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How Video Games Have Changed and Influenced Our Lives
From Pong to Masterchief and beyond
When Pong was released in the 1970s it proved that video games could really be successful. Since then, video games, and the people who play them, have slowly shaped our society
When I was a kid, I remember playing Duck Hunt and Mario on the Nintendo and Super Nintendo and was officially a gamer for life. I've grown up with games and watched as the general attitude towards games have changed.
When Nintendo launched its console, it advertised is as a toy for children in an attempt to distance itself from the failure of Atari. The company also enjoyed a near monopoly with the placement of a chip in both the console and each video game cartridge. This allowed Nintendo to only release kid friendly games.
Then Sega Genesis was released in North America and Nintendo had a fierce competitor. Sega advertised itself as the cooler console and developed its mascot Sonic as an edgier rival to Mario.
Other companies soon joined in with the launch of Sony's Playstation and Microsoft's Xbox. More adult themed title's like Grand Theft Auto, Modern Warfare and Halo soon attracted all ages to play.
According to a recent study the average gamer age was in the mid to late 20's with 60% men playing and 40% women. The increasing number of women gamers, as well as the age level of gamers in general, no doubt plays a large role in what developers place on the market. Games feature more strong, independent heroines and more games are made specifically for adults.
Note: this hub was published before. I was planning on moving it, but it belongs on Hubpages.
Other hubs by me
- Best Video Game Couples
Read and vote for your favorite video game couples all through the month of Feb 2011. I will dedicate a hub to the winning couple!
- Fable 3 and History of Albion
Fable III comes out October 26. The first part of the game, the Hero must lead a Revolution and become Ruler of Albion. The second half lets you rule Albion while preparing for a new threat to your land. There's even a new breed of dog fit for a King
- Halo Reach Continues The Quest to Take Over
Halo Reach was released at midnight Tuesday and in the first twenty-four hours made $200 million is sales, making it the most successful launch of any game or movie released this year in the United States. ...
- Roles of Women in Video Games
Women make up to 4o percent of gamers making video game developers step up and start expanding the role of female video game characters.
Are video games taking over?
Over the last few years, more people are playing video games. There are a
ton of high profile titles being eagerly anticipated like Call of Duty
or Guitar Hero, or already out.
Halo Reach has already surpassed every game or movie launched this year. I have at least a couple I've been waiting all year for.
With every upgrade in graphics, gameplay and technology, video games are slowly creeping into parts of our lives I never thought they'd belong.
Pinky and the Brain
Video Game Takover Theory
Two mice are in a cage in a lab. One is bouncing around from one side to another, the other sits there looking broody. Suddenly the first one runs up to the other mouse and stops.
"What are we going to do today?" he says. The other one scowls "Same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the world"
"Gee Brain, how we gonna do that?" asks the first one.
The Brain scowls even more, thinking. Suddenly he smiles "With video games!"
I'm pretty sure mice aren't really planning to take over the world with video games but games have started to leak into other areas of our lives besides the living room.
Video games have started appearing in fitness plans, hospitals and army recruitment centers. You can now get in shape and improve your balance and strength. Or you can learn how to fight as a soldier or build farms, cities and empires and control them. Hmmm... maybe the mice theory isn't so crazy.
America's Army Trailer
Man Saves Life Using Medical Training From Video Game
- Man Imitates Americas Army, Saves Lives | GameLife | Wired.com
A North Carolina man who saw an SUV flip and roll on a highway last November was able to provide medical aid to the victims with skills he learned from the video game America's Army. check out the full story here.
How the Army uses video games to train.
The U.S military has recently started using video games to recruit and train. Recruitment centers have been opened up that lets potential recruits hang out on couches and play wargame simulators. Officers in the U.S. army have invested about $50 million to develop video games and a game system for the purpose of providing more information to potential recruits and hopefully reducing the number of washouts
America's Army , the official U.S. Army video game, helps military recruits sharpen their fighting skills and may even help protect them from the stress of combat. The website claims to provide players with "the most authentic military experience available, from exploring the development of soldiers in individual and collective training to their deployment in simulated missions"
It's effectiveness has been proven at least once when a man named Paxton Galvanek used the skills he learned from playing the game as a medic to save a man's life.
In November of 2007 Galvanek saw a SUV flip over on a highway he was traveling on. He stopped to help pulling out both passengers and saw one of them had lost his fingers during the crash. He used a towel as a bandage, having the passenger hold his hand over his head to slow the bleeding, giving Galvanek time to evaluate his other injuries.
Sometime afterwards he wrote a letter to the America's Army team giving them credit for the medical training he received in the game. He said "I remember vividly in section four of the game's medic training, during the field medic scenarios, I had to evaluate the situation and place priority on the more critically wounded. In the case of this accident, I evaluated the situation and placed priority on the driver of the car who had missing fingers. I then recalled that in section two of the medic training, I learned about controlled bleeding. I noticed that the wounded man had severe bleeding that he could not control"
The Army is also changing its basic training program for the first time in over twenty years to better train the gamer generation. In an interview with Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling explains that they're "advanced in terms of their use of technology, and maybe not as advanced in their physical capabilities or ability to go into a fight. So we're taking that into consideration as well in doing this holistic review."
The new generation of recruits seem to be more technically adept, smarter, but also less disciplined and less physically able. So the new basic training will focus on whipping the recruits into shape and learning to fight betterl
Improve your skills as a Surgeon
Playing WoW can help you get a job!
- Wired 14.04: You Play World of Warcraft? You\'re Hired!
Stephen Gillett's story is an example of how video games can help us learn real life skills that can transfer over to the workplace.
How video games help improve life skills
Research has been done about the positive effects of video games.Similar test have been run at both Beth Israel Medical Center and the University of Rochester in New York City.
In one test thirty-three surgeons participated and of those that played video games for three or more hours a week made 37% fewer errors and were 27% faster than those who did not play.
Researchers at the University of Rochester divided 22 students into two groups. One group played Call of Duty 2 which is a first person shooter that requires good hand eye coordination ant the other played The Sims 2, a game that doesn't. Both groups played their games for 50 hours over a period of nine weeks. At the end of the test, players of COD 2 showed an averages of 43% improvement in discerning different shades of gray and showed improvement in perceiving fine differences in contrast..
"The finding, which appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience, may help people who have trouble with night driving.'Normally, improving contrast sensitivity means getting glasses or eye surgery - somehow changing the optics of the eye,' said Daphne Bavelier.of the University of Rochester.'But we've found that action video games train the brain to process the existing visual information more efficiently, and the improvements last for months after game play stopped." Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1165656/Playing-games-improve-eyesight-experts-say.html#ixzz0ylw2rq7e
How else can video games help you improve your skills?
First person shooters can teach you about different types of guns and simulate how to shoot them and improve your hand eye coordination. Play them online against a dozen other players and you have to think fast and strategize to beat everyone else or accomplish the objective.
Roleplaying games like World of Warcraft also often requires players to organize raids with dozens of other players. It can help a person learn to work together as well as improve leadership skills. Indeed the leader of the group has to put together skills that compliment each other and keep them together. This involves attracting and recruiting people to the group and the ability to resolve disputes. These sound like some of the same skills a person will need to manage a group of workers in real life. Maybe employers should start looking at video game experience and skills when they hire. :-)
Video games have evolved so much over the years and many are now requiring the players to get off the couch and move.
The Queen and the Wii
- Queen Elizabeth Adores The Wii | GameLife | Wired.com
Yes, even the Queen of England plays video games.
Kinect Dance Central
The Wii and Kinect:: How Video Games Improve Health
The Wii was launched in November of 2006 and has since been a major player in the gaming industry, even outselling the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in the first half of 2007. The Wii has done wonders encouraging more people to play from the young to the old. Even Queen Elizabeth II of the UK has played using the console according to the British newspaper The People.
The console is played using the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk which allows players to use physical gestures as well as button presses to control the game. The Wii features sports games like bowling, and baseball as well as yoga.
The Kinect is possibly Xbox's answer to the Wii. It uses cameras to track your movements and allow you to interact with the game. Essentially your whole body becomes the controller. The Kinnect allows you to learn dance moves as well as play sports, go white water rafting, be a Jedi or just play with cats.
Wii and the Kinect seem to be leading the way into the next generation of gaming. Even doctors and hospitals are cluing in to the benefits of playing video games. Rehab trainers have started using Wii Fit to help build strength, improve balance and generally get people healthier.
With all the possibilities the two systems have,there seems to be no telling where we will see video games pop up next.
But after seeing the trailer for the Kinect, I really want one. Might even learn to dance, though I'll probably make a better Jedi.
Pros and Cons of Wii, Playstation Move and Kinect Game Consoles
- Pros and Cons of Wii, Playstation Move and Kinect Game Consoles
The Nintendo Wii has been my favorite video gaming option since it first came out. However, there are some new consoles that are going to give the Wii a run for its money. Playstation Move and Kinect by...