The Video Game Sub-Culture

The world of video gaming has changed dramatically since the 70s. It has gone from simple pixilated games to massive triple A games that cost millions to create and actively maintain. Along with online gaming and the creation of gaming networks, the communities of people who take part of the gaming community have developed many ways of communicating. Many communicate through traditional forms such as chatting through text or speaking through headsets but some also set up times and get together to play a game at a set destination. Gamers also have their own vocabulary of terms that could mean some things depending on the game. The way people play has also changed dramatically and is shifting towards a new medium. As most games are through a controller or mouse and keyboard, a new form is virtual reality. This future has been long a dream for decades but is now starting to become a reality.

Video games started to become common in the 70s and were largely arcades. Not until the 1980s were more affordable home gaming consoles available. Video game consoles are grouped up into generations and are very alike in specifications for hardware. At first the main competitors were Atari, Nintendo and Sega Entertainment. As innovation and market crashes changed the playing field. The level of technology and competitors involved changed drastically by the late 1990’s. As Atari and Sega where struggling two new companies joined that now have the longest hold on the market share. Sony and Microsoft’s console brands, Playstation and Xbox, have been long time rivals to the largest portion of the gaming community. Nintendo still is in the market and sells home gaming consoles but has stated they are not trying to compete directly with Sony or Microsoft. There are also the most influential group, PC gamers, who have developed the long time standards of online games and its perceived “gamer” stereotype. As the PC gaming community gets to test most products as they are pre-released, and are very straightforward when companies do them wrong. This idea also goes to people who play games on consoles. As all the competing console producers create new features to keep people interested, it has also kept new innovative technologies flowing into the world.

There are many people who have a varying degree of personalities that play games regularly. Some you meet online and others are throughout life. Some people can be extremely rude or hostile while playing online but they just shouldn’t be taken seriously because they’re just playing the game in their way. Others you meet along the way in life are generally nice people. Their styles of living vary greatly, some are very active and healthy and others could take some time to clean up their living area. Some people also play video games as a competition. Many First person shooter games and open world games have communities within the gaming networks that create groups. Sometimes these are small organizations that host or compete in hosted competitions for cash prizes. The winners of the team get first place and there are also prizes sometimes for second and third place contestants. These competitions can be streamed over websites that host the live streaming such as twitch, YouTube or face book. With the growth of the internet the way everyone communicates and plays has changed dramatically. Every company that has games to sell or play has a social network built into a server network that host online game servers. They also use social media and traditional advertising to communicate back and forth about what experience they have to offer and once delivered what they can do to make it better.

Companies from all over the gaming community that provide the services and experiences to people who play games gather at conventions such as the famous E3 convention. Here the console producers and game developers come to speak and pitch their big new projects they are working on. This is a pitch to receive general opinion from the mass audience. This is one large even that happens at the beginning of June and is largely televised and streamed. Many other smaller conventions are held throughout the year. Indie companies are independent companies producing and publishing or looking for a publisher of their content. These conventions are big for advertisement and actually getting to show the world what your product can actually do. They also allow ordinary people who are interested in the latest and greatest to play and test out the games at the conventions. People review their experiences which others get to read and watch to gage how well the finished product is coming along. Developers sometimes take to heart the personal opinions of their customers so they can continue delivering great products.

For me I have a console favorite and then my main form of video gaming. My most favorite console brand is Playstation. I grew up playing their consoles and games and loved the times I had playing them with friends and family. Same as my father who also has said he is a fan of Nintendo. Up until recently I played the play station until I was able to afford a computer. This introduced me to a whole other field of specialty and the level of quality and game variety expanded. Strategy and role playing has been my favorite on computers. For PC gaming there is a very large library of games to choose from. All offer different concepts and ideas which could also be a learning experience. Many are becoming very complicated due to demand for more immersive experience and real life physics. Getting to try out all these different applications before any other medium can is exciting to take part in. The online Service for Pc is Steam which is ran by the company Valve. The service is reliable and I have met many good friends through our common interest. They are also a stress reliever and an easy way to communicate with friends they may be a far from home. The People who play video games is growing drastically to all age groups but there is always a deeper underground of people who communicate through games and the web. It’s a way to get away from reality and enjoy a good time by yourself or with longtime friends. Anyone can also create a game or participate in the community. With the internet; the market and skill set to either play, make, or become a part of the gaming subculture is infinite. No matter who you are there is always a group of people you can find to regularly play a casual game with.

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