THINC Webinar: How Has Technology Changed the Definition of 'Entertainment'?
By Tech Tac Toe
Is it the human need for entertainment that shapes technology? Or is it the development of technology that shapes our ways of entertainment? With the development of technology, has "happiness" become easier or harder?
The eighth THINC webinar, entitled “How Has Technology Changed the Definition of 'Entertainment'?”, was hosted by the team Tic Tac Toe to take the participants to explore the questions collectively.
Two THINC fellow speakers, Xin Winnie Wen (founder of Cloud Theatre) and Christopher Oniya (founder of MetaTrekkers) have shared respectively the challenges of the performing industry and the new opportunities of entertainment created by the growth of the meta-universe.
Performing Industry in transition: Talk by Winnie Wen
In the past two years, under the impact of the global pandemic, the performing industry has suffered greatly: a large number of shows had to be canceled, theaters closed for a long time, and the livelihood of theatre company members has faced great uncertainty.
As the founder of Cloud Theater, Winnie brings outstanding Chinese and foreign productions to Chinese audiences with full protection of intellectual property rights. Audiences can watch quality stage productions online and experience theater performances without having to leave home.
At the same time, Winnie and her colleagues are working on the establishment of China's first 4K/8K UHD digital performing arts production base in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province. This is a digital theater that incorporates 5G technology, where shows can be recorded more clearly to provide high-resolution images for online viewing. It removes the limitations of traditional viewing formats, bringing a new viewing experience that will help innovate the theater industry and upgrade the digitalization of traditional theaters.
Therefore, it is an interesting phenomenon that the online theater "audience" has exploded during the pandemic, even though people did not leave their homes. With the help of digitalization, the number of people watching a show broke the limit of the number of seats, and the performance figures made a historic breakthrough, bringing revenue to the theater as well as being an influential way to promote the show.
However, digitalization does not leave the performing industry without any concerns, but with some emerging challenges.
The primary issue is the impact on offline revenue. Some are concerned about whether the large number of people who have already seen shows through online channels will still want to pay for the live experience when offline touring resumes after the pandemic. Copyright issues are also a major challenge for digital performances, as there are many unauthorized channels showing part or the full length of the content.
Growing with Metaverse: Talk by Christopher Oniya
The definition of "pleasure" is constantly being (re)shaped by a diversifying entertainment landscape, and in this landscape, the metaverse is undoubtedly the most heated topic in the past few years.
MetaTrekkers was inspired by Elon Musk's 1984 game. It has created a metaverse world where all players are part owners of a common resource within the community. Christopher wanted it to be more than economic activity, but a way for the holders to experience a sense of belonging.
Bill Gates once predicted, "Within two to three years, I predict that most virtual meetings will move from 2D image frames to a metaverse." MetaTrekkers provides such an online space for their participants and invited many celebrities to interact in this space. In addition to online meetings, the NFT holders can also chat, party, and participate in classes here.
At the same time, MetaTrekkers also epxlores to expand the users' virtual world experience, especially the unique entertainment and real-time activities for socializing,
For example, they plan to organize a DJ competition, inviting 8 of the most influential DJs in the metaverse to compete live for the title of "DJ King of the Metaverse".
The THINC fellows have shown that in many senses, the pandemic hasn't stopped but rather nurtured our journey of innovation, of bridging the interpersonal connection, and of mapping out a more diverse future.