Tech Buys Into Tune Out

It’s the “attention economy” someone somewhere told us. Silicon Valley sure got the message. But more and more the major technology mavericks-turned-behemoths are buying into and growing the “distraction economy”.

Google is the latest. On Tuesday this week the company that once preached “Don’t be evil” embraced “Just chill” when it revealed its gaming platform called Stadia.

No figures on what this effort will cost, but is tens of millions out of the question? Hundreds of millions? A billion? That seems reasonable, and the finished product when it launches later this year will be — what? Inspirational? Transformational?

Nah, but it will put the YouTube owner in the same industry as competitor Microsoft, owner of the Xbox brand, and further into the same galaxy as Netflix, Amazon, and now Apple. The major purveyors of distraction.

How boring.

I’m not the first who has seen the parallels between Rome and the West. But the comparison is getting easier to make, not harder. The NFL owners, or the cities and taxpayers they con, build insanely expensive coliseums to house violent games. The tech giants are no longer any different.

Maybe you remember what Alfred, Batman’s aide-de-camp, once said:

Well, the world is burning. Tech companies used to want to do something about that. Now they prefer we look away.