It’s undeniable that games have had a huge impact on generations of people. The gaming industry itself has changed immensely over the last few decades, becoming a giant in its own right and giving those inside the industry a chance to really impact their surroundings. Here are just a few of the ways that gaming has positively influenced communities.
Inclusiveness And Diversity
As the gaming industry continues to grow, so too does the number of people who play the games these companies come out with. As that base of users grows, it also diversifies – and gaming companies have recently made a lot of effort to keep up with that diversity. Games are becoming more and more inclusive as time goes on, allowing for things like different races or cultures to be celebrated within a game and exploring issues like disability, mental health issues, and other subjects that many considered taboo once upon a time. This inclusiveness, when shown in popular media, then affects the communities that consume it. It helps society to become a little more tolerant and inclusive, one small step at a time.
The online gaming community has been able to do something great, and that’s connecting people from all over the world with each other. Competition can get pretty heated and high-stakes at times, but it’s also undeniable that new avenues of communication and new friendships have been formed strictly because of the connection that games have provided people with. This is especially true of non-competitive games like Animal Crossing. Competitive games with a more friendly nature like Pokémon Go are also responsible for huge social movements, connecting people around the world to each other and uniting them all with common goals, interests, and hobbies.
It’s fun to watch things on a screen, whether you’re enjoying a television show or a movie. Some media, however, is meant to be consumed in a “shared” fashion. Games can provide another dimension to the socialization aspect behind shared media. You get to play with your friends, make new ones, get into friendly competitions, and goof off together. It’s an excellent modern bonding activity.
The variety of games these days means that it’s difficult to run out of new things to do, too. Classic racing games are always a good pick for parties, and first-person shooters have been a top choice for those who enjoy playing with strangers online. Other games include a more open-ended aspect with large maps to explore. There are mystery games, puzzle games, and games with long and involved plots and stories. Multiple choice games are also becoming popular, which really allows you to interact with the story in new and exciting ways as your choices will have a direct impact on the outcome of the game.
Charities and Non-Profits
Many people in the gaming industry have used their new influence and affluence to donate to good causes. An excellent example is Bobby Kotick, the Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. He founded the non-profit organization called Call of Duty Endowment, which aims to bring veterans into high-quality, stable, and good-paying jobs while simultaneously raising awareness regarding the issues veterans face. In essence, people like Bobby Kotick are able to use their voices and sway to help those in a position of need.
Donations And Drives
Likewise, even the gamers themselves are known for being extremely generous in the way they give back to their communities. It isn’t uncommon to find popular gamers hosting charity drives. A common way to do this is to host a streaming session on a website like Twitch, playing games or doing video streams for a certain amount of hours. While this stream session is going on, usually donation tiers will be set. Viewers will then donate throughout the event. Every time one of the goals is reached, something is usually given to the participants, like shout-outs, special thanks in the credits of a video, free merchandise from the gamer, and so on.
It may be surprising for some to know that gaming actually provides cognitive benefits to those who play. This can range from improved vision to an increased ability to focus and concentrate. Improvement in the workplace has been observed in employees who are allowed to game on breaks. Studies have even shown that video games can help to combat the effects of dyslexia in some individuals. Mental flexibility and multitasking can also be improved through certain types of games. Additionally, the mental decline that occurs naturally with aging may actually be reversed through gaming. Of course, these effects depend on the games the individual plays.
It becomes clear quickly that there are plenty of good benefits that have come alongside the more notorious side-effects of the expansion of the gaming industry. As the industry continues to grow, many hope to see the benefits grow right along with it.