The Evolution of Gaming – What’s Really Changed Since the Days of Pac-Man?

first_imgThere’s no mistaking that the world of gaming has changed dramatically over the years. From the days of Pong and Space Wars, to the more recent Fortnite, the gaming industry has experienced dramatic changes—changes that go beyond just the technology. But what exactly is it that’s changed? How have these changes impacted the global gaming industry?Jeff Rubenstein, Content Creator & Strategic Platforms lead at Microsoft, along with 5 passionate panelists, discussed the gaming evolution at The Alienware Outpost at SXSW last Friday evening. The panel included Naz Aletaha, Head of ESports Partnerships at Riot Games, Alex Trumpower, Brand Partnerships & Sales at Red Bull Media House, Jordan Fisher, Actor, Singer, Dancer and Gamer, Trisha Hershberger, Online Host and Producer, and Trey Smith, musician, philanthropist and gamer. This diverse group provided a unique and powerful discussion. Read on to discover several key takeaways on the evolution of the gaming industry.The GamerGone are the days of the one size fits all gamer stereotype. In today’s world, gamers come from all walks of life. From unexpected gamers like WWE wrestler Xavier Woods and Nerdist host Jessica Chobot, or Grandpa Gaming, the gamer stereotype has absolutely been “smashed into oblivion,” as Trisha notes. We see parents, grandparents, men, children, professionals, artists, all self-identifying as gamers.The industry has also seen an increase in participation from women. According to Dell’s State of Gaming Report, 72% of U.S. gamers are aged 18 or older, with women being 31% of that number. In addition, one in two players (47%) has a female friend who plays videogames, almost a third (29%) have a sister who plays, and 21% said their daughter does[1].Not only does gaming attract a variety of demographics, but it also welcomes all types and levels of gamers; PC gamers, console gamers, mobile gamers, beginners, professionals, et cetera. The State of Gaming Report concludes that just under 6% identified as noobs, while 14% consider themselves to be just beyond noob level; 40% identify as casual gamers, 25% as “pretty darn good”, and 8% feel they can compete with pro gamers[1].“You don’t have to be a certain type of person to play video games and it mean something. Anybody and everybody should try it.” Jordan explains.The GamesAs technology advances, as do the game offerings. There is a game for everyone, regardless of level or style. “Just like there’s all different types of genres of music, there’s also all different genres of video games.”The scope and variety of game offerings has become limitless. Games like Warcraft and Starcraft appeal to those who enjoy real-time strategy. Portal and Half Life cater to gamers focused on single player storytelling, while Call of Duty attracts squad-based gamers. Unreal and Doom are among the most popular first-person shooter games and League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena video game, has become increasingly popular with the rise of eSports (electronic sports).The OpportunitiesSo much has changed in the way of career opportunities for gamers. eSports, which is being evaluated as an official sport by the International Olympics Committee, has become a viable and lucrative career path for many. Professional video gamers, often in teams, compete for money, with prize pools in the six digits[2]. They are treated like professional athletes, working to “master their craft”. eSports gamers receive rigorous physical and mental training, detailed meal plans and strict practice schedules at state of the art facilities like the Alienware Training Facility in Los Angeles.College scholarships, professional team sponsorships, financial aid and worldwide tournaments provide far greater opportunities than what the industry saw a short 5 years ago. In addition, significant investments from celebrities and entrepreneurs aid in the growth of eSports. The industry is expected to see global revenues of $1.4B by 2020[3].The AudienceOne of the biggest changes in the gaming industry has been the massive audience expansion. Over 2.6 billion people are fans of gaming, surpassing traditional sports like basketball, baseball and American football[1].Technological advancements have made streaming capabilities more accessible throughout the world. Fans have ample opportunity to participate, whether it be by playing, streaming or chatting with other gamers. eSports can be watched on traditional television and cable networks, but, the rise of platforms like Twitch and YouTube have made it possible for audiences around world to watch around the clock.Gaming also reaches a unique audience through its corporation into pop culture. In addition to celebrity participation, we see gaming in fashion, movies, TV shows, and even on stage in music performances. These new and innovative partnerships help make gaming more of a lifestyle than just a hobby.The CommunityReiterated throughout the 40-minute panel, was the unmistakably strong community that exists in the gaming world. As Trisha nicely summarized, “gaming brings people together in a really unique way, that other forms of entertainment right now cannot.”Gamers not only focus on playing at a very high level, they also prioritize entertaining and engaging with other gamers. As a result, fans have become much more than just a group of viewers—they have become a true culture of people who genuinely care for and love each other.The increased use of social media has made digital relationships more acceptable. Online relationships have begun to transcend the internet, infiltrating “real-life”. Connecting with others who share the same common passion for gaming has become a focal point in the industry. Trey even admits that he’s made some of his closest friends playing online. The network of gamers is one that is entirely inclusive. Gender, race, sexual orientation or preference are irrelevant in this world. “It’s a language that we can all speak,“ Jordan claims.Gamers are not shy about sharing their love of gaming with others and inviting others to share in the enjoyment: 27% having introduced three to four friends or family members to gaming, and 25% having introduced five or more. One in four survey respondents have made new friends (26%), become closer to certain friends who game (25%) and made close friends through gaming (25%)[1].Interested in learning more about the evolution of gaming? Check out the full video from Friday’s panel at The Alienware Outpost below.Connect with Alienware via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Alienware.TVWebsite: www.dell.com/gaming[1] Dell’s State of Gaming Report[2] Forbes[3] CNBC: stats attributed to research company Newzoolast_img read more

Impossible to hold Olympics unless COVID-19 pandemic is contained — Japan’s PM

first_imgPrime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that the Tokyo Olympics may not take place next year unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained.His comment has come as the Japanese capital city’s governor requested an extension of Japan’s state of emergency. The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government last month postponed the Games until July 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis.With the epidemic’s worldwide infection rate climbing and experts suggesting a vaccine is a long way off, doubts have been raised about the chances of holding the huge event next year.Abe said in response to an opposition lawmaker: “We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely.“It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained.”Abe staked part of his legacy as Japan’s longest-serving premier on holding the Games and was hoping for a boom in tourism and consumer spending. Japan gathered some $3 billion in domestic sponsorship, an Olympic record, and spent close to $13 billion on preparations.The prime minister said on Wednesday that the Olympics “must be held in a way that shows (that) the world has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic.”He went on to caution that Japan should “brace for a protracted battle”.Tokyo confirmed 47 new infections on Wednesday, private broadcaster Nippon Television reported.The national tally stands at 13,895 infections, including 413 deaths, national broadcaster NHK said. That tally is still low compared to other countries.However, critics say Japan is not doing enough testing to reveal the scope of a problem that has driven some hospitals to the brink.Reflecting that view, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike told reporters that the situation in the Japanese capital remained “difficult”.He called on Abe’s cabinet to extend the nationwide emergency, which is due to end on May 6.RelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Abe’s comments echoed statements made by other senior Japanese officials this week.Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori had told Nikkan Sports on Tuesday that the Games would be “scrapped” if they could not take place in 2021.Also on Tuesday, the head of the Japan Medical Association (JMA), Yoshitake Yokokura, told a news briefing that “unless an effective vaccine is developed, I expect hosting the Olympics will be difficult”.Reuters/NAN.Tags: CoronavirusCOVID-19IOCJapanolympicsPrime Minister Shinzo AbeTokyo Olympicslast_img read more

Marrickvilles Greek poster girl

first_imgGreek Australian Maia Oranea Stratos is the official face of the Marrickville Festival being held on tomorrow. The eight-year-old is the perfect example of the culturally diverse area of Marrickville with a Greek mother and an Irish Australian father. Her mother, Katerina Stratos, and her husband both work in the film and arts industries and said their daughter exemplified the culturally mixed and artistic community of Marrickville. “We love living in Marrickville because our neighbourhood is so artistic and Maia is a product of that artistic community – she loves sculpting, drawing and painting,” said Katerina. Maia said she regularly visits the area’s local markets and enjoys shopping at Reverse Garbage where she buys recycled materials to make Plasticine and clay models. “There’s always fun things to do,” Maia said when asked what she likes most about Marrickville. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more