When something is considered pop or popular culture, a particular thing or behavior is dominant, and the general public accepts it as a norm. The mass media mainly drive this acceptance through mass appeal. It’s as simple as a popular person doing something or indulging in a game, and immediately everyone thinks it’s cool and therefore, they engage in the act.
Many things have impacted mainstream culture in the 21st century, but video games are top on the list. This is because most kids grew up playing one or two. The amount of time kids spend on consoles playing games is enough to drive a cultural shift or make it become pop. Getting millions of die-hard fans to play video games didn’t happen overnight. It took years and millions of dollars to develop a culture during which the average age for gamers was increased.
To understand the extent of the impact of video games on mainstream culture, an understanding of the influence of gaming culture will be required. The 1970s was the period of SpaceWar, and this was filled with primitive graphics and no special effects. When compared to those of modern-day, the days of the Space War were Rudimentary. That phase was followed by video arcades and home video game consoles where Pac Man was played. Next came the phase of Sega, Sony and Microsoft. This phase widened the age bracket. With this, playing video games has come to be accepted as mainstream entertainment.
Video games have been adapted into a film in previous years, during which the fans of these games come out in their numbers to watch and enjoy. This, in turn, also impacts marketing. The sales tend to do work well even though the channels for sales are different. It is still worthy of note that games sales do incredibly well when compared to movies. In 1995, Mortal Kombat grossed over $70 million at the box office. In 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, another adaptation starring the talented Angelina Jolie, ranked No. 1 at the box office.
Video gamers or gambling anime lovers would enjoy the storyline, which is similar to a movie. The action as you play is gripping and the adventure fun. It is no wonder individuals would instead buy them expensive or share than going to the cinema.
TV programs based on video games have been a thing for a while. In the 1980s, the video games included Pac-Man, Pole Position, and more which were part of the animated programs. This had the audience watching television ardently. Late in the 1980s, different shows such as The Super Mario Bros, Super Show! And the Legend of Zelda promoted the Nintendo and the consoles. Another influential popular culture game was Pokémon.
It was initially developed for the Nintendo Game Boy, but in 1990, it was turned into a television series that has become a significant part of many of their childhoods. These games have impacted the way television shows have come to be created. This as well as bringing a different aspect of the loved characters to tv in the golden age.
Speaking of the golden age, many adults who grew up in that era enjoy online gambling on websites like Zodiac Casino which was established in 2001. The gambling site is powered by the world-known Microgaming and it operates over 450 different games. Zodiac casino holds valid operating licences from The UKGC, MGA, KGC.
The general perception of video gaming is that it is mostly only a source of entertainment and a distraction to young kids and even adults. However, players and programmers have driven a shift in the perception of this and created a culture where more educational games and stories have been created and made mainstream. And this has been embraced by educational institutions and the media.
In the 1980s, games such as Number Munchers and Word Munchers were created to help school kids develop basic math and grammar skills. After several studies, these computer games have come to be approved as an effective way of learning as the kids were more drawn to it. This helped improve their analytical skills as well.
Music & Art
While some argue that video games cannot be considered art, we cannot deny the impact this has had on the arts regardless. The sound used in specific systems has led the artists to become mainstream. Famous musicians such as Trent Reznor, Thomas Dolby, Joe Satriani etc., have been able to develop soundtracks for well-known video game systems. This has given these musicians both the exposure they need as well as reaching millions of potential fans.
Some games that have Influenced Pop Culture Include;
- Grand Theft Auto 3: The grand theft auto series, or GTA as it is popularly called, has changed people’s perception of American gang life. Because of this, more online games have filled up urban cities as the backdrop of their storytelling.
- Tomb Raider: Though the first version of this was released in 1996, it went from merely well to becoming an icon. This is because of the experience of the strong female character and her controversy.
- Super Mario Bros: This has been rated the best franchise of all time. This was released in 1981 on the Nintendo, and since then, it has sold 550 million copies, impacted TV and media and has been a significant part of many childhoods.
The Video game industry and Entertainment Software Association has come a long way since the days of Space War and Pong, but when fans weren’t yet entrapped by the popularity and awesomeness of electronic gaming, technology and social media. Since then, the number of fans has grown and reached 1.5 billion fans, making it mainstream in society. Its hold has cut across industries