Video games are making a dent in popular culture. This culture has bled out a few of the best movie franchises and merchandising items as well. While extremely frowned upon by the older generations, video gamers now consider playing games as a career. There are multiple pathways to profit out of gaming nowadays. Activities like streaming, content creation, and e-sports are considered pathways to good careers in the gaming industry.
The video game industry has also resulted in the rise of other businesses and interests. The constant hunt for better computer components and consoles is an indirect result of video game software improvement. Things like customizing computer cases, the return of mechanical keyboards, and the birth of the dedicated gaming mouse are all brought about by the gaming culture.
The whole fervor regarding the video gaming industry begs a few questions: how did everything begin to rise? Was the whole industry an overnight miracle? How did we, as a culture, begin to accept gaming as a way of life?
A Brief History of Gaming
The first-ever video gaming was made in a computer laboratory. William Higinbotham created the video game preceding Pong in 1958. Unlike Pong’s claim to fame, the game only had cathode ray tubes representing the court’s two sides and a dot representing the ball. The ball would go back and forth between two conflicting sides. Tennis for Two was primarily only for display in a scientific open house. Ironically, the creator’s main interest was nuclear arms control — an entirely different affair that also involves conflict.
The Turning Point
The video game industry’s cultural rise actually began in the 1970s and 80s during the Atari Super System craze. Arcade games weren’t new at the time. However, it is with home consoles that video gaming became mainstream. Every nuclear family got their own console. As years passed by, the console itself became cheaper. Gems of games that we know today were continuously pumping out beloved franchises. Super Mario, one of the best selling video game franchises globally, first began its amazing run to being a cultural phenomenon during those decades to the delight of the Japanese game giant Nintendo.
The Rise of Gamers
While most credit internet connectivity to be the reason why there are video game enthusiasts, the rise of the gaming community is popularly attributed to being pioneered by Jagex publishing. With the launch of their Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game named Runescape, a sense of community was gained through online interactions.
While online matchmaking was already available during the time, it was only through Runescape that a different kind of independence was given to the average gamer. By giving the player freedom to do whatever they wanted, socializing through their own avatars became natural. Even the awkward, shy, and introverted became empowered to interact with their fellow gamers. World of Warcraft succeeded Runescape and the rest, as they say, is history.
A Healthier Outlook
Gaming nowadays is generally more accepted. While there are a few horror stories of what gaming can do, the good overwhelmingly outweighs the bad. Video games are also now considered spectator sports. Every day, millions view their favorite streamer play any game. Through the video gaming culture, people are given a healthier outlet to spend time on. The importance of social interactions is highlighted over the pandemic.
Video games allow people to talk and interact with other people, even if it is only over the internet. In general, games can increase and improve your hand-eye coordination and teach you to become better problem solvers. Some studies indicate that games improve the health of tough patient cases in hospitals.
Video games are popular for a reason. It is more than a hobby. Nowadays, it is considered a way of life.