It’s a well-known fact that technology influences popular culture. Looking at historical trends, it’s evident, even from the 1950s, when television sets became more widely available in the US, that advertising and programming led to changes in popular culture trends such as fashion. For instance, in 1953, the Academy Awards were screened for the first time, allowing consumers to covet what they saw on their TVs. With New Hollywood starlets dressed in their glamourous outfits, it was only inevitable that women at home, seeking to embody some of the glamour themselves, would go out and buy similar dresses.
However, in recent years, there’s been another shift wherein popular culture appears to be influencing the development of technology. Below are some of the most prominent examples.
Popular Culture and Online Gambling
Many aspects of popular culture have influenced the online gambling industry, which has a current value of nearly USD 60 billion due to many recognizing its benefits. For instance, online casinos offer welcome bonuses, the option to play remotely and from a location of your convenience, and a wide-ranging assortment of games. The sheer number of online casino games that are inspired by popular culture has undoubtedly helped to maintain engagement levels and appeal to a diverse range of audiences.
From slots inspired by the likes of film favorites such as Jurassic Park, popular culture has a continued presence within the online gambling sector, particularly when it comes to slot games. In fact, it’s not just movies that have been turned into slot games: there are even penny slots inspired by influential figures, such as Da Vinci Diamond, a game available on most IGT casinos that includes bonus features and is based on the prolific Italian painter and architect Leonardo Da Vinci.
Popular Culture and Social Media Apps
Video-sharing app TikTok has certainly influenced popular culture, thrusting a new generation into stardom. TikTok was released in 2016, with many of its top creators, like Addison Rae, finding international success in 2019. The dazzling popularity of the platform, which has encouraged a new generation of innovative content creators, has led many companies to launch their own competing video-sharing apps.
For example, in 2019, Brendon McNerney released Clash, a video-sharing app where users can create and post 21-second looping videos. It’s not a surprise that companies have tried to replicate TikTok’s success: running a business means understanding consumer trends. The way that TikTok has quickly cemented itself in popular culture, brand advertising, and content creation was always going to lead to more video-sharing apps.
Popular Culture and Virtual Reality
One of the most famous online virtual worlds is Second Life, developed by Linden Lab. Users can access a virtual world, create avatars, and interact with others, as well as places and objects. Many have compared Second Life to multiplayer role-playing games, but Linden Life has remained steadfast that it’s not a game because there is no set objective. There was no manufactured conflict in the making of Second Life, but there was inspiration taken from popular culture. According to founder Philip Rosedale, he was so inspired by the movie The Matrix that he left his job at Real Networks to start Second Life.
Technology has a massive influence on popular culture, but that’s not to say the opposite does not occur either. Many innovations have been a result of emerging popular culture trends, whether it’s new apps released because of the popularity of other ones or casino games and virtual worlds inspired by the movie industry.