Friday, June 02, 2017

What can we learn from Male Gaming Hermits ?



This is probably the only local financial blog which talks about the latest phenomenon in the US that may already be a mainstream lifestyle in Singapore.

Young males, especially those without tertiary qualifications, are not just refusing to settle down and have families; they are withdrawing from society, living with their parents and trying to spend as much time playing computer games as possible. The current crop of computer games are highly immersive and addictive. One example is Horizon Zero Dawn with cybernetic dinosaurs and another is the Zelda game on the Nintendo Switch platform.

Academics are working furiously to study this phenomenon. When lowly educated males become unemployed in the US, a large proportion of their time gets re-allocated to playing computer games whereas women would simply devote more time for their families. Labour participation amongst these class of blue-collar males have to recover from the GFC.

More interestingly is that economists now consider gaming to be leisure luxuries. Consider a product like pornography - the more time you spend watching it, the less you want to continue to watch it, so it generates diminishing returns when you exchange your time to watch it. ( Interest wanes typically after ejaculation. )  

Games are the opposite of porn. As it turns out, playing games like Skyrim and Horizon Zero Dawn makes you want to play more games. As computer games become more sand-box driven like Skyrim and addictive, virtual reality will be more rewarding than reality. I can imagine the next Opium War being fought over computer games in the next 20-30 years.

The academic writing on this can be found on a Google search but I did not seek permission to cite their writing.

What I did immediately after these series of article is that I stopped PC gaming altogether.

Eric Barker's Barking up the Wrong Tree is so good, I am contemplating doing up a series on it after I am done with Equity investing. We can turn gaming to our advantage by gamifying our real lives.

WNGF is a framework designed by gamification guru Jane McGonigal. I am now trying to incorporate the WNGF framework for my upcoming talks.


  • An initiative must be Winnable. At least for the rest of 2017, until I start my training contract, I want to give financial talks in every BIGS event.  That's if the directors will continue to lt me do it. I win if I get to give a talk. 
  • The initiative must be Novel. Each talk I give will be unique, thoroughly researched, and one of it's kind in this commercial space. I have refrained from recycling my slides so far.
  • There has to be Goals. I will target every talk that I have been invited to speak for, my goal is a sold out crowd which have so far been met because we are reasonably priced and have small venues. I'm not sure whether we can sell out our next talk because it will be BIG.
  • There has to be Feedback. We now have a feedback forms for all our events, I also make it a point to answer questions which we did not fare so well in during Q&A.
So there you have it. 

I've practically quit PC gaming and made BIGS my next gaming platform.

Our next talk is in July, marketing will begin later so I hope to catch you then !






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