This Weeks Geek - Is Magic Incompatible with Video Games?

Magic.  It is a wondrous thing that allows the impossible to happen. Flying carpets, repairing broken items in an instant and creating games such as quidditch. But in a world where magic is fully accessible by everyone, in a world where magic makes everyone's lives easier, would we have video games?

For this discussion I am going to mainly refer to the world of Harry Potter and how things are in Hogwarts compared to the muggle world. I will not be including the things that appear to be a direct byproduct of wizard / muggle interaction such as magical vehicles.

First off, in the wizard world, you don't see that many machines, if you see any at all outside fo the train, and there is a very good reason for this. Magic solves all the problems that machines solve for muggles Why create a telephone when you can use telepathy to talk long distances. Why create a mail system when you have owls that do the job just as well. Why create cars when you have magical animals that can help you around, even if you cannot see them. GPS would not be needed thanks to items such as the Marauders Map that knows where everyone is at all the times. Imagine road maps like that? You could look at the map and know what traffic was like, assuming there would even be traffic. You don't even need a TV set since they have moving picture frames and newspapers. The point is that in a world of magic there is no need for near as much machinery as a world born without magic.

Now that we have decided that magic makes things so much easier that a lot of things never need to be invented, lets look at computers. The muggle world created computers to transmit data over a large distance as fast as possible, and to store that data. Wizards do the same thing, only with magic. Don't ask me to explain the magic how any of this magic would actually work, it is magic and therefore cannot be reasonably explained by a muggle such as I. My point is, that without any reason to create the very first DARPA computer, there would be no Apple IIe. There would be no Pong or Atari. Nothing would have been created to be the base of video game systems. We would not even have invented the monitor to display said information. Sure there may be some sort of magical game that takes place in the air or something cool, but it would not be the same.

And that is how I view it. If I could cast levitate, or had a spell that could find a specific book I was looking for, what would be the purpose of having a machine to store the information of where the book is? I welcome conversation and rebuttals on this. But as far as I am concerned, I am happy we have no magic, for I love my video games.