The rest of the jokes in today's Penny Arcade.
I've been following this comic for years, and recently linked this important document posted by one of its creators.
The answer is always more art; the corollary to that is the answer is never less art. If you start to think that less art is the answer, start over. That’s not the side you want to be on. The problem isn’t that people create or enjoy offensive work. The problem is that so many people believe that culture is something other people create, the sole domain of some anonymized other, so they never put their hat in the ring. That even with a computer in your pocket connected to an instantaneous global network, no-one can hear you. When you believe that, really believe it, the devil dances in hell.
To say that our society is bifurcating is an oversimplification, but it seems clear that two distinct paths will dominate. First we have "our" dying culture. To name it would be to invite lobbyists to subvert yet another idea in favour of the status quo, but I expect we all have a relatively clear sense of what its constituent parts are: Materialism, wilful ignorance, lack of empathy, all symptoms of unchecked fear. It's been inevitable since fear was a thing, but its current form started taking recognisable shape when mass-produced media made it possible for people with money to speak louder than anyone else. Since then it's been maturing at a growing pace, and right now this culture is discovering ways for itself and its participants to die of their own stupidity.
We're past the point where it was getting surreal. Surreal levels of imbecility, broadcast en masse, is the new normal. This is all anyone could really expect from anything that could only flourish where cognitive dissonance is a requirement of participation.
Today we'll be focusing on the trends in gaming. If you weren't aware, games are the emerging art form of our times. Somewhere in the range of 90 to 99 percent of everything that's sold in this medium is utter shit. Never has this been more apparent than it is now. I now follow the medium strategically, no longer avidly; letting the news find me. Even from this level it is clearly apparent that the old guard—the money men—are begging to be put out of their misery. The newly-announced PS4 is such a good example that I just had to put in a few words about it. Here are some straight words on the matter from an unbiased source. In this case, unbiased means "not a conspiracy theorist".
Yes, sony have shot themselves in the foot. So painful was their action that it could be felt ahead of time. If some of the things I've heard about windows 8 are any indication, microsoft will guillotine both their own proverbial legs in response to their rival (though it's hard to imagine them making a bigger mess). How this happened, I will attribute to the visible results of the Paris Hilton Effect. To summarise: They are building on foundations that in no way can support the weight they wish to put on it. In this case, the weight is immense. As the second linked article from the Penny Arcade Report points out, sony has no idea what it seeks to accomplish (except profit). So they have turned to this second's buzzword: Social. While there are many eyes—and thus ad revenue—in the world of social, there is not much of anything that matters. Massively expensive viral campaigns come and go before they can make any impact more substantial than a few million "lol"s. It's the weakest of weak foundations, and sony's next gen console is the heaviest single thing I've yet seen placed on it. The crash has not yet happened, but it is already being felt.
The other way
Which leads us to the second path humans can take. Sentient beings have the ability to sense the future, and it's clear that emerging trends are nurturing this ability even in those that do not actively seek it. In truth, I suspect it's not so much an ability to see the future as it is an ability to see the present, along with a projection of consequences. The culture in which we have been immersed is toxic, and it's getting close enough to the end game that human mammals are starting to feel mortally threatened, and our sense of survival are bringing useful abilities to the fore. We live in interesting times. For many this will not be a curse, but an awakening.