When I think of gaming, the first thing that comes to mind is my boyfriend Marty sitting on the couch in our den wearing his big, soundproof headphones as he plays some random “shoot-em-up” (as my mom would say) game with his brother and cousin and talks to them via the mouthpiece on the big headphones. Needless to say, Marty loves games. Video games and online games; solitaire games and group games; old school games and recently-released games. Even games on social networks, such as Farmville and Mafia Wars.
Despite the fact, that according to the presentation Mike gave in class tonight 40 percent of all people gaming are females, I have not been a gamer. To me, gaming is something my boyfriend does that I smile and nod at (and when he is gaming I know my chance of him actually listening to me has greatly decreased). 😉
Half-kidding aside, me not being a gamer is actually true. If I was actually interested in gaming, I really wouldn’t be ashamed to admit it. But the truth is, I never played video games or online games growing up. Not even Super Mario Brothers. (Shocking, I know). And today, the only reasons I really know anything about the gaming world are 1) My little brother, 2) Marty and 3) This class.
However, I have played (very sparingly) games such as Dance, Dance Revolution, games on the Wii and Guitar Hero/Rockband. In fact, now that I think of it, three and a half years ago when I first had a crush on Marty and we were not yet dating, I asked him to teach me how to play guitar hero. But my motivations behind this were obviously not because I was interested in guitar hero as the game. 🙂 But I digress.
Even though I have not participated in much gaming, based on what we have talked about in class I can now better see why people enjoy it and why it is so popular, particularly based on some of the specific concepts we discussed in class tonight: to be immersive, to be social, to be emotional. And thinking about these concepts further, I can definitely see that they are some of the main reasons that Marty enjoys gaming so much (aside from the competitiveness factor of course).
I think what surprises me most about gaming these days is a few things. First, the numbers. I was shocked at how many people, especially females, are gaming on a regular basis. Turns out what I thought was the stereotype is not true! Second, I was really surprised to learn about how gaming tools are used for other, meaningful purposes, such as the U.S. Army’s MMOGs it uses for recruitment and solider training. (America’s Army) I had never really thought about how companies and/or organizations could use gaming to help meet their goals and objectives effectively.
That said, maybe I shouldn’t tease Marty so much about his games. Maybe it’s worth it to learn more about gaming for myself and how it could potentially be used strategically for my clients, for instance. Maybe I should invest in my own pair of big headphones!
Well, actually, I don’t know if I would ever go that far. 🙂
Until next week-