Cultural influences from video gaming stem from the ways video games have developed. These influences extend to other media, such as television, books, music, and movies. People who are devoted to video games are just as enthusiastic as avid readers.
Cultural Influences toward Development
As gaming has developed, so has the use of home video consoles and video arcades. These products have led to the popularity of video games, spurring on competitions. Playing video games has also caused players to identify with the related characters and products.
For instance, Saturday morning cartoons have been created from games, such as Super Mario Brothers and Pac-Man. Besides the cartoons, non-game merchandise is featured for sale. These products highlight video game characters and logos. The recognition of some of the characters have turned them into icons culturally.
Indeed, the influence of video games in culture is effective. One survey in 2007 revealed that Canadians could more easily identify Mario from the Super Mario Brothers than the prime minister.
People of All Ages Play Video Games
As the children, who first played the earlier games got older, game developers began focusing on an older market. In turn, the average age of game players escalated to 35 years old. Nintendo’s Wii has even found a market among retirees. Wii Bowling is a popular type of entertainment for seniors. As a result, video gaming is now mainstream.
In turn, video games have led to changes in social and cultural views. For example, the word, “geek,” was formerly coined to represent technologically adept individuals who were not trendy or athletic. Video gaming allowed people who lacked social acuity to escape and excel competitively.
While certain people were not proficient on the sports field, they did find, through video gaming, another type of sports challenge. People who were not athletic felt a camaraderie, through gaming, they could not otherwise feel.
As a result, video gaming has given some people a means to make friends. As video games have increased, the concept of the “geek” has changed. Now, when you see the word “geek,” you often think of someone who is knowledgeable in technology and computers. What was once a slur is now considered a compliment.
Cultural Influences of Video Game Streaming
Geek cultural influences now abound in the mainstream. In turn, society has accepted geeks into its sphere. Video game streaming, for example, has triggered the acceptance of the idea of the virtual world. This is noted through popular films or books, such as Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings.
Even comic book characters—which normally appeal to geeks—are now part of the mainstream. Characters, such as Spider-Man, are a source for blockbuster films. Moreover, virtual worlds, such as those represented by online games, are now socially accepted and trending.
Most of the video games in the 1970s and 1980s developed from media, such as Star Wars or E.T. The trend, however, changed in the 1980s. At that time, cartoon-based video games were developed. By the 1990s, video games were being produced that were based on action movies.
Video Games and TV
The Super Mario Brothers video games had a strong influence on television production in the 1980s. Indeed, both video games and video game-based TV programs seemed to feed off each another.
For example, The Legend of Zelda encouraged Nintendo game play in the 1980s. During the 1990s, Pokémon was converted to a TV series, a number of movies, a card game, and a musical. Some TV programs have even emerged that focus on the playing of video games.
In the musical field, rock songs have been used for video games as well. In fact, the composing of songs for video games has become a profitable enterprise. Even certain colleges—such as New York University and Yale—feature programs that teach students how to compose game play music.
Some employers have turned to video games for employee motivation too. Employers use gaming to increase employee morale and retention. As a result, absenteeism and turnover is reduced. This type of measure, when used, increases a company’s bottom line.
In this scenario, employees are rewarded for tasks by receiving game tokens. The tokens enable them to select from games to play. When they play the games, they receive points that can be redeemed for specific rewards.
Cultural influences of game play also extend to better language skills. Games assist the gamer in developing his or her linguistic abilities. The games inspire and increase cultural knowledge in return.