In 2007 a poll was conducted and it found that 72% of the U.S. population played video games. That statistic just goes to show you that there’s no denying the fact that video games have indeed played a major impact on our culture then, and still to this very day. It really shows how more and more people are becoming accepting of video gaming culture.
With the technological advancements in video gaming, it has also changed the way music, TV, and movies are produced. Even in the educational system, video games have been used as a tool to help teachers and students in communicating and implementing new skills. Schools today now have computer labs that focus on improving student computer skills, and it’s very important to have that in schools now to keep students and teachers up to date with technology.
Kids: The Younger Crowd
In order to truly understand the effects that gaming has had on today’s culture, you need to understand the gaming culture. You know how there’s a fan base of people that love reading books or watching movies? Well, there’s a fan base surrounding this genre of entertainment as well.
It was in the 1970s where friends would come together in arcades spending hours competing in games. When home consoles came about, it changed video gaming history. When the 80s hit, kids were spending more time at home playing video games. With home consoles becoming so popular, the next thing you knew, people started to see more merchandise and products associated with video games… Saturday morning cartoons were even a direct reflection of Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.
Teens/Adults: The Older Crowd
To entertain older kids/adults, Sega and Nintendo came about, and then later came to Sony and Microsoft. The games were more complex and time-consuming, forcing gamers to play longer. With the gaming world evolving so much, so have the accessories. Today, the console controllers now have more buttons and functions while PCs have mice specific for gaming, outside of the regular mouse that comes with a computer.
Back in the 70s and 80s, no one would have ever thought it possible but a gaming system came out for the even older adults called the Nintendo Wii. This gaming system was truly a family gaming system where everyone could enjoy it, but it became very popular among senior citizens and was found beneficial in the activities departments at many nursing homes and assisted living facilities. That just goes to show you how video games are good for ALL ages.
The Rise of the “Geeks”
People who accepted the advancements in technology, including video games, were shunned by society in a sense. The term “geek” was given to those people. Geeks were incredibly smart but lacked any social, athletic, and fashion capabilities to make them popular. TV has always portrayed geeks as the ones one who weren’t popular in school but they always grew up to be incredibly successful, while the popular football jock grew up to be overweight and working a dead-end job.
As video games become more popular in mainstream culture, the skills associated with video gaming culture have become more translatable into the real world, making the term “geek” not have such a negative focus behind it. Today, being a geek or nerd is a great thing and someone people aspire to be… “geek” has it’s own fashion now too! Oh, how the times have changed.
Video Games and Television
Video games being incorporated into television is nothing new. Pac-Man and Q*bert were the programs that aired in the early 80s. In the 90s, the video game Pokemon was turned into a TV series, movies, and a card game, with the slogan “got to catch them all!”
Video Games and Movies
There has been a major rise in movie adaptations of video games. Mortal Kombat (1995) grossed over $70 million that year. In 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider rose to #1 in the box office with the help of Angelina Jolie. Now, one thing that people don’t understand with video games and movies is the revenue involved.
The comparison between the two can be a little misleading. Video games are much more expensive than movie tickets, so that doesn’t necessarily mean that more people bought the game than the movie. You have to think about it like this as well. Movies can only be released at movie theatres whereas video games can be released at retail stores.
Video Games and Music
Ever since arcade games have been out, music has accompanied video games. At first, video games were only limited to “beeps” that were soon turned into theme songs. The creation of gaming consoles such as Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation made it possible to use sampled music on games. From Pac-Man to Grand Theft Auto, video games and music have had a long-time relationship and there are no signs of the relationship ending any time soon.