In May, “Pass Culture” launched nationwide in France – a smart phone app that gives €300 to every 18-year-old for cultural purchases such as books, music, exhibition and performance tickets or courses over two years. A NYT article looks into what they buy and it looks like so far the majority of purchases were books of which two-thirds were manga. That purchase went to physical goods is likely driven by the limited availability of events due to Covid restrictions. “But the focus on comic books reveals a tension at the heart of the Culture Pass: the freedom for young people to buy what they like (including mass media they already love) and its architects’ aim of guiding users toward trying something new”. Teenagers themselves echoed both critics and promoters of the pass: More guidance wouldn’t hurt, but the freedom is great.
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