I’m quite happy that the Public Broadcasting System’s group of YouTube partners caters to my nerdy interests. This week, Mike Rugnetta of the PBS Idea Channel touches on what role the sale of digital items in Diablo III and other video games plays in real-world economies. Fun stuff, right?
I actually wish he went into greater detail about the impact these emerging economies have in the marketplace instead of just glancing over the subject. I'm also not a fan of Rugnetta using leading questions as titles for his videos. Nevertheless, I find it fantastic that PBS is promoting these kinds of digital, 21st century ideas and discourse.
Rugnetta has another video that explores the cross section of the pixelated, Lego-style game Minecraft, a 3D printer, and a post-scarcity economy. Essentially, he imagines a world where people could create an unlimited number of physical objects. He also believes that Super Mario Bros. is the ultimate piece of surrealist art.
For more PBS-supported video game content, check out the Off Book channel. It features a couple of mini-documentaries on glitch art and the nostalgic aesthetics of 8-bit graphics.
Obviously, these topics are all pretty niche and not very marketable to mainstream audiences, but isn't that what the spirit of public broadcasting is all about? Documenting and dissecting video game and Internet culture is tremendously important since everything moves so quickly. So kudos, PBS. Keep up the great work.