Ten years ago, I predicted 2022. Did I get it right?

Ten years ago, I predicted 2022. Did I get it right?

Predicting the future is a fool’s errand, but I tried it: talking about phones, lifelogging, and social changes. And on top of that: what do I think’s coming in 2032? ■ Full original talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcPhMqLPuvQ

2012 photo credits:
Andy Davidson, IMG_1790, https://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_d/7906847522/
Andy Davidson, IMG_1791, https://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_d/7906848920/
both licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier: https://amzn.to/3qkj9jP [that’s an affiliate link]

Thanks to Garry, Alex and K for suggesting this video!

I’m at https://tomscott.com
on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott
on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo

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54 Responses

  1. Tom Scott says:

    And yes, to avoid the obvious comments: I have aged in the last ten years. It’ll happen to you, too. And it’s better than the alternative!

  2. Patterrz says:

    I can’t imagine a world without YouTube, where would I procrastinate all day to avoid my responsibilities??

  3. Flebsy says:

    The prediction of short form content taking over long form content reminds me almost exactly how mobile games were “destined” to kill the traditional gaming industry. “Why make a console game if it cost 10x the amount and made 10x less money?” “Everyones going to have a phone, they won’t need a console!” We now know how both can co-exist and continue to grow, but 10 years ago it really felt like it could happen. I think there’s a very good place for both and it’ll still be that way in 10 years.

    • Will Swift says:

      smart glasses will coexist with smartphones.

    • Yoeun Pen says:

      Agreed. Short form video is over-hyped: (1) teens will move onto the next big thing when tiktok is mainstream and full of old people, and (2) the market will accommodate both.

    • Toomoo says:

      flebsys sound of the day

    • Trif 55 says:

      Yea consoles and phones were meant to kill PC gaming but that’s had a resurgence apparently

      also wasn’t Vine a thing the kids used?

    • Ed Herdman says:

      Well, yes, but also no!

      That “prediction” was a very superficial rorschach test; people can claim it supports whatever analysis they make – and they will be at least partially right. Like anything involving consumer and market behavior, it’s not straightforward to answer even with hindsight. In 2011, if you looked back at release cadence of the Elder Scrolls series and tried to ignore mobile, you’d still be able to predict that releases would be longer apart to cope with increasing consumer expectations and competition. You’d also have some evidence that the developer would compensate for this by lengthening the tail of each title with DLC to keep it relevant.

      Is that what happened? Before 2011, Bethesda’s premiere Game Studios exclusively developed PC and console games on a traditional development cycle. Now their development credits include mobile games (like Fallout Shelter and TES: Blades). Todd Howard & Co. haven’t released a new mainline Elder Scrolls in over a decade; the next major entry is still likely years away at best. Skyrim re-releases and compilations seem to fit the bill alongside the MMO TES: Online. Successful franchises aren’t being sent off to new developers for special treatment, let alone “cash-in” titles like one might have expected in the past to support consumer demands. Instead it appears they’re trying to stretch their studio to cover at least three major franchises now that “TES in space” has been announced. This may not be exclusively caused by mobile gaming, but it illustrates the pressures on a modern games studio.

      One of the major competitors to the Elder Scrolls series on all platforms is Genshin Impact, a free-roaming MMO available on every platform you can find current Elder Scrolls content on, aside from the Xbox and Motorola pagers. It’s made over $2Bn which is right in Skyrim territory in a short time. I know this is cherry picking, but from one example, mobile gaming isn’t so much “coexisting” with traditional gaming as much as fundamentally altering its market. Players still expect traditional console and PC-style polished content, but now they also tend to expect gacha features and quarterly content release cycles. It’s proven difficult to scale with demand, I think, even with the rapid rise of professional games development in mainland China and elsewhere.

      IMO, a better way to pose these questions is to start with individual trends and ask “what kind of opportunities, costs, and risks drive industry; and how will answers from mobile gaming impact traditional gaming?”

  4. Indigo Gaming says:

    I can see a future where podcasts, longform content and TikTok/YouTube Shorts-like snippets of such content become fused in some sort of combined media platform. Right now YouTube is easily the most versatile. We can get music, movie clips, shows, podcasts and gameplay streams all in one place, but they may not stay on top forever.

  5. Louis Weisz says:

    Gonna put my prediction in now: short form content will take over not by “killing” long-form, but by further cementing itself as the start of the path to internet relevance.

    Rather than youtube being the place to “get found” online, new internet celebrities will be primarily minted on short-form services, and will then use that influence to launch themselves elsewhere.

    Youtube becomes netflix for indie content.

  6. good。luck ! says:

    2012: “The descendant of Siri will have advanced abilities”

    Actual 2022: “Hey Siri, call my dad”
    “Ok, showing google results for Call of Duty”

  7. Galactic Rabbit says:

    If only Tom could’ve predicted just how some people could’ve reacted to the rollout of 5G…

    • Nonno d'acciaio says:

      People reacted kinda the same for 4g

    • delinear says:

      @Nonno d’acciaio yup, 3G too. The only thing that makes the 5G reaction seem worse is that social media gives these people a wider platform and amplifies their ranting, but they were always out there.

    • glitchedgamer says:

      @delinear Not to mention 5g rolled out during some uh… Turbulent times.

    • Seaque says:

      @delinear come on now, it’s not entirely white either. 5G has smaller effect area so it needs more base stations. And those are not exactly completely harmless.

    • KeppyKep says:

      Who would have guessed that 5G would cause respiratory illness that quickly grew into a worldwide pandemic!? /s

  8. 94noj says:

    I’m glad you posted this. Just the other day I was thinking how the 2010s don’t feel too different from the 2020s (so far) but this proves otherwise. I’m still dumbfounded by the choice to remove earphone Jack’s on phones

  9. Dávid G says:

    Moral of the story: Tom is much better at predicting the past and present, and being thrown through windows, than predicting the future.

  10. Tech & Nostalgia Kingdom says:

    That’s too scary to think about for me as a channel owner with more than 2000 videos on it. And if it does happen, I really really hope that the videos on this platform will still be archived somewhere.

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