Infovore has an interesting essay about what our gamer-politicians of the future may be like, or at least what they may have learned from their experiences as players. Some of it is pretty grim, like learning about resource scarcity by playing survival horror games (ah, Resident Evil as the future, wonderful) but when you read some of the recent predictions for the future, maybe it’s not so far off. The new National Intelligence Community’s Global Trends 2025 report predicts we can look forward to “Unprecedented economic growth, coupled with 1.5 billion more people, will put pressure on resources—particularly energy, food, and water—raising the specter of scarcities emerging as demand outstrips supply.
The potential for conflict will increase owing partly to political turbulence in parts of the greater Middle East.”
Bummer. Maybe a gamer is our best hope.
I don’t think it can have escaped anyone’s attentions that there was a reasonably significant election in America recently. And they got me thinking.
Barack Obama is 47. By contrast, David Cameron – who leaps to mind as another potential national leader in the coming years, whatever you may think of that fact – is 42. I got to thinking about what a national leader might look like in ten years time, 2018. Let’s suggest, based on Obama and Cameron, that they’re 45.
They’re 45 in 2018 when they stand for office – that means they were born in 1973. They would have been four when Taito released Space Invaders came out; seven when Pac Man came out. In 1985, when they were 12, Nintendo would launch the NES in the west. At 18, just as they would have been heading to University, the first NHL game came out for the Genesis/Megadrive and might consumed many a night in the dorm. At 22, the Playstation was launched. At 26, they could have bought a PS2 at launch; at 31, they might have taken up World of Warcraft with their friends.
They would have been a gamer all their lives. Not someone who once played videogames, trotting out the same anecdote about “playing Asteroids once” in interviews; someone for whom games were another part of their lives, a primary, important medium. Someone who understood games.
And if that was the case, what might they have learned?