How technology has affected the way we entertain ourselves - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How technology has affected the way we entertain ourselves

Technology has affected almost every facet of our lives in recent years. From the way we travel around our towns and cities to the way we arrange and plan our schedules, technology is having a profound effect. The way we entertain ourselves is also changing, and the rise of new modes of entertainment is clear for all to see. From the advent of online streaming services which allow you to select the films and television programs you want to watch from a vast library at the touch of a button, to cutting-edge phenomena like virtual reality, there are all sorts of things to think about. Here are some of the main ways in which technology impacts our consumption of entertainment.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality, or VR, is one of the most innovative ways in which our experience of entertainment is changing. Dedicated VR experiences can encompass everything from flying an airplane to fighting in a war zone, and the power of this technology to make users feel as though they are actually there is set to transform entertainment. It’s also now increasingly possible to have a home-based VR experience, too. Games consoles can often be adapted for VR, while television and film programs can sometimes be watched in a VR format for a more exciting, sensory and stimulating experience.

And while until recently virtual reality headsets were largely deemed to be out of the price range for the mass market, they have now become increasingly affordable for many. With some headsets available for well under a thousand dollars, they’re still pricey – but just about doable for lots of people. As a result, VR experiences are likely to become more and more common.

Television and film

The world of television and film have been truly and decisively changed by the advent of technology. One of the major ways that this has happened is through the rise of the streaming services: sites like Netflix, for example, are disrupting the traditional modes of entertainment consumption (like watching terrestrial television or going to the cinema) by providing users with vast repositories of content.

But while the on-demand element of these kinds of streaming services might seem at first glance to be the major hallmark of tech’s effect on entertainment, it’s like the main impact will actually be the potential for customization which they will be able to offer. Services like Netflix already provide users with customized recommendations, and as artificial intelligence and machine learning become more sophisticated and more commonplace, it’s probable that they will start to develop detailed and accurate user profiles which match people to content that they are likely to enjoy.

Games and fun

Until the last few decades, games were activities played exclusively in the real world. From football matches to hopscotch in the yard, historic games were very primitive compared to today’s standards. But in recent decades, things have changed. The rise in video games, for example, was the start of the technological gaming revolution, and since then it has advanced to a level that would be largely unrecognizable to the game players of years ago. Players can now compete over the internet in multi-game contexts, and they can also buy add-ons and other hardware items which allow them to experience the games in a richer virtual environment.

And even more mainstream games like the lottery have enjoyed a technological twist, too. Finding out the winning lottery numbers is simpler thanks to the internet: whereas previously you would have had to watch television at a particular time to hear whether or not you’d won, you can now check quickly and easily online. The world of online bingo and other light real-money games, meanwhile, show that technology allows us to save time and gives us the flexibility of playing our favorite games whenever we want, wherever we want.

From picking and choosing the games we play to watching whatever television programs we fancy, technology has altered everything about how we entertain ourselves. Gone are the days when there were just one or two entertainment choices to pick from at any one time: now, there’s something for everyone no matter what time of day or mode of consumption you prefer. And with customization and machine learning technology likely to get more and more developed as time goes on, the world of entertainment tech looks set to undergo its next revolution any moment now.


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