Gaming isn’t often seen to go hand in hand with certain aspects of ‘high culture’ – like film, television or art. It’s also been brutally dumped by the cooler aspects of youth culture, the fashion, the music, like a younger brother left on the touchline whilst his older sibling plays football with his friends.
Sticking on your Xbox or your PS2 has been seen as something to be embarrassed of – a bit like going to the toilet. Everyone does it, but it still isn’t really acceptable to talk about it in public unless you want to be painted as a lonely weirdo with nothing better to do.
That’s all changing.
Nowadays, everyone from footballers to female super models are sticking on the headsets, parking themselves on the sofa and settling down for a good old gaming session. Make no mistake, gaming is cool again.
Interestingly, the rise of portable gaming devices has led to millions of people doing what is known as “double screening”, according to independent studies. This refers to the relatively new phenomena of watching television whilst playing computer games or using a mobile phone or tablet at the same time.
Because you can now play games at the same time as watching your favourite TV show (provided you’re able to give enough attention to both!), the number of people playing computer games has skyrocketed. A study commissioned by Google in August 2012 explained that 77% of the time we watch TV it is with another device. This proves that traditional methods of viewing and engaging with entertainment are changing.
Just look at the recent infographic and study by www.game.co.uk. They looked at the tech habits of 2,000 Brits and discovered 79% spend their evenings watching TV with another device, such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone, at their side. In addition to this, 46% admitted they sometimes use two different gadgets at once and all whilst keeping one eye fixed on the television screen.
This means that your gaming-related conversations no longer need to be held in hushed tones around the water cooler at work, or via text instead of calling someone, in case the person next to you on the bus should here you talking about how you reached level six over the weekend. You can talk about gaming as loudly and as proudly as you want.
With the release of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One already underway, the age-old debate about the best console is being revisited.
Whilst Nintendo can never be completely discounted, it caters for a very particular type of audience who are after a very particular type of gameplay. The hardware behind both the PS4 and the Xbox One (Microsoft and Sony respectively) allows both consoles a level of graphics that the Nintendo just cannot reach, creating much more realistic and visually appealing games.