Lessons from the PC Video Game Industry – by Chris Dixon

The subtitle to this post (“The future of media is here –  it’s just not evenly distributed”) is a variation of William Gibson’s famous remark that “The future is already here  —  it’s just not very evenly distributed.” An obvious follow up question is: if the future is already here, where can I find it? There is no easy answer, but history shows there are characteristic patterns. For example, it’s often useful to look at what the smartest people work on in their free time, or things that are growing rapidly but widely dismissed as toys. Another clue to the future is to look for communities that embrace rapid, Darwinian experimentation.

Even if you have no interest in video games, if you are interested in media, you should be interested in PC gaming. Over the past decade, PC gaming has, for a variety of reasons, become a hotbed of experimentation. These experiments have resulted in a new practices and business models  —  some of them surprising and counterintuitive  — that provide valuable lessons for the rest of the media industry. MORE