NPR: On the Media – Video Games

This one is interesting: NPR covers video games and their effects on society.

There are a few key themes here: What kinds of games sell and why? How can games be regulated as a medium? How do gamers consider themselves, and who really considers themselves gamers? What do gamers learn, and how can their skillset be harvested and used?

The history of the video game is relatively short, but very eventful. From Winkydink, the most primitive, to Mario, to Call of Duty now, video games have gone from one revolution to another, whether they are graphic updates, new consoles, unique interfaces, or distinct gameplay mechanics.

This is so natural to us now, but going back just a short way, the Gameboy was a bizarre concept, unique, new, and incredible, only 15 years ago.

The First-Person Shooter was another revolution: immersive games were now possible, as a potential virtual reality. 3-D games became reality, and are now commonplace.

Strategy games, sports games, racing simulators, and simulators of various types are all other examples of innovations, and consoles and PC games all illustrate the varieties of games available.

MMORPGs are another of the greatest genres of videogames in the world now. What is the draw? The achievement systems in games that offer rewards for in-game accomplishment are extensive. The sense of adventure and comradery are dramatic and larger-than-life, allowing the player to feel like a hero or a villain, a competent soldier or a blundering fool. You get to maintain yourself in the world, and live a life apart from reality.

These elements of draw are being applied to all varieties of games now, with dramatic effects. It is commonplace for young men and women to invest a great deal of time in an activity that has little or questionable effects on reality around them.

Is there anything wrong or right with the massive videogaming trends now? What do you think?


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