You could write 10,000 books about the impact of the internet, and you probably still wouldn’t be close to a comprehensive understanding. It’s touched nearly every element of the human experience, and that’s something that will only increase in the coming decades.
This, of course, has been good and bad, just like most other things. One area that most people generally agree has been positive, however, is the impact the internet has had on entertainment. There’s no doubt that these are entertaining times we live in, and the internet has played a big role in that. Part of this is because it made entertainment more accessible and straightforward than ever.
It seems quaint to think that we used to visit a music store and spend a reasonably high amount of money on a CD. The end result was a house full of CDs that took up a lot of space, would scratch, and, in some cases, weren’t worth the money we spent buying the album (everyone has plenty of albums they regret buying). Today, CDs are mostly a thing of the past, and it’s all thanks to music streaming. This isn’t the perfect system (especially from an artist’s point of view), but it has been good for consumers, who are able to listen to what they want, when they want, for significantly less money.
It wasn’t too long ago that gamers would need to physically own a gaming console or visit a casino or arcade if they wanted to enjoy some gaming action. Today, you can access the vast majority of games via the internet. With their devices by their side, web users can play the latest mobile games, go to battle in an MMORPG realm, or play online poker with just a few clicks of a button. The gaming experience hasn’t just become more accessible, either — it’s also improved, especially in the case of multiplayer games, which give gamers the opportunity to play against people worldwide.
Plus, the internet has also simplified the process of learning how to play a new game. Using poker as an example, a newcomer can explore introductory topics to learn the basics about hand rankings, terms, and even strategies straight from an online platform. For beginner players, this has made many games less intimidating to dive into—especially more complex titles like poker.
Television and Movies
People used to enjoy TV shows and movies the way they enjoyed music: by buying DVDs. In the early 2000s, most homes had a whole cabinet of DVDs, most of which went unplayed. Today, the DVD industry has shrunk considerably, because who would go out to buy a DVD when you can watch the same content at home? Streaming giants like Netflix have revolutionized how we consume media, and most people would say it’s for the better. Even newly released movies are ending up on streaming services at the same time they appear in cinemas.
The internet hasn’t just impacted how we consume entertainment. It’s always opened the floodgates for creation, too. Once upon a time, you’d need some serious backing and some high-end equipment to make a fifteen-minute video that was any good. Today, we have thousands of people producing content that’s better than what you’d find on television, and all they needed was their smartphone, laptop, and an internet connection.
Of course, it would be wrong to say that the internet has everything its own way, entertainmentwise. There are some old-school rebels who prefer how things were done in the pre-internet era, for some things anyway. Record sales are at an all-time high, for instance, because it offers an experience that you can not get from the internet.
Still, they’re the outliers. In nearly all cases, the web has taken the concept of entertainment and ran with it. It’s a move that’s sometimes helped creators, but certainly helped consumers, who can get what they want, when they want, for cheaper than before.