There is no doubt about it; online gaming culture is filtering into the mainstream. On the face of it, this might sound like an obvious point to make. Gaming has been around for the past twenty – if not thirty – years, and it has always had a strong following.
However, while gaming has always been popular, especially among young people, it hasn’t influenced wider culture to anything like the same extent as Hollywood movies or chart music, or even novels.
This is beginning to change. And it is changing fast.
Here are five ways in which gaming is impacting wider culture right now:
Yes, online slot games are nothing new. They have been around for as long as the internet, fulfilling the same purpose as traditional slot machines before them. However, thanks to the utilization of gaming technology and a more entertainment-oriented mindset, online slot machines, like the Fishin Frenzy online slot, are increasingly immersive experiences, using dedicated soundtracks and stronger visual effects to encourage the player to play for longer.
Immersive VR software is being implemented elsewhere
Again, you might be rolling your eyes because virtual reality has been around in one form or another since the eighties. Until recently, it has shown exciting – if unrealized – promise, but the tides are shifting. Virtual reality technology is beginning to mature.
Virtual reality is rapidly becoming popular in other industries and cultures. For example, the tourism industry is beginning to use it as a promotional tool, allowing customers to literally ‘experience’ their holiday before they buy a package deal.
VR is also useful for designing pretty much anything on a large scale, altering the way designers and architects do their jobs. Soon, you could even use it while online shopping.
Many sports are turning to gaming
One interesting development is the increasing crossover between sports and esports. In a world in which becoming involved in sports at a professional level (or even buying a ticket to attend an event) is ever more difficult and expensive, esports have provided a surprising alternative. Again, you may not imagine this is a big deal, but it is changing the ways sports are constructed from the inside out.
For instance, in motorsports, many drivers catch the eye of race teams by becoming successful esports drivers. This democratization of sports through gaming is a huge cultural shift.
Video games are usurping Hollywood
While the Hollywood film industry has had a monopoly on world culture for the past fifty years, the meteoric rise of gaming has made it into a billion-dollar industry. Many game developers are now spending feature movie budgets creating games. The trend is only shifting more in the gaming industry’s favor, as consumers turn their back on cinemas in favor of the smaller screen (and keyboard).
Gaming could transform industry training
Gaming is completely changing the way many industries train their employees. For instance, medical staff are making increasing use of virtual reality devices to practice difficult operations without having to involve a real person, reducing risk and making training more comprehensive and safer.
There is no reason to believe that gaming technology couldn’t be useful in other industries, too. For example, in motor racing, advanced driving simulators are used more and more regularly to train drivers, and the same could be said for initial flight training, construction work, or pretty much anything expensive and risky to practice in ‘real-time’.