UD has a category on this blog called Where the Simulacrum Ends, and it chronicles the many ways in which high-tech postmodern American culture is making the nuisance of conducting an actual life – a life outside of one’s bedroom, kitchen, and tinted-window car – a thing of the past.
This category has things in common with another UD category – Online Makeover – because among the education-related de-actualizing she chronicles (here, “actual” means going to public buildings and being with other physical humans) is the transformation of the country’s universities to – well, the strongest current model is Southern New Hampshire University, but pretty much everyone else is bringing up the rear. Public life in general in the United States is disappearing, and universities are no exception.
And of course that most salient feature of our higher education institutions – their football games – is also undergoing obsolescence. It’s happening in the professional leagues; it’s happening in the university leagues.
Before long, players may be performing in front of empty stands, with those most interested in the game sitting or standing miles away.
Why should anyone care, though? Ticket sales are no longer the main source of revenue for sports leagues. That may be a fair economical point to be made, but is there nothing to say about the toll this may take on integrity of the games played? Does the game gain a feel of becoming more of a simulation that we score through fantasy points as opposed to real-live action taking place right in front of our eyes?
Integrity… integrity… That strange word seems the core of this statement, yet what does it mean? What does it mean to say that a university or a football game has integrity?