Popular culture, by and large, is thought of as stuff that gets consumed in some sort of public forum. Films, music, TV, comedy; they all have a directly ‘mass’ orientation. By its very nature popular culture describes something that has a large-scale public appeal. But that’s changing.
The nature of our digital lives means that, even as the mass side of that popular culture equation continues unabated, there is a developing aspect to it that is more personally tailored, more intimately consumed and more individually selected. Popular culture is losing some of its ostensibly public character.
If the twentieth century was dominated by Henry Ford’s ‘you can have any colour you want so long as it’s black’ mass marketing, the twenty first is something altogether at the other end of the scale. Now you can have any colour you want, and if it doesn’t already exist you can go through Windows’ paint shop options to invent it. In 2014 you can have any combination of coloured pixels you want – period.
There is a ying and a yang to this which means that both sides of the equation are in play at the same time. So we can say that, for example, online gaming has become a feature of popular culture that is every bit as significant as the influence of Hollywood – economically it’s actually bigger, but that’s another story.
But whereas Hollywood films are pretty much the same for everyone who watches them, online gaming experiences are far more personal. They are more likely to reflect player tastes and decisions as an integral part of their delivery.
Gaming sites as listed on forums like http://onlinecasinobluebook.com/ca will offer players the opportunity to tailor their desktops to suit their individual tastes, just as they will provide a range of different games to actually play. In contrast to the utilitarian ‘take it or take it’ logic of Henry Ford, the key provision is the offer of choice. Choosing is the new black.
And whilst this radical change in how we are addressed as customers is unfolding, so is the turn to commercially provided recreation. Hollywood was just the start. The fastest growing commercial sectors on earth are no longer to do with manufacture and supply, they are all about gaming and access.
Take a look at what’s on offer in terms of online gambling – regularly cited as the fastest growing industrial sector on the planet. You’ll be amazed at just how much choice there is out there. Poker, bingo, casino, roulette, slots… you name it. The range of options and branded alternatives is, at first sight at least, quite mind boggling. The fact that sites like the online casino blue book exist to help steer people towards the best of what is on offer points to just how much choice there is out there. There are now choices of choices.
In the process of all this choosing, and refining of choices, we as consumers are becoming ever more expert in the one thing that defined us as consumers in the first place – although we may not have realised it at the time. That is, we are, each and every one of us, becoming experts in determining precisely what it is we want, and precisely when and how we would like it delivered. Henry Ford is probably spinning in his grave.