to you which made my day. The author of noir pulp fiction novels Raymond Chandler wrote a series of letters to his UK publisher. These are just fantastic little gems, illuminating the mind of the author. I thoroughly enjoyed them. I hope you do too
. Have a great weekend, and remember to share my letter with you friends, they only sure way to help me grow.