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Solving the Gaming Mystery

I don't know how you view the 1970s, but what I remember was a deep sense of ennui. We had a sense of having missed something, and even as culture grew bigger and brighter its cost rising with each new supergroup concert tour or club opening, my classmates and I seemed to grow quieter and more serious.

My guess is the same thing is happening between today's kids and technology. It's not as exciting as it was. It's better but more expensive and thus more distant.

I spent time recently with some Coca-Cola (KO) Scholars, turning a plateau of construction aggregate into a meadow with wood chips, fertilizer and a light dusting of soil. The kids seemed, to me far more engaged with the outside world than anything inside, and far more into doing than being.

That's good for the kids and good for the future. But it's not good for anyone trying to sell a videogame today or sell a new social network today.

I think the leaders of technology understand this, which may be why there is so much interest in Google (GOOG) Glass among the digerati. Personally, I don't get it, but Robert Scoble of Rackspace (RAX), the digital reviewer of the moment, says he can't live without them and younger people are completely jazzed.

But everything depends on the price, he says. Offer them for $300 and they will fly off the shelves. So will applications based on them, and games would have to be among those applications. Social games based on instant communication would likely fly off the virtual shelves as well.

Until something truly different emerges from someone's lab, either Google's or someone else's, I think the gaming industry will remain slow, even the social gaming industry.

But the best news is this: My class held Steve Jobs and Bill Gates among our number. What will today's Coca-Cola Scholars create tomorrow?

At the time of publication, the author was long GOOG, AAPL and KO.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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