The Social Future

Bob Tobin, a senior manager at a large U.S. government agency, was playing a single-player Lord of the Rings video game with his son. The goal is to accumulate points. When it was Bob’s turn, his son started giving him pointers and directions for how to beat the game. Bob’s initial response was, “You can’t help me. That’s cheating.” His son looked puzzled.

Afterward, they talked about it. His son explained that when he played the game with his friends, they constantly talked him through it with tips and pointers. It was them against the game, not each against the others to get the highest score. And because of that, ...

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