Who doesn’t like to play video games? Gamers, today, are from every age group, from young school-going children to seniors living in retirement facilities. It’s safe to say that video games have snuck into everyone’s lives and are playing a significant role in one way or another.
Don’t believe me?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the numbers.
According to the Entertainment Software Association (EAS),
- 3 out of 5 people admit to playing daily
- 64% of US households own a device that facilitates playing video games
- nearly 65% of US adults, about 164 million people, play video games daily
- 60% of gamers play on a smartphone, 52% on PCs, and 49% on dedicated game consoles such as Xbox, Nintendo, etc.
Every year, these statistics get better and better, which is a testament to the widespread incorporation of video games in the lives of people.
Exactly how have games become a part of our daily lives?
Video games have exhibited an increasing influence on our lives. From its inception in the 1970s, the gaming industry has significantly transformed over nearly half a century. Video arcades and gaming consoles used to be the ‘in’ ways to game.
But today, there is no struggle involved in playing a game. All you need is a PC and some gadgets, and you can play games without even moving from your couch.
We opt for games when we are home alone, we play games when we are hanging out with our friends, and we play games when there is a family get together on Christmas or Thanksgiving. Therefore, it is imperative to look at the numerous ways gaming has already infiltrated our lives.
A source of entertainment
One of the reasons people play games is entertainment. With access to many genres and types, alongside the access to play games on any device, there’s no reason for people not to play video games.
From mobile phones to PCs to gaming consoles, individuals can now play online or offline, or simply watch others play games in real-time.
Gaming has also gained popularity because of the ease of access to them. Earlier, gaming was considered a hobby of the rich. But now, the ubiquity of gaming platforms has made gaming accessible for all.
If you don’t want to invest heavily in your gaming equipment, you can always avail of the online platforms that offer a wide range of games that you can enjoy. There are various websites for online PC games. Even if you don’t have a PC, you have a lot of options for mobile games as well.
One such platform is Unlimited Gamez Mo that features a large number of games that you can play online on your mobile. Subscribers have access to all these games on their cell phones in exchange for a small fee.
Merely engaging in gameplay for the sake of entertainment is a thing of the past. The education sector has witnessed a significant change and is using new technologies to help teachers and students to communicate in a better way.
Through the aid of educational video games, students of all ages have gained a lot. Not only have these tools help children improve math and grammar skills, but they’ve also facilitated the development of analytical skills, learning skills, visual-processing skills, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, technical skills, etc.
When appropriately utilized, games can help children learn, whether at school or home. While some people still disagree with the benefits, it’s still hard to negate their positive influence, especially now that many educational institutions have adopted its use.
Development of a social gaming culture
The acceptance of computers and numerous technological devices into the mainstream has helped create a video gaming culture.
Moreover, it’s produced a unique sub-culture of society that favors people who possess adept technological skills, yet are deficient in other popular ones, such as fashion sense or athletic ability. Instead of fashion blogs, these guys follow technology news and updates. Instead of going to football matches, they follow the e-sports competition.
Video gaming is proving to be a space where quick-fingered, computer-bound, and like-minded individuals can come together. Online games have expanded the concept of virtual worlds where players can interact with others instead of escaping into isolation.
Gaming as a business venture
Like books and movies, avid gamers have helped create a demand for new and more challenging games. People now not only demand games but also an array of nongaming merchandise with game logos and characters.
The public recognition of gaming icons such as Pac-Man, Super Mario, and Pokemon Go are explicit examples of how famous video games can infiltrate our daily lives.
Video gaming as a way of life
Video games are now a way of life. Games come out, people talk about them, play them, and foster a community around them. Not only this, but those games are also reviewed, and competitions are organized for them.
More ardent gamers pick up these games and earn a living out of them. Ardent followers attend gaming carnivals and collect souvenirs of their favorite games. Games, slowly and gradually, become an integral component of their lives.
Games as planning tools
Many planning tools are based on underlying technologies in video games. Simulation games are a common way of teaching players how to manage real-life scenarios. These video games intend to create different circumstances where gamers can test a variety of realistic options and see which ones produce the best results.
For example, CityOne, a free interactive game released by IBM, allows business leaders, city planners, and government agencies a chance to manage crisis scenarios that require the application of new technologies.
Not only do individuals learn and improve essential planning skills, but these training systems also build confidence and bolster successful strategies. There is, however, still a great deal of potential in this aspect of video gaming.
The media industry and video games
Video games have drastically altered the way media is produced and consumed. Initially, in the 1970s and ‘80s, video game ideas were often a derivative from movies, television shows, and books.
By the 1990s and onwards, it was the other way around. Cartoons and movies were based on video gaming characters. Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto IV are examples of such film adaptations.
The advent of game streaming sites, like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, as well as e-sports tournaments, have also contributed to the growing popularity of games. Moreover, mobile gaming apps are allowing individuals to compete with other gamers in real-time.
Needless to say, the boundaries between video games and media are slowly blurring.
Video gaming for professionals
According to marketingcharts.com, ‘35% of C-suite executives play video games.’ It allows them to feel more relaxed, confident, energetic, productive, and mentally focused.
More interestingly, research shows that doctors who require improve their handling of various surgical instruments by playing simulation games. Not only does it refine surgical skills, but it also improves decision making, vision, and hand-eye coordination.
Studies indicated that such activities three hours a week helped doctors commit 37% fewer errors and work 27% faster. But the incorporation of severe games by various industries around the world is just picking up pace.
Lexus performs safety tests on its vehicles with an advanced driving simulator Canon allows its repair technicians to drag and drop parts on a virtual copier. FedEx utilizes simulators to teach pilots while UPS has one to train new drivers.
We are at a stage where technology is a society constant. Sensors and tracking equipment monitor and record every aspect of our lives. If Black Mirror is to be believed, we are not too far from the time when our lives will also be gamified. People will earn points for everything they normally do.
Life, like that, is practically unimaginable today. Just how much power will video games have to influence, shape, and impact our way of life?
Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter:@IM_AndreaBell