29 July 2020
Everyone can remember that at some point in their lives there has been an argument for video games negatively impacting people’s lives. While the mainstream media tends to focus on these negative aspects, it is important that those who are true fans of video gaming instead look to some of the other impacts they have had on our society.
One of the primary impacts that video games have on society as a whole comes from the generation of content created due to that game. This happens at every level, from big corporations to those at the bottom of the tiers.
To take an example at the highest tier, we have media like The Witcher TV show or the Resident Evil film series. These are both based on successful video games that have millions of players all around the world. This is proof that there is a market for video game content that has evolved into other forms of media.
However, there is a lot more out there than just what the professionals are making. There are many people who make content on an individual level. From the many modders who create stunning and complex additions to games often for free and definitely in their own spare time, to content creators like fanfiction writers and fan artists, there is no end to the ways in which video games can inspire reality.
Even if we have never heard of gamification, it is likely that we will have seen it in action at some point in our lives. This is the concept of taking something related to a game, such as completing achievements or a point system for rewards, and applying to content completely unrelated to gaming.
Whether you are working towards the next rewards tier at your favourite online shop or you are ticking off things from your “to-do” list for the day, you are seeing gamification in action! It is sneaky, but it is also an incredibly useful way of making things seem fun and engaging.
While people will frequently do things that they never would in real-life when playing video games, that does not mean that they are not learning anything from them. People often pick up many passive skills from video games, even if they are not playing ones that are not overly skill- or puzzle-based.
Many video games also offer their players the chance for philosophical reflection that they may not see from other media that they enjoy. For example, the quote as follows:
…“What is better? To be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?”…
is food for thought. It raises stark questions and provokes deep thought, yet it is a quote which is part of a game where you can be a dragon-slaying hero.
Video games are an intrinsic part of digital society and it is high time that we started to recognise the value that they have. They have had a lasting impact on our society since they hit the mainstream market, and have inspired so many generations in countless ways.