I know that this message is flawed, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. Because I live in an “instant gratification” culture, I’ve been trained to doubt myself if it takes me any time at all to achieve my goals. For example, if I want to get rich, society sells plenty of “get rich quick” ideas.
2020 has been a difficult year for most entertainment brands. The film and television industry is looking at an estimated $160 billion loss over the next 5 years, according to market research firm Ampere Analysis. Numerous sporting events and concerts have been postponed or outright canceled. Disney said the pandemic cost its parks, experiences and products segment around $2.4 billion in lost operating income during Q4. Even with promising vaccines on the horizon, recovery could still be spotty and winding, especially for the theatrical sector where audience behavior may have changed for good.
At the same time, there was all this stuff about my life that I desperately wanted to change, and had I been able to bulldoze through my holier-than-thouism, I could have really used some help around here.”
“What little I knew about the self-help/spiritual world I found to be unforgivably cheesy: it reeked of desperation, rah-rah churchiness and unwanted hugs from unappealing strangers. And don’t even get me started on how grouchy I used to be about God.
In the rest of You Are a Badass, Sincero writes about the concepts and practices that she’s gleaned from the self-help world and how they have really made a difference in her life. By the time I’d read the whole book, I found myself relating to the happy side of Sincero’s story. If she could find happiness, I thought, maybe I can too.
Of the many mantras Kaiser puts forth in her book, I chose this one because it speaks to my particular fear — that I am inadequate. I’ve been socialized by a patriarchal society that even if I “give it my best”, my best might not be good enough.
Together, these virtual events herald the emergence of a metaverse — a continuous and persistent virtual space in which users are free to explore, create, and interact with the environment and each other. A digital third place on steroids, if you will. Although the MMO games cited above are still just “protoverses” and we are still years away before any of them would evolve into a true metaverse, it is interesting to think ahead and start considering the wide-ranging and zeitgeist-shifting implications of such a new platform. This is especially pertinent for entertainment brands, given the platform’s enormous potential for immersive storytelling and interactive world-building.
Below are quotes from twelve of my favorite self-help books about how to be happy. I’ll share why I find these books — and these particular quotes — so helpful. I hope you find them helpful too.
I’m with Sincero on both points. I used to think self-help was for desperate people. And I had no idea it had anything to do with God. By the time I was thirty, I’d graduated from seminary with an M.A. in Religion and no desire to serve the church.
As a beneficiary of the stay-at-home orders, gaming saw a major pandemic boost in terms of time spent and revenues, as many turned to the virtual worlds of video games for escapism during these trying times. According to a recent report by the NPD Group, U.S. gamers average 14 hours per week playing video games this year, up from the 12 hours per week in 2018. Among them, “heavy players” spend over 15 hours per week on gaming and make up 29% of U.S. gamers, a 6% increase over 2018. The global games market will generate revenues of $159.3 billion in 2020, per Newzoo’s estimation, marking a healthy year-over-year growth of 9.3%. Naturally, the increased consumer attention on gaming helped familiarize a sizable audience segment with the aforementioned virtual events being held in protoverse environments. People hosted virtual birthday parties, weddings, and runway shows in games like Roblox and Animal Crossing: New Horizon.
Besides, the rise of non-gaming virtual events also contributed to the normalization of moving conventionally offline entertainment experiences to online channels. Dua Lipa’s live virtual concert ”Studio 2054,” for example, garnered over 5 million views on its debut night, breaking the global livestream record, netting at least $60 million in ticket sales. Besides music-related content, live experiences also extend to many other vectors such as cooking, fitness, education, and even travel, forming the foundation for the “Zoom economy.”
Of course, Fortnite isn’t the only digital venue owner that’s open for business. Other popular massively multiplayer online games, or MMO games for short, such as Roblox and Minecraft, have also been exploring the potential of evolving beyond its gameplay and becoming a digital third place for people to socialize online and participate in virtual live events together. And these games are already huge platforms: Fortnite reported more than 350 million registered players in May, Minecraft surpassed 131 million in October, and Roblox has 150 million as of July. Notably, more than half of U.S. kids and teens under the age of 16 now play Roblox, and viral star Lil Nas X’s recent live shows in Roblox amassed 33 million views over two days.
One bright spot may be the growth of streaming service usage, as the lack of live sports earlier this year pushed some households to turn to streaming services. But according to expert estimations, the OTT-dominant model may be a less profitable way to monetize content than the conventional pay-TV model. So there will be a need to figure out new revenue streams to supplement the profitability gap while the industry undergoes a business model shakeup. That’s where the developing metaverse comes in.
And, like Sincero, I could have really used the help that self-help books provide. I’m glad she opened up about her skepticism early in her book. It made her writing more accessible to me because I could relate to her journey.
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