Gaming is no longer subculture. Historically, gaming has had a bad wrap for being seen as a distraction from prosperous living: providing personal and family needs, communicating within one’s community, and building further skill and resources to become more successful. In today’s world, gaming can actually help us achieve these things, and more. Gaming is infused in our communication devices and networks. Games like Farmville, Words With Friends, and even Flappy Bird can be seen as a sign of being socially active. The introduction of Achievements by Microsoft has transformed what gaming can be. Many people have found out how to game professionally, and some even ask for donations–and receive them. Here are five signs gaming has gone mainstream.
#1 Rise of the Game Night
Leave it to Meetup.com to bring the social back to the types of gaming we used to do. This site inspired Facebook and other sites to buff their communities to compete. This is a go-to resource for finding people with similar tastes in gaming. You might not find exactly what you are looking for, but social gamers actually collect games that play well with gamers of other types.
Various games can be seen as gateways to others. Meet ups take advantage of this. Maybe players of a fantasy collectible card game called Magic: The Gathering will be introduced to deck-building games like Ascension or Dominion to raise their interest in board gaming. Video gamers might get pulled into a board game version of their favorite game. Words With Friends might inspire some Scrabble, various Magic The Gathering PC or console games triggers some to play the paper version of the game. There are many examples of specialty gamers finding solace in board games.
With Wil Weaton turning to the public to fund his show Tabletop, a YouTube sensation going into its 3rd season, we find that people love to watch good board gaming. TCG staff writer, Nick D, highlights a lot of games in his own YT channel Board Game Brawl with over 2000 subscribers, showing you whether games are worth your time. He even goes out of his way to make sure you know how to play them.
#2 Call of Duty is in the X-Games
With Call of Duty being added to the roster in the X-Games in the USA, we find the difference between a sport and a game has diminished.
#3 Showing People Your Gaming Videos Has Become A Profession
Professional video gamers on YouTube and Twitch.tv has become a thing. YouTube’s recent announcement to acquire Twitch might make saving your console recordings even easier. Let’s hope!
#4 Smart Phones and Handheld Technology
We all know some parents may lean on video gaming to keep the kids busy. Now, people of all ages are hooked and have access all the time.
#5 Television Focus on Gaming has Gone Haywire
Watching gaming on TV is not a new thing. Granted, we have sports broadcasting. Game shows have been around on TV for almost as long. NBC in America introduced Hollywood Game Night in recognition of the board game comeuppance that’s been underway the past several years. We also see Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show playing games with his guests nearly every episode. And not to mention, some people are just addicted to the Game Show Network.
Then of course there are television shows that are fused with gaming. Syfy’s Defiance just announced it is going free-to-play in time for season two of the show. The game and TV series were made with a five year promise to keep both up and running.
Other notable signs of the gaming apocalypse include: 1) Microsoft’s Achievements have been adapted as a way of thinking in terms of quantifying one’s game play to be seen as winning the game of life. 2) Free2Play and MOBA (multi-player online battle arena) video games like League of Legends get people in the door and let them flourish a while before asking for any money, and make the spending of any money optional. 3) The value of collectible card games. Who knew that the cards in some of these games like Magic The Gathering would be worth hundreds, if not thousands, someday?