Much is made these days over our need to be constantly distracted by screens. We binge watch our favourite television shows, distract ourselves with video games, and spend countless hours browsing the Internet and engaging with social media on all manner of devices. This is still the way things are trending in much of the world. However, if you look a little more closely at how people entertain themselves in the UK, you may find that the country has become something of a surprising bastion of more old-fashioned recreation.
This is perhaps most evident in the fact that reading is still considered to be a dominant hobby in the UK. Toward the beginning of this decade, a list at Not So Boring Life ranked reading as the number-one hobby in the country (ahead of watching TV, going to the cinema, using a computer, etc.). This may be somewhat-less accurate now that TV has continued to boom and mobile devices are offering more entertainment than ever, but it remains true that people in the UK haven’t completely forsaken reading as a simple form of recreation. And in 2013, a Daily Mail survey found that a third of the population listed reading as a favourite hobby. That’s not too shabby for literature.
The lingering preference for more old-school entertainment can also be felt in the gaming environment in the UK, where modern video games have gained significant influence but some old classics remain popular. It’s particularly evident online, where some of the most basic casino games remain every bit as big as the latest console shooters and open-world experiences. Within this genre, even bingo has a modern feel to it these days, as these simpler games attract massive player bases in the UK. At Gala Bingo’s platform, there’s such a busy community of players that are offered constantly to entice new players to join in on an array of different bingo games. In a way, this has taken a game many associate with retirement homes and cruise vessels and turned it into a modern sensation.
The lingering preference for more old-school entertainment can also be felt in the gaming environment in the UK, where modern video games have gained significant influence but some old classics remain popular.
We can also see the UK’s continued enjoyment of tried and true, traditional entertainment in the country’s general attitude toward sport. Just last year, the top-10 most popular sports in the UK were ranked by Total Sportek, and the list was completely dominated by old sports that have been played in England and around Europe in some cases for centuries. Participation in swimming, athletics, football, cycling, golf, and tennis far exceeds any interest in more modern or foreign sports like basketball, hockey, mixed martial arts, etc. And despite the UK’s increasing interest in American football, sports fans throughout the country still flock to football matches, horse races, and the like with far more enthusiasm than they will to NFL games any time soon. There’s really a very traditional aspect to sports in the country.
Through these and other examples, it’s been interesting to look at the ways in which British citizens entertain themselves as compared to much of the rest of the Western world. While there’s certainly still a trend toward mobile entertainment, TV binges, and so forth, it appears as if there’s also a very healthy appreciation for tradition throughout the country.
Feature picture from Mario Mancuso