The Future is Escapism

We have to be aware that the current Covid-19 environment is likely to continue far longer than any of us would like. This means that we have to quell the desire that a large part of the population wants; in-person social activity. You’ve likely seen the effects on the United States, as Independence Day in most states looked “normal”.

Independence, or the heat death of the universe?

In the 3.5-ish months that businesses, their employees, and the government in the US have attempted to alter how we live to avoid the pandemic, it has become clearer how necessary escapism has become to the economy, and our way of life in general.

The increase in society’s need for escapism is noticeable in the numbers:

  • Netflix subscriptions increased by almost 20 million in the first quarter of 2020 (NYT)
  • Hulu subscriptions increased by almost 7 million in the same quarter of 2020
  • Facebook Gaming viewership grew 72% from March to April (The Verge)
  • In April, Microsoft celebrated Xbox Game Pass reaching the 10 million sub mark, with a 130% increase in multiplayer engagement (Washington Post)
  • Nintendo celebrated a nearly 25% increase in Switch console sales from this point last year
  • Twitch saw a 50% jump in viewing hours from March to April
  • Steam hit an all-time high in concurrent user count, reaching over 20 million users in March
  • Video game sales saw an increase of 35% from March of last year

Let’s just say not a lot of people in the games industry are hurting at this point. Add to the fact that a good deal of development work can be done remotely, and the industry will likely continue to see highs in revenue for as long as the pandemic lasts. Methods of delivery and consumption are changing, but gamers are still paying.

Even buying Collector’s Editions, still

Movies, on the other hand, are hurting, due to theaters’ inability to provide enough alternative services to suit consumers, as well as the studios’ attempt to sell their films directly on-demand, to the detriment of theaters as well as ticket-buyers. Home release prices for a movie most would be hesitant to see in a theater is a risky choice. Some small businesses are getting inventive to survive, using streaming services and classic films to bring customers and nibbles of revenue in, virtually, however (see link below).

The great effect here is that many more independent sources of creativity are both getting exposure and providing content that otherwise may not have been seen. Patreon, OnlyFans, and art-based sites like Etsy and Gumroad are seeing higher demand and more quality content.

We do weird things in the privacy of home

Whether you’re working remotely or trying to get by with unemployment, you can still listen to podcasts, watch YouTube, or have a stream on in the background while completing tasks–and likely help someone in dire need of money.

If we can consume content that is the farthest from “pandemic takes over the world and we all could die”, we might just be happy at some point this year.

Lucky for you, I’ve got a few things you can check out to pass the time, and maybe give ’em some $$, why don’t you?

Let me know what you’re escaping with below👇👇

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