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2017

Seven reasons why grown ups should play more video games

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Online games waiting 2017

Postby Shazilkree В» 29.12.2018

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E ven now, well into the second decade of the 21st century, we tend to view video games as a guilty pleasure. Partly this is to do with how video games have been marketed for the last 30 years — predominantly at teenage boys.

The games industry has taught us to see games as loud, brash and arcane. On top of this, the most visible titles tend to conform to familiar stereotypes: Call of Duty is about killing enemies; Candy Crush Saga is about killing time.

But the last five years has seen a huge renaissance in video game design. The democratisation of the medium through cheap development tools and the rise of super-fast broadband has brought in new voices and ideas. Fascinating things are happening. As the global economy shows few signs of drastically improving, getting the most out of our entertainment choices is going to be important this year. And video games remain astoundingly good value. Take the online shooting game Destiny.

Most titles have replayability features built in. Competitive multiplayer titles such as Overwatch, Fifa and Rocket League effectively function like sports — you play and improve over many months, discovering new skillsets and features. And of course, waiting a few weeks before buying a game, or looking out for sales on download sites like Steam, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, will get you those experiences for even less money. A lot of the people now making, producing and funding television and movies grew up playing video games — and that influence is becoming ever more obvious and important.

Two of the most interesting television programmes of , Mr Robot and Westworld, were inspired by game design and conventions — the latter has been widely read as a comment on the sorts of interactive immersive worlds we find in games. The popular stereotype of the lone gamer sat in a bedroom staring at a screen was never particularly accurate, but now its laughably out of date. But you can also pick up a cheap old Xbox or PlayStation 3, grab a copy of Rock Band or Guitar Hero and enjoy many nights of terrifyingly incompetent karaoke fun.

But in a lot of important ways, almost all games can be shared. I know a lot of couples who sit down and play adventure games like Life is Strange or Walking Dead together, taking turns with the controls, helping each other, discussing tactics and options. We learn a lot about our friends through play, and how you cooperate on video game tasks is a pretty good indicator on how you will cope with real-life challenges. In short, video games will save your relationship.

Thirty years ago, when young angry people wanted to express something about their lives, they would pick up a guitar and write a song; if they wanted to tell a story, they might have written that as poetry or bought a camcorder and made a film.

Cheap tools like Unity, free creation packages like Twine and Scratch, all put development into the hands of anyone with a basic laptop. Creators like Anna Anthropy, Nina Freeman, Robert Yang and Jason Rohrer make idiosyncratic, personal, troubling, unusual and political games, exploring new avenues for self-expression, pushing at the boundaries of what games are and what they can say. Games have become the permissive creative space that punk rock once was. Over the last decade, from Dubplate Drama to Defiance , there have been halting experiments in transmedia — the combination of game, web and television elements to create new story forms — but these will inevitably become more common as generation swipe matures.

Games will break out of two-dimensional screens and into rooms, either through VR or AR, or through new combinations of TV and tablets.

So you may as well start practising now. Video game players are hugely demanding when it comes to interface design — both in terms of input devices ie controllers and in-game information displays. Video games are also pushing the envelope when it comes to artificial intelligence, procedural content generation and physics modelling. This means a lot of the technologies that are going to affect our lives in the next decade are being tested and developed in the video game sphere.

Sometimes this is obvious. Learning about these technologies now is a good idea. But there are less obvious ways that games are taking a role in shaping our futures. Video games have become important testbeds for artificial intelligence research. The Google-owned AI company DeepMind tests its intelligent programs by pitting them against video games — the latest example is StarCraft.

In the US, Dr Mark Riedl and his colleagues at Georgia Tech university have developed a game-like narrative platform called Quixote, where AI agents are able to learn moral lessons from player-created stories; this approach could well be used in the coming years to teach robots how to make moral decisions. The future of communication with our major service providers — from banks to retailers — is with intelligent chatbots.

Games offer practice in talking to machines. With the arrival of smart phones and tablets, games are more pervasive than ever.

They are digital natives. Alongside this, the mass adoption of social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube has given rise to a new relationship between teens, technology and entertainment. Kids expect to be able to interact. They watch Stampy or PewDiePie on YouTube and interact with pro gamers and vloggers on Twitch streams — they communicate with each other through memes and photos.

A lot of the interfaces they use are game-like. So understanding video games is important. But more than this, playing video games with your kids is joyous. It lets them take the lead; it lets them show you stuff. The skills are also transferable and can expand into the real world. But games can also stimulate an interest in architecture, ecology, physics, logic, philosophy But having a child on the autism spectrum, I have seen first-hand how games can inspire an interest in the world and its mysteries.

Did I mention this? Games are fun. They provide fascinating worlds to explore and take part in, they let us do incredible, sometimes terrible things without recourse. They test out intelligence and reaction; they posit weird futures and possibilities; they let us take control of lives and bodies that we could never own or experience.

They are made by artists and visionaries, they provide moments of utter transfixing beauty and resonance. The glowing sunset over the city of Los Santos in GTA V, the swoop of a dragon over the plains of Skyrim; the desperate struggle to survive in the snowy wastelands of The Long Dark; the heart-wrenching power of friendship in Life is Strange — these are valid forms of escape and experience; they tell us things.

In , a year of uncertainty and vast technological change, it is time to see video games alongside — and equal to — books, television and cinema as a popular imaginative medium. It is OK to play. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Games. Game culture DeepMind features. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

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Re: online games waiting 2017

Postby Faushakar В» 29.12.2018

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Re: online games waiting 2017

Postby Kazrajind В» 29.12.2018

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Re: online games waiting 2017

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