The International Olympic Committee and the Global Association of International Sports Federations recently hosted an esports forum to explore shared similarities, possible partnership and the looming question of whether video gaming could be recognised as an Olympic event.
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The Space Invaders arcade video game, celebrating its 40th anniversary, is an iconic piece of software, credited as one of the earliest digital shooting games. Like many early games, it and its surrounding myths showcase the cultural collisions and issues current at its creation by Japanese game designer Tomohiro Nishikado.
The video gaming industry has transitioned from a group of backyard innovators to an industry of multi-billion dollar companies, hiring psychologists, neuroscientists and marketing experts to turn customers into addicts. The latest trend is the creation of “whales,” people so addicted to games that they spend their entire life savings to keep playing.
Playing games is ubiquitous across all cultures and time periods – mainly because most people like playing games.
Games involve rules, points, systems, as well as a theme or storyline and can be massively fun and engaging. And there is an increasing body of research that shows “gamification” – where other activities are designed to be like a game – can be successful in encouraging positive changes in behaviour.
The 1992 film Lawnmower Man generated a lot of buzz at the time of its release. As a film about virtual reality (VR), you might think that it was the vivid representation of this startling new technology that grabbed people’s attention.
In fact, it was the virtual sex scene that made headlines. But while virtual reality sex was largely a fantasy back in the 1990s, it’s becoming a reality today, and it has a potentially fertile future.