Published on February 28th, 2014 | by Guest


Video gaming transformed the world – know the changes it made in us

Video games touched down back in the nineteen seventies with the simple but addictive and still living pong. Since that fateful day in 1974 they’ve advanced leaps and bounds to the point where today they occupy a place of increasing importance in modern life. In TV special “How video games have changed the world” Charlie Brooker goes through the many different aspects of our life which have been affected by video games, and the growing trend of gamification in popular media.

The show, broadcast on Channel 4 on February 22 this year, shows us how a small niche market has progressed into a multimillion dollar media industry with revolutionary new concepts being applied to marketing, social media and entertainment derived almost entirely from video games.

video gaming

How video games have gone mainstream

Charlie Brooker takes a look at the expanding nature of video game culture and the way in which it is permeating other media forms. He looks at Pacman cartoons and magazine covers graced by Lara Croft in an effort to show how video games have broken into mainstream culture almost without anyone intending them to.

Games such as Grand Theft Auto, the Sims and Street Fighter are looked at in terms of the landmark nature of design and technology that they represent; the birth of three dimensional animations being fuelled by demand in the gaming industry and the fandom from games such as street fighter creating an entire subculture of people willing to purchase movies, cartoons and merchandising.

Video games are not to introverted teens anymore

Charlie Brooker also goes on to highlight how he feels most current assumptions are incorrect, being old and stale generalizations employed by mass media with little to no understanding or desire to understand. Gamers are still presented as teenage wasters with little to no ambition beyond lazily completing levels on their favorite game. This introvert teenager image is despite the current trend of the gaming industry to aim for a prominent female gaming audience or the growing family audience as mature gamers in their thirties or older are now introducing their children to the hobby of gaming.

The mainstream video games industry is not the only element being viewed either. Alongside an analysis of Lara Croft’s status as a feminist icon or objectivist plaything is a look at indie games and their inherent alternative culture. It’s a hallmark of all major cultural movements that they usually inspire an alternative movement alongside them which aims to depict certain elements of the mainstream movement with more artistic and creative freedom. This is true in video games as indie games have become a hot bed of rampant creativity and wanton experimentation.

Games such as Papers Please show the true nature of evil; being a gradual and insidious movement which eventually wins through according to the show. Papers Please has been used as an example of the true art of game design as it is technologically primitive in comparison to other games but is still interesting and well liked by its audience because it uses good game play design and genuine emotion.

Video gaming – an industry that keeps expanding

In televised media the gaming culture is under-represented but online it is well represented and this shows a clear-cut embrace of new technology by gamers. The interesting thing that Charlie Brooker finishes on is that though Twitter itself isn’t a game, it utilizes the same basic interactive models for its users.

What’s for certain is that video games are increasing in prominence and importance, and with the rise in the independent market for games, they have truly breached the boundaries of entertainment and taken on the mantle of the world’s most prevalent interactive art. When future historians look back on us they will say this was the golden age of gaming, where many beautiful works of artistic merit were created.


Author Bio: Christopher Austin is the writer to this article and several other high quality articles on gaming and technology. He also owns a number of online gaming sites including Truck Games 365 where you can play lots of truck games free.

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