Viewer Homework (9/8/08) - Game as Life Style in THE FUTURE
  • There has been a lot of talk that gaming is going to make the jump to become even bigger than it already is. It may actually reach a point that it becomes a pervasive part of everyday life, a sort of life style.

    We take that for granted, because for many of us gaming IS a lifestyle. But, the average person is only now getting a taste of that sort of thing with their I-Phones that play better games than they ever thought a Cell-Phone could play, the push by companies to capture the mom and grandma markets, and the Gamestops that are starting to take on Walmart proportions all over the United States.

    We've reached an era where people like Steve Wiebi and Billy Mitchell have reached celebrity status for being successful playing a nearly 30 year old game.

    My questions to you...

    How far do you see this Video Game pervasion of society going?

    Is the rise from the niche market, that we have enjoyed for so many years, to the mainstream a good thing?

    Are people like Geoff Keighley, Tobin and Yuzo, the Angry Video Game Nerd, Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb on the cusp of become a sort of new kind of superstar celebrity in the new era that we are confronting?

    How prepared are you for Video Games to hit the mainstream?

    Get out your books boys and girls, it's HOMEWORK TIME!

    :D

    -Ray
  • I think as long as games have the potential to wrap people up into a character that they have more invested in a game world than a real world (WoW for most, Second Life for others, etc) then you will have this kind of progression going. It's kind of a mental thing - representing yourself elsewhere, how you want. A lot of people want that, and people will continue to do it.

    I'm honestly surprised games have come as far as they have. But seeing that, seeing where its headed...Yes. It'll happen.
  • I sure hope gaming gets bigger in the future. With our generations of gamers growing up, theres definitely going to be a bigger gaming community than there is today, and with technology expanding on itself, newer and better games are going to become available to every kind of gamer out there, from casual to pro.

    And with most people of these past few generations growing up with videogames and enjoying them as part of everyday life, I think the gaming industry has the potential to produce quite a few celebrities.

    Gaming is still so young, only a few decades old, but in time, it will become a part of most people's every day life. I know when I'm working in the stock market when im 50 im going to come home from a hard days work and play some videogames, and i think since most of us grew up with games as our entertainment, a lot of others will do the same.
  • Honestly, I don't know. However, I can try to ruminate on the subject for a moment. To do that, though (as I am highly invested in literature--finishing up a Master's degree and teaching college English), I would like to put it in terms of the novel.

    Though we often think of the novel as having existed for thousands of years, it really depends on perspective. Without boring everyone with a long exegesis into what constitutes a novel (mostly because it's still up for debate), the modern novel (the novel as we know it) really got going in the 18th Century--Goethe, etc.--and came into its own in the 19th Century. For particular reasons I'm going to focus in on the 19th Century. The 19th Century novel was often (if not exclusively for a time) considered something which had the power to corrupt the minds of young women--yet another side effect of a patriarchal society where women sat at home and men went off to play. What I find interesting here is the correlation between the cultural perspective of the plight of young women in regard to the novel, and the plight of young males near the advent of the home console--and to a degree has changed little. But the novel, in and around the fin-de-siecle --in large due the rise of the New Woman--changed. From there on out, it became an entirely different animal. We saw the rise of the reader; in the late 19th, early 20th Century, schools began to offer classes in Literature for the first time. Everyone knew about writers, they gained celebrity status. To continue my comparison, take a look at the video game market today--clearly a cultural shift has occurred.

    Like Sunflower said, there is a margin of escapism at work. As such, the video game has the power to grow exponentially. However, let us take the novel today. Though we have more readers today than in years past, we also have a lot more people. The margin of readers to non-readers is slumping back toward the literacy rates prior to the 19th Century. Individuals would rather watch a movie than read a text, play a video game than get lost in a book. There is nothing wrong with this, not a all--things change. What I find interesting to note here is that the rise of one media is overshadowed by another. Though I have no way of predicting the future, there is the possibility that video games will follow suit with the novel and myriad other forms of media. We have professional gamers, games are becoming more in depth, they are getting easier (sorry I'm more of an old school gamer myself), they are being quickly mass produced. This could all be the result of cultural trends--and probably is. However, if this shotty paradigm I'm constructing here holds any water, then just as video games rise, there is the possibility that another form of media will rise and take it's place. Then we can all sit back and ruminate on the day when video games were complex, deep, engaging, and challenging--much like the novel. The novel is not dead, just changed. Perhaps the question to ask is: "what is a video game?" It's the same thing we are doing with novels right now. If we could isolate what a video game is, really is, then perhaps we could chart its progress as time goes on--watch it as it weaves in an out of various other media--extant, and to come. Will it become a lifestyle? Probably, and for many it already is. Will it ever become a way of life (and I consider the two vastly different)? No, it cannot--not unless we find a way to hardwire ourselves into the system--we don't really live in the Matrix.

    Is its rise a good thing? Yes and no. We get more games, and hopefully with that better games by way of competition. But that means that games, like the novel, will need to appeal to the masses. As such, certain niche formats will come and go--even those we love. Am I prepared? As I would be for anything--remember, I choose to enter into a shrinking academic field (I like a challenge). These are my thoughts at the moment--I'm off to teach class. If anything else pops into my brain,or I realize I've just made a doob of myself, I'll edit this away. Nice topic Pocketmego--I would really like to carry on a debate about this with anyone willing.

    Aaron
  • i think that the general growth would have to be due to the fact that game developers, not all but most, are now focusing on the non-hardcore gaming market. The biggest example is the Wii this has got people playing who have never thought of playing before, but for the hardcore gamers there are not that many games that i play on the Wii. Taking this into account i believe this acually may end up being a bad thing if game developers continue to ignore the main market, however in some areas it will have its benefits like more money will be put into games, however if this money is wasted on a more realistic tennis game for the Wii it will be hell, if i want to play a realistic game of tennis ill F**KING go out side and play tennis.

    I know i started off with a point and ended up ranting about Nintendo, sorry, but i believe my point still stands.
  • headhuntercat said:
    i think that the general growth would have to be due to the fact that game developers, not all but most, are now focusing on the non-hardcore gaming market. The biggest example is the Wii this has got people playing who have never thought of playing before, but for the hardcore gamers there are not that many games that i play on the Wii. Taking this into account i believe this acually may end up being a bad thing if game developers continue to ignore the main market, however in some areas it will have its benefits like more money will be put into games, however if this money is wasted on a more realistic tennis game for the Wii it will be hell, if i want to play a realistic game of tennis ill F**KING go out side and play tennis.

    I know i started off with a point and ended up ranting about Nintendo, sorry, but i believe my point still stands.


    Dont people start off casual and become hardcore? They are targeting a new audience to turn them into new gamers. Would you ever in your life imagine an 80 yr old woman playing a video game? no, i dont think so, yet here we have an old lady playing the gaddam wii. personally, i dont like the wii, but you have to give Nintendo credit for being marketing geniuses.

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