The battle for cushion time

Games are battling TV and older forms of media for ‘cushion time,’ and right now, they’re winning. That’s what I was told by Jeff Anderson, Jeff Anderson, from the Digital Hollywood conference site, who recently stepped aside as CEO of Turbine Entertainment, developer of the successful massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORG) Asheron’s Call and The Lord of the Rings Online.

Anderson was a law student at the University of Chicago shortly after I graduated with my A.B., and we swapped stories about being in the wrong parts of the South Side at the right times, in his case on a Sunday morning. He was generally genial (part of his recovering lawyer program, he would say) and had useful insights about the rise of online gaming, like this one:

There’s a whole generation of kids who are looking at entertainment completely differently—they’ve grown up with computers and portable devices. Small screens will never stop being part of their lives. With both of my daughters [who are 7 and 10], them learning to mouse was more memorable for me than watching them walk for the first time. It was just this epiphany they had one day. They play games, all their friends play games. That’s a fundamentally different dynamic than anything we’ve seen in economics, in media, in entertainment to date.

Here is the full interview, Making Games into Communities.

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