How Video Games Continue to Change the World
There was a time when video games were seen as a waste of time. Teenage boys and girls sitting in their rooms for hours playing mindless games. This is no longer true and today we have eSports or professional video gaming. Yes, that’s right. There are teens who are making a career out of playing video games.
Victoria Szabo, a visual studios professor and co-director of Duke’s Greater Than Games Lab, has been studying digital places and spaces and systems that take advantage of games, mobile devices, and other media to enrich history and culture. She says that video games play a huge part of contemporary culture and society is only just starting to appreciate the potential that video games have for creative and critical expression. She gives a number of reasons why we should be paying attention to video games and how they can change the world.
4 Reasons Video Games Have the Potential to Change the World
The barrier between the virtual and physical worlds is getting thinner and thinner. In the past people relied on drawings and diagrams but now 3D objects can be printed from a computer and with virtual reality we can now step inside these 3D realities and explore. Headsets from Google VR and other headset design companies allow this technology to be used. First person shooter games allow players to step inside a new world and see exactly what is happening from their characters view point.
- Collaborative quests are a great way to practice for real world group activities. Games like World or Warcraft are a great way to demonstrate this and it teaches people leadership skills. In this video game, players have to coordinate with diverse groups of people from around the world to come together and complete a task. Being a good team member also involves recognizing and working with your strengths and playing collaboration and team games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and World of Warcraft are a great way to build your leadership skills.
- Researchers that work on video games have discovered that despite the potential to explore new identities, video games tend to prefer playing as themselves. This opens up a lot of space for online training programs and remote work-group collaborations. This has also led the way for serious gaming activities like online therapy and conflict negotiation. There are lots of companies that now have online training programs.
- Gamification using quests, badges, and other concepts are a great way to introduce milestones and work on goal setting. Games that use these are a great way to to introduce task-based learning as well as work and skill development. When these tasks are introduced in video games they bring fun into what might otherwise be conceived as boring work.
- Video games make more money than Hollywood when they release and there are often long pre-order schedules and players waiting to get their hands on the newest game. This shows that video gaming is a huge industry.
Games are no longer seen as being a geek thing to do and they are now part of mainstream culture. They can be found everywhere and on all devices. Just look at the explosion of mobile games and apps. Puzzle games, brain training, adventure, strategy, and more. Every possible category you can think of has games available.
Video Games as a Career Option
You probably never would have thought that you could play video games for a living, but in 2018 you can. In fact, you’ve been able to make a successful career out of professional video gaming for a number of years now. It’s called eSports and there are teams from all over the world and multi-million dollar tournaments that take place all over the world. Professional gamers are available on a number of big name games like Dota 2, League of Legends, Halo, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA, and much more. These players make a living playing video games and they can win millions taking part in professional tournaments. In fact, many have sponsorships too and there are professional eSports Leagues too. The Guardian even wrote an article about how to turn virtual reality fun into a career.
Online casinos are also starting to offer real money slots bets on these games. The eSports betting is fast taking over the world, and provide spectators to get in on the action by placing a bet on their favourite eSports teams. Fans can bet on the “outright winner” of the tournament, or “match winner”. When selecting the latter, bettors will be able to choose between “moneyline” and “handicap”. Sportsbooks where bets on eSports are offered will display the odds and bet amounts for games such as Dota 2, CS:GO and StarCraft ꟷ to name but a few.
Video Games and How Far They’ve Come
It’s not something that many would ever have dreamed possible but today and the technology we now possess has made all this possible. For more than 30 years, society has been influenced by video games and we can go all the way back to the likes of Space Invaders in 1978 to the introduction of Donkey Kong by Nintendo in 1981. Video games have also played a part in growing up and names like Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and even Pokémon are known around the world.
Today a lot of things are added to video games and if you look at the Call of Duty series, these video games are all about the war on terror. Game designers know the role that violent actions serve in their game’s stories in a similar way that script writers or authors know how to leverage it in a best-selling book or Hollywood blockbuster.
Video games are also being used in education. These games come with clear, meaningful goals, multiple structures, scoring systems, adjustable difficulty levels, surprise elements, and much more. Strategy games are a great example of these where players are required to form their own world and top titles include the Tycoon and Civilization series.
There will also be arguments that video games and their connection to violence is not a good thing and that it can’t have a positive impact, but players love video games and with the introductions of Virtual Reality players can now step inside different worlds and realities and explore and learn even more. You can travel the world with virtual reality video games and that really can’t be a bad thing.