What do we Give Up for a Digital Life?
Just the other day, I walked pass a number of elderly gentlemen playing a game of Chinese chess on a nice sunny afternoon.
One of the players was discussing with his opponent the range of possible moves he could take. Some of the spectators were watching intently, others were giving suggestions and advice.
I starting thinking: I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon in my retirement playing a few rounds of chess over a cold beer?
Not surprisingly, the designer in me started speculating how the life would be like when I retire 20 years in the future. Would we be playing chess on tablet computers or even better in the comfort of our own home over the internet? This is not much of a leap as today you could already play with thousands of people over the internet on sites such as Yahoo games.
But would it really be the same experience?
I realize that the men were there not to improve their chess skills but to socialize and chat. It is the socializing, not gaming, that was the priority. Games such as chess (or even checkers/draughts in some parts), poker, or even board games, have become ice breakers or facilitators of conversations.
Could our digital what-nots give us the same experience as such outdoor chess games, or even an evening of Poker?
I doubt so.
This realization somehow gives me comfort, humans still have some basic needs which, thankfully, a digital life can never replicate.