Simply Nerdy Mom: 4 Things to Consider When Choosing between Low-Tech and High-Tech Forms of Entertainment

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

4 Things to Consider When Choosing between Low-Tech and High-Tech Forms of Entertainment

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These days, there are just about as many high-tech, super advanced, space-age forms of entertainment on the market as you could ever dream of – with more and more making an appearance every day.

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But alongside all the latest video games, home entertainment systems, tablets, and streaming services, there’s also been a resurgence in interest in traditional, low-tech forms of recreation, such as board games.

So, what are some things you should take into consideration when choosing entertainment options for a weekend in with the family, or even just when shopping for something fun for the kids?

Here are a few thoughts on that subject.


Low-tech forms of entertainment are generally more “resilient” and personal

One thing that you have to say about low tech forms of entertainment is that they are often “resilient” in ways that high-tech forms of entertainment simply aren’t.

For one thing, low-tech forms of entertainment – such as board games and books – rarely require an active Internet connection, or even access to electricity. For another thing, these sorts of low-tech entertainment media generally do a lot better in “messy” and natural environments, than electronic devices that are susceptible to getting clogged up and damaged by dust and dirt, among other things.

Beyond this, however, there are also some other things to take into consideration.

Many modern, high-tech forms of entertainment specifically take the form of entirely digital apps, software programs, and subscriptions to web-based platforms and services.

These services may, at first glance, seem “resilient,” in the sense that you can access them from multiple locations all over the world.

But, these tools and services are often very fragile and unreliable in another sense – specifically, in the sense that you often only “lease” access to them, and that access may be revoked by the company for any reason, including the fact that it decided to terminate the service you were using, or to move out of that particular market as a whole.


Low-tech forms of entertainment are also more “personal,” in a sense. That is – once you own them, they are yours, and you can do exactly what you want with them.

Low-tech forms of entertainment are generally a lot better at solidifying social bonds and engaging the imagination

One thing about high-tech forms of entertainment, is that they are typically the kinds of things that you engage with solo. Or, at the very least, they are the kinds of things that are so engaging and all-encompassing, in their own way, that social interaction will be kept to a minimum even when a group is engaging with the same form of entertainment together.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this. People who are playing a videogame against each other on a console, while sitting next to each other on the same sofa, will probably be interacting in real life quite a bit as things go on.

As a rule, in any event, low-tech forms of entertainment are generally a lot better at solidifying social bonds and engaging the imagination. The traditional Dungeons & Dragons games of yesteryear that fantasy enthusiasts all around the world would played, specifically involved a whole group sitting around a table together, communicating, making jokes, and building the atmosphere collectively.

These days, modern fantasy video games based on the Dungeons & Dragons template – even the massively multiplayer online ones – are far more detached. They just don’t fill the same role, in the same way, or to the same degree.

If you want to choose a form of entertainment specifically for a social gathering, get-together, or even just a family day in, you’re probably going to be better off sticking with board games and other similar forms of entertainment, that specifically bring the group closer together.


High-tech forms of entertainment are often much more immersive and stimulating

It’s impossible to deny that high-tech forms of entertainment are often simply much more immersive and stimulating than their low-tech counterparts.

When you watch an action-packed film or TV show, you are engaged in a visceral, adrenaline-pumping experience. The sights and sounds are already there and laid out for you, and everything that you see on the screen has been carefully crafted by a team of people, in order to elicit the strongest kind of emotional response from you.

When you read a book, on the other hand, the stimulation you receive is far less, and you often have to stick with it for longer, and with a greater degree of patience, in order to become as immersed.

The same is, of course, also true for other forms of high and low tech entertainment. Video games are just a lot more action-packed and thrilling than board games. And, as you’ll quickly learn from browsing through the content at Real New World, they are bound to become even more action packed and hyper-stimulating soon, thanks to advances in virtual reality.

So, if you are specifically looking for the most intense entertainment format possible, you can be quite assured that they will be digital.
It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that more stimulation is not always what you want. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence that overstimulation – largely due to digital media – has a negative impact on people’s well-being.


High-tech forms of entertainment can often be more convenient to manage
So, you are having friends or relatives over, and you need to set something up in order to keep everyone entertained. Which option will be quickest and easiest for you – switching on the TV and selecting a film via Netflix, or getting out a board game, convincing everyone to play, reading the rules, setting up the board, and everything else that’s involved?

For better or for worse, high-tech forms of entertainment can often be easier, quicker, and more convenient to manage than their low-tech counterparts. This could be a factor to take into consideration when time is of the essence, in particular.
There are occasions, though, where this can be a negative thing. Many parents, for example, will give their kids tablets or other digital gadgets to play with when they are bored, as a straightforward way of occupying their attention in public. But there is evidence that this might be bad for a child’s development and attention span.

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