Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh Precious, Precious Screentime

A friend sent me this article, which gives away the important news in the exciting headline, "People Play 1900 Years of Call of Duty Multiplayer Every Day."

That's...a fair number of people playing a fair amount of Call of Duty every day. I was almost impressed, until I looked up how much TV people watch.

According to this random page I found on the internet, which must be absolutely true because I read it online (it cites A.C. Neilsen, but this page does not include the annual total, which must have been calculated separately), Americans watch 250 billion hours of TV every year. That works out to about 78,000 person-years every day, assuming I know how to work a calculator.

Those Call of Duty slackers need to step it up a few dozen times.

To give the game its due, 1,900 is a pretty good number for a single title. After all, it takes hundreds of TV channels to keep us watching 78,000 years a day.

On the other hand, the 78,000 years a day is only for the United States, while I think the Call of Duty numbers were worldwide.

On the first hand again, 1,900 is, as mentioned, only for a single title, so people play a lot more hours of video games if other titles are included. This TED Conversations page says 3 billion hours a week worldwide, which would be about 156 billion hours a year, or slightly under 49,000 years a day.

Still not close to the TV-watching numbers, but more of a contest. Except that the TV numbers are still only for the United States, and I bet people in other countries also enjoy television.

I could keep looking for numbers on the internet, but the bottom line is, people obviously need to spend more time playing video games.

Right? That's clearly the take-away here, isn't it?

My problem with that is that video games tend to demand more attention than television, so it's harder to find the 49,000 years per day that you need. Not all games, of course, but a lot of them. So if you have to do some stuff on the computer, say, you can put on a TV show at the same time and watch it with half your attention, but it's harder to do that while you're playing a game.

I bet a lot of the TV-watching numbers are from people doing other things at the same time. The true heroes are the people who watch TV and play games at the same time, and I salute them.

In closing, we spend...a fair amount of time with screens in this exciting modern world.

1 comment:

Julia Plant said...

This made me chuckle, as whilst I am reading your blog, my husband is currently playing Call of Duty!!! How apt! hahaha