Is Gaming becomeing a way of life.

i remember my first Nintendo i had Mario and Zelda. i remember spending hours beating those games. in those early days of gaming it was thought to be something only younger kids did for fun. however as i grew up so did the games and i continued to keep playing them. now days everyone has played a game or 2 i know you have. we have them on every device we own. some people even schedule there day around there gaming life while other even live there life in games themselves via social online games.

statistics say 155 million Americans regularly play video games. 42 percent of Americans play for at least three hours per week. Four out of five American households contain a device used to play video games. my question is, since when did games become such a irreparable part of our lives and how will games effect our future as a society? Are video games a problem or will they become a household staple like the TV if not already.

What do you think?

This sounds a lot like a homework prompt.

But it’s also a little silly because gaming is just a hobby… like football, or stamp collecting, or skiing, or anything. It’s not “a way of life” and anyone that tries to frame it that way clearly has an ulterior motive.

And you’ve answered your own question, gaming is already an ingrained part of the American experience: “155 million Americans regularly play video games. 42 percent of Americans play for at least three hours per week. Four out of five American households contain a device used to play video games.”

Not only is gaming becoming (has become?) a way of life, it is going to be even more so. Gamification (it’s a real word) is becoming more and more common.

There’s a guy on YouTube who makes a killing playing games. Millions a year. Apparently, there are people who watch other people play games too.

I wonder if the lines at libraries have gone down since games took over?

While that’s an interesting question, I would be more curious as to when they became an inseparable part of our lives. I blame the iPhone, even though I don’t use mine for gaming.

It’s another artform that’s starting to reach maturity, like television, movies, music and books before it.

Becoming? Gaming was already a cultural identifier 30 years ago. One change I’ve noticed in the last decade or so is companies trying to cash in on my childhood nostalgia. This isn’t unique to video games, just the usual demographic march, but it’s how crap like Pixels gets made. A lot was made in the '90s how video games were starting to emulate movies, but also a lot of action movies are trying to emulate video games too. Or on a more grass roots level the rise of faux-retro indie games or the explosion of chiptune music.

It’s either a hobby, like you said, or it’s a form of entertainment, like watching TV or reading for pleasure.

And, like any of those things, it can take over a person’s life, but it doesn’t have to.

Why can’t we all just play checkers! Playing games has always been a part of life.

Lots of libraries carry video games. But even without that, library use is way up in recent years.

Watching TV and reading for pleasure are both hobbies too. How are they not?

Games have been a part of life for a long time. Adults play cards, checkers, chess, and a bunch of other board games. We have only had the technology to play electronic games since the 1980s though (I’m not counting the first generation of gaming consoles, I think those were just pong) and affordable gaming consoles are only 20-30 years old.

Anyway yeah it is a way of life at this point. Gaming is more immersive than television. Plus it is way cheaper with far more options than we had 20 years ago.

If you mean computer games, you’ll have to change that to “some of our lives.” I do understand that gaming is huge, but there are still pockets of society immune. Thank god. Not just us old folks either. My wife and I have five kids between is, none of us own (or, as far as I know, ever used) an Xbox or play station or downloaded a game more complex than Angry Birds.

I’m not making a moral judgment, I have nothing against such a hobby. It’s just as foreign to us as soccer or curling. ;).

I find it notable that the user Justin Bailey is posting in this thread. I’m sure that some of us have the significance of that name burned into our memory.

Some stats, which I’m just going to copy from the front page of the Entertainment Software Association (A US based industry-promotional group.)

Most of those numbers are huge - and remember - most of those numbers refer to the US industry. Thinking world-wide, you should probably triple it.

Gaming is the new Hollywood. Additionally, it’s the new pro-sports. Online competitive gaming is a mutli-million dollar industry in itself (and more so, in Asia). Games like Starcraft & League of Legions feature regular tournaments and video broadcasts. Younger gamers are flocking to Youtube and Twitch games where they can interact in real time with someone who’s playing a game, both competitively or often, just for fun, like Minecraft streamers.

It’s this interactivity that makes gaming attractive for younger players. TV watching is utterly passive. You just sit there. With streaming content, the viewers can chat with each other and offer suggestions to the player.

Gaming is changing what people expect for entertainment. There’s no looking back.

And thus becoming old hat, with grandparents taking up gaming for the first time. The cool is gone. :wink: But I think “way of life” is the wrong term for the tens of millions of casual gamers. It means something one devotes ones life to, like a career. Some gamers make some money at it, some might even make a living, though I’d like some cites for that guy who makes “millions” playing on YouTube. Sounds like a far outlier whose data can be discarded in the final report.

Merneith’s link makes interesting points, though. Video game programmers do a bloody good job, constantly pushing the technological envelope and forcing computer manufacturers to constantly improve their products to keep up, which benefits users who don’t game. They are well worth an average of $95k. For them it is a way of life, but they are mainly support personnel, not the 74% of moms who play Bejeweled, or whatever damn thing she plays these days, with the audio on, annoying their husbands who are just trying to watch the damned TV. And they DID steal that snatch of song from the My Little Pony theme, dammit! :wink:

And playing three hours a week is hardly a “way of life.” Shit, even I, crank that I am, play weekly. It’s something to do with my eyes while listening to podcasts.

Your point? Don’t be cagey. Some of us have no idea of which you speak.

You kidding? Games have been around since “Kick the T. Rex and run” was invented. We’re all descendants of the winners!

He’s probably referring to PewDiePie, who is an outlier in every possible respect; he’s the highest-earning YouTuber, full stop. He made something like 12 million dollars last year.

Putting that aside, there are more and more gamers every year who are making their livings streaming. Pick any popular game and there are probably 3-10 streamers who are making a living off of Twitch subscriptions, donations, YouTube advertisements, and other considerations. Watch a live Twitch stream of one of the popular Hearthstone guys and you can actually track the money rolling in as they pause every now and then to thank new subscribers and donations.

Then you have folks who are actually full-time employees of online streaming services. TGN, for example, is owned by BroadbandTV Corp. They employ streamers who do nothing but produce online content, each generally focused on one or two games.

This sort of thing is exploding, and general consumption of this sort of media is also exploding as it becomes easier to pull up this content on regular televisions.

“Gaming” is a lifestyle in the same way “film buff”, “comic nerd”, or “golfing” is a lifestyle. It can be, but doesn’t have to be.

I’d say that gaming is, perhaps, more prone to this sort of thing due to the monetary and time investment. Even “really short” games often clock around 6-10 hours, and unlike, say, golf or rock climbing or hiking (which can easily eat a day) it’s available on-demand. Not to mention quite a few games are… less than ethical about respecting their playerbase, and use all sorts of really heinous psychological tricks to keep people investing their time and money.

Still, it’s possible to surround yourself with completely gaming-related media. I tend to go in streaks, where I read a lot, then I get bored and binge TV and film (and read film-related books), then I only read/watch/play gaming stuff etc, but it’s no more a lifestyle than any other hobby prone to being taken to extremes.

Twelve million? So the Nostalgia Critic and Chick, who put a lot of effort and care into their shows and are turning into real, respectable film analysts, MUST make much more, right? Right?

There is no justice in this world. :frowning: