Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#319 / Indoor-Outdoor

According to news reports, a computer-based war game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, made $400 million dollars in the first 24 hours after its release for sale, based on the purchase of 6.5 million copies of the game during that 24-hour period.

"We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. An online columnist noted that this was a record not only for computer war games but for "any entertainment product ever released."

Meantime, last Saturday, at an event held at the Chaminde Conference Center to celebrate the amazing and lifelong contributions of Professor Robert Curry, I talked with an old friend from Carmel Valley, who happens to serve on the Board of Directors of the Monterey Regional Parks District. He mentioned that soccer coaching has become quite difficult, since the participating kids are ever more reluctant to come outside to practice. They much prefer exercising indoors, through their computer screens - and I guess some with the Call of Duty war games.

Aside from the problematic nature of teaching militarism through online war games, I think we may be constructing, without actually realizing it, a fundamentally new understanding of reality. For me (and my Carmel Valley friend) it is obvious that the most "real" world is the world of Nature, a world outside our own constructions, and a world upon which we are utterly dependent. It is a world less and less experienced directly, as we all immerse ourselves in a human world that is increasingly detached from Nature, and from the physical realities that can be found only in the natural world. The "real" world, in other words, has moved indoors, for many of us, and is internal to our consciousness, not external.

If the idea that our constructed and internal world is the "real" world is a mistaken and fundamentally false understanding, and so I would argue, we have a problem on our hands.

Getting outside is an antidote.

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