You’ve heard the arguments for and against video games. You’ve heard the screaming and shouting about how dangerous video games are for the younger generation, and the counter argument that they’re educational – but the simple fact of the matter is that they are popular. But what’s behind our global love for video games, exactly? Truth is, there are hundreds of reasons as to why we adore unwinding and immersing ourselves into a completely different universe and with some of our old favourites even being remastered onto different platforms, there’s no denying that demand and popularity is still on the rise. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie, a hard core gamer or a nostalgic parent dreaming about the good old days of Donkey Kong, there is still something for you in the video gaming industry. We’ve decided to explore the magic behind video games, and the real reason as to why they’re so popular around the globe.
They Provide Escapism
Even if you adore your job or school, everyone can have a bad day that just leaves them feeling deflated. We can all look forward to arriving home, chucking our keys on the side and putting our feet up – and our video games will be right there waiting for us! With the likes of mobile and handheld gaming storming the market, we can even escape from the realities of life almost anywhere! But more on that later. Video games exist in almost every genre, from horror, to military, to fantasy; they cater for everyone and can provide all kinds of escapes, and given the popularity of the market it’s easy to understand why. Many other industries have noticed the scale of this phenomenon and are starting to capitalise on the popularity of video games. Even the gambling industry has noticed this trend and is making a major shift towards skill-based casino games!
In life, we experience a whole range of stresses, from an abundance of work to a potentially bad home life. Of course, we aren’t saying ‘quit your job!’ or ‘never speak to anyone again!’ What we are saying, however, is that it’s more than OK to sit back and immerse yourself in a completely different world for a little while. After all, once you’re living the life of a night elf traversing the worlds of Teldrassil (World of Warcraft anyone?), you can easily escape from the curveballs life throws at us.
Creativity Is Encouraged
No matter how you look at it, video games are technically a form of art that practically anyone can do. Think about it; There are thousands of video games in the industry that encourage players to unleash their creative side, allowing them to create levels or even build an entire game themselves. Take Minecraft for example – the entire game is your oyster! You can build whatever landscape you desire, with thousands of different resources available to you so that you can get the job done, so there’s a lot that Minecraft can teach us about creativity! Or, you could look at Little Big Planet. Children are able to create their own levels and share them with the rest of the world, giving them the chance to dip their toes into the animation industry.
When it comes to children especially, this is a massive reason as the why video games are so popular. It’s even argued that parents should consider video games as a positive activity because of this, rather than completely disregarding them. As well as sharing their creation amongst their friends, children are able to let their inspirations flow directly onto the screen, making their creations come to life – what’s more exciting than that?!
Something Different Is Offered
The video game industry is rapidly changing, with so many new technological innovations being introduced to the market. For example, we’ve recently seen the revolution of the gambling industry as people are able to try everything from slots to live tables all from the comfort of their own home thanks to the rise of online casinos. Or how about those skills-based games we mentioned? Technology has changed the way the younger generations explore, so is it so hard to understand why the challenges they face have moved from building a blanket fort in the living room, to completing quests from their laptops? Even the casinos we mentioned have started to take up a video game-esque approach to gambling.
But the innovations really don’t stop there. Since the birth of cryptocurrencies in 2009 and the following Bitcoin gambling industry, all they’ve ever done since is increase in popularity. Then, with digital currencies such as Bitcoin comes blockchain, which has weaved itself in to several video games, including Spells of Genesis. This particular video game is very popular amongst the younger generation. It is a mix of a strategic card game and retro arcade games – the cards are used to destroy enemy cards, a similar concept to Blizzard’s Hearthstone, but it’s the use of blockchain that completely revolutionises SoG and sets it out from the crowd. Players are actually able to purchase these in-game cards with Bitcoin, all of which is done via blockchain technology. It sounds technical, but it’s these innovations that gamers are looking for now that so many more gadgets are getting transformed into something more mind-blowing.
You Can Interact With Others
Even we can’t deny that some people take this to extreme – no neighbour wants to be up at night because of the excited screams coming from next door at 3am. Ultimately though, video games offer an opportunity for gamers to interact with each other, not only providing more entertainment value but also improving their team-building skills. There are so many video games on the market that all require good problem-solving skills as well as teamwork skills in order to persevere. Take All Orcs Must Die, for example. Yes, it’s a relatively simple game to grasp, however you can only really succeed if you tactically place your traps in the appropriate place to kill the orcs before they get you.
To be victorious in a game like this, you must communicate with your other players; otherwise it’s simply a recipe for disaster! We get it, teaming up in a Destiny raid isn’t exactly a good replica of real life, but the dedication and cooperation needed to succeed in such a raid will prepare gamers for teamwork in the real world. Plus, it isn’t all about interaction with other online players, as most games require the player to interact with other NPC’s (non-player characters) as well. This alone can make us feel more sociable, and still requires cooperative skills depending on the video game being played.
There Are Multiple Platforms To Play On
As we’ve already mentioned, almost everyone, no matter what generation they’re from, will interact with video games from time to time. Naturally, millennials are most engrossed with the console types, such as PS4 and Xbox, however there is still something for the other generations as well. Mobile gaming has become hugely popular over recent years, with the industry raking in a huge $40.6 billion revenue by the end of 2016. Adults are quite a large audience in this sector, with addictive apps such as Candy Crush Saga and Bubble Witch Saga taking the world by storm a few years ago.
However, the biggest audience for mobile gaming are children and teenagers, and when you have apps like Sims FreePlay and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp available to you, it’s hardly surprising as to why they’re so popular with the younger generation. Not only are these games free to play (for a while at least), most of them are providing gamers with even better graphics, even giving some console games a run for their money.
From condoles and PC, all the way through to retro platforms being brought back into the markets (Tamagotchi, anyone? How about those rumours about the GameBoy Mini being developed?), we have all loved and interacted with video games in our lives, perhaps without even realising. Whether it’s the graphics that really astound you, or you simply want to escape the realities of life for just a little while, video games can facilitate all of this. After all, when do you ever get more than one chance at life in the real world?