Do anything you want … but do it publicly

People don’t have ideas –– ideas have people

Afterthoughts: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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I have always held the belief that so long as an individual is doing something they enjoy with their time, it can never be considered a waste. Over the years I have known people with hobbies and pastimes that would be looked down up e.g. gaming, watching an inordinate amount of film & TV. On the flipside, people who spent their leisure time playing chess, reading, or writing were often the recipients of praise. It is always left me dumbfounded, in my eyes, they offer similar amounts of value, who is to judge that ones’ time is better spent learning chess than watching TV?

That is where the notion of doing these things publicly comes into play. For something like gaming, playing through days of our lives will continue to be perceived as a “waste of time” unless some of this is done publicly. This could feasibly translate into livestreaming a portion of the session or creating some sort of content around it. In that way, the learnings are made to good use and the artifacts produced will have the opportunity to add value in the lives of others.

The content will live on in perpetuity thanks to the internet. For arguments sake, let say it lives online for 1,000 years. Even if there is no one that finds value in it in the short-term (days, weeks, months, even years after being made available), it’s value as a cultural artifact will grow over time. Anthropologists will treat these works as mementos of the start of the millennium much in the same way that Art Historians look to Michelangelo or Botticelli for insight into the renaissance. My point is that whatever content is made will have value one day or another.

Say you have two people – a gamer that produces content and a gamer who does not – which one are you most likely to respect and admire? Probably the former. There is nothing more admirable than seeing people share their interests in a tangible way. A serial-binger of TV that happens to write about what they watch is 100x more interesting than one who does not, even though they probably think about the same ideas. Producing artifacts drawn from how we spend our time not only helps us engage with the activity more, but it builds identity capital, and eliminates any sort of unfavourable judgement for having traditionally less-than-desirable hobbies.

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