Culture is a wondrous thing. It evolves, spreads, infects, going nowhere and everywhere all at once leaving steaming piles of strange references and weird societal behaviour.
We could talk all day about how urnial etiquette is different from one nation to the next (eye contact, from what I understand, is universally banned), but I’m here mostly to talk about popular culture.
At it’s core, culture is something that is experienced by, if not all, the majority. You’d be very hard pressed to find an avid internet user has not seen a lolcat or been rick rolled in one fashion or another.
In North America, at least, culture is very heavily defined by our entertainment. (I expect this is the same anywhere you go in the world, even places that still rely entirely on oral stories.) Maybe it was radio, or TV, or whatever the latest popular flick was, but as long as two people were not complete shut ins, they always had something in common to talk about.
Star Wars, for instance. Harry Potter. Lord of the Rings. Star Trek, in all it’s forms. The Beatles, Elvis Presley.
They defined the culture of their time, whether they revolutionized it or represented it.
It’s impossible to find someone who hasn’t seen Star Wars, let alone someone who hasn’t even heard of it. Dark side jokes about, Yoda impressions never fail to be understood.
It’s extremely hard to find someone who doesn’t get sad when Steve Irwin is brought up. Even then, the people who don’t know who Steve Irwin figure it out immediately when “Crocodile Hunter” is mentioned.
Maybe it’s possible to find someone who hasn’t heard a song by the Rolling Stones, but everyone has heard of the band.
TV has been around for a while, as have movies and books. These have become accepted as part of our culture. Hell, you can spout the words “Snape kills [insert anything here]” and even people who’ve never read the book are going to understand what it’s referencing.
Gaming is the new kid to culture, in this regard. Here I’m going to have to use the grossly inaccurate term “my generation”, because no other word really fits it.
Screw it, this is english; I can invent one. We’re now called Bittens.
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you are a bitten. A gamer. Someone who has, at some point, experienced the culture surrounding video games for better or worse.