Gaming Culture: exploring a deeper digital world


Gaming culture has changed dramatically from its early days. What was once a nice hobby has transformed into a massive global phenomenon that attracts billions of people, has a vast market, and has built a diverse and inclusive community.

1. Former video game consoles
Starting in the 1970s, arcade gaming culture grew with games like Space Invaders and King of Fighters, which were characterised by blocky graphics and simple fighting mechanics, but at the moment, the grand gaming But by now, a grand gaming revolution had begun.There are other common forms of electronic game including handheld electronic games, standalone systems (e.g. pinball, slot machines, or electro-mechanical arcade games), and exclusively non-visual products (e.g. audio games).

“Space Invaders” by Dordy is marked with CC0 1.0 DEED

In the following time, Playstation and Nintendo occupy the center of the stage, the most famous one is Super Mario, this game has been made into a movie now, and the young people born after 90 and 00 love it very much. Super Mario Bros. is the best selling video game franchise of all time, with over 222 million units sold across all genres and platforms.  222 million! Incredible!  But you wouldn’t expect less from one of the most beloved heroes of all time, a hero who at one time helped to single-handedly save a struggling video game industry.

“Super Mario” by David is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

After 2000, MMOs and online gaming became the mainstay of gaming culture, with World of Warcraft being a representative example, and such massively multiplayer online games creating a whole gaming community. Both online and mobile games have a strong social component. Players often form teams, exchange strategies and share achievements. In addition, through in-game purchases and virtual goods, players also establish direct economic ties with game developers. While online and mobile games provide players with opportunities to entertain and socialise, they also bring with them a number of issues, such as gaming addiction, privacy concerns and controversies over microtransactions.Some researchers believe that online gaming spaces can be socially accommodating environments for socially inhibited individuals, such as the socially inept, socially anxious, or shy. While previous research has examined, and found, significant links between these populations and online video game play, it remains unknown to what extent these spaces are contributing to tangible social benefits for the socially inhibited.

“World of Warcraft (video game)” by Santtu Pajukanta is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 1.0 FI DEED

2. Gaming: A Cultural Phenomenon

Gaming is no longer just a pastime, it’s an essential aspect of modern pop culture. Movies, books, and TV shows now feature gaming elements or even revolve around the concept of gaming. Elements and themes in gaming have become part of popular culture. Whether it’s film, music, fashion or art, games can be seen in all of them. For example, films like Player One are heavily influenced by gaming culture. Games are no longer just for entertainment. Many modern games are educational, helping players to develop skills, learn new knowledge or improve cognitive abilities. There are also games designed specifically for educational purposes, such as programming or maths educational games.

The appeal of live gaming The rise of Twitch and YouTube Gaming marks the arrival of the era of live gaming. Gamers are no longer satisfied with experiencing games alone; they prefer to watch others play games for fun, to learn skills, or simply to interact with the livestreamer and other viewers. Big-name game live streamers like Ninja, Shroud and PewDiePie attract hundreds of thousands or even millions of simultaneous viewers for each of their live broadcasts. In addition to live streaming, many gamers attract a large amount of attention by producing game-related content , such as game reviews, tutorials, commentaries, and funny videos.

According to videogame journalism company, GamesRadar, in Mar. 2019, Fortnite reported 250 million registered players, with 78.3 million monthly active players.  Respawn Entertainment’s game, Apex Legends, which is just over two months old, listed 50 million registered players.Aside from the entertainment factor of playing these videogames, much of the garnered popularity for these games has come from increased media coverage and a sweeping dual-faceted entertainment model.

“Youtube” by Artapixel is marked with CC0 1.0 DEED

3. Advancement and diversification of game design concepts

The global reach of the gaming industry is fostering a greater influence of various cultures in game design. Developers worldwide bring their unique cultural perspectives, infusing their games with diverse characters, stories, and environments. Games like “Ghost of Tsushima” showcase the rich cultural heritage and history, offering players a glimpse into different worlds and traditions.

Sustainability is another concept making waves in game design, with developers focusing on creating games that promote environmental awareness and sustainable practices. Eco-themed games like “Beyond Blue” and “Eco” engage players in ecological problem-solving and environmental conservation.

The main intention is to first understand your game’s progression as the process of gathering a specific resource. In other words, find what the element that needs to be acquired to win or finish the game is. The resource itself does not need to be physical or stated in the game.

4. The rise of esports and its impact on society

First, live streaming platforms such as Youtube broadcast various online games and also provided platforms for game anchors, allowing fans around the world to watch their bloggers play games. This has greatly increased the fan base of esports, provided it with a strong infrastructure, and made more investors notice the potential of esports, and traditional sports teams have begun to invest in esports.

On this basis, it has given birth to a variety of famous events, such as the League of Legends World Championship, CSGO World Championship, teams from various countries to fight for trophies, such competitions are also linked to the sense of honor of countries and regions, and more enhance the legitimacy and positive image of e-sports.

With the increasing attention of the country to the e-sports industry, various countries are also more and more in need of e-sports talents, which also allows universities to add e-sports majors, but also the birth of more e-sports positions, belonging to the education industry has also begun to accept e-sports, changing the stereotype that people previously thought that only learning is not good to play e-sports.

Top eSports players have become icons for young people, which has the same effect as traditional sports stars, and at the same time boosts the economy, with players receiving endorsements from all over the world. The term spirit is also becoming more and more applicable to the eSports industry. Many esports teams make a majority of their revenue, approximately 90%, from sponsorships and advertising. These revenue streams include sponsorships in exchange for advertisement on the player’s jerseys, similar to those of traditional sports. For example, the energy drink brand Red Bull and the smartphone company HTC have jersey sponsorships for Cloud 9, a legacy esports team.

“esports” by Sam Churchill is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED

5. Negative impacts of gaming culture

The prevalence of in-game loot boxes and microtransactions has raised concerns about gambling behaviour, especially among younger players. Some countries have even moved to regulate or ban such behaviour in games. Over consumption of in game items can lead some irrational players to take out loans to play the game, which is extremely dangerous.

Prolonged addiction to games can also lead to health problems such as vomiting, dizziness and loss of vision.

For some players who do not consider gaming as a profession, addiction to gaming can lead to a bad influence on their real life, and for people in public service professions, it can also jeopardise other people’s lives.

In general, game culture is closely linked with the development of the Internet, and has become a indispensable part of today’s society. Game culture not only represents entertainment, but also represents community, cultural integration, team spirit, competitive competition and so on. Of course, people should look at the game culture correctly and healthily, and let the game accompany us to grow up, rather than being controlled by the game.

Reference List:

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  • Kowert, R., Domahidi, E., & Quandt, T. (2014, July). The relationship between online video game involvement and gaming-related friendships among emotionally sensitive individuals. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking. 
  • Harrity, A. (2019, August 11). Video game culture. News Corps. 
  • Serpa, Y. (2020, October 21). Progress as a resource - planning your game as a gathering. Medium. 
  • Miyakoshi, K. (2022, January 6). The Economics of Esports. The Economics Review at USC.