Games are different from work, which is usually undertaken just for fun, and in some cases used as an educational instrument. In most cases, games are categorized under the broadest umbrella of entertainment, while work is further subdivided into academic, social, or personal activities. Games are not objective in nature; they depend largely on the participants’ point of view and so it is possible for games to include elements of all three domains. Therefore, what is the best video game console for you depends on your personal preferences.
As technology has evolved, the video games industry has too. Games have come a long way from their primitive origins and have developed over the years into amazing visual and audio delights that can bring people together and even challenge the thinking ability of some. With each new release, the complexity and intricacy of these games have increased as well. It’s amazing to think that people would find this kind of complexity and beauty in a simple game. Today, the game industry is huge and growing at an extraordinary rate, with almost every year seeing new consoles and gadgets coming into the market.
This booming industry has led to many changes within the field of entertainment and research. One of the biggest changes, however, has been in how video games are rated and reviewed. Early on, games were reviewed according to the quality of graphics and the technical aspects of the game. While these elements certainly contribute to the overall enjoyment of a game, researchers now agree that the true test of a game is its ability to spark creativity and thought. In other words, the best games are those that allow players to come up with ideas of their own.
This has led to several recent studies on how the entertainment industry has been affected by this change. One study, for example, traces the evolution of video games over the last thirty years. It reveals that from the early days of Space Invaders all the way up to the present, each video game has included some form of social interaction. The introduction of multiplayer gaming, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), changed that. Today, players log on to play together with their friends, creating an experience that is both very realistic and very social.
Another major development in video games is the development of what we call problem-solving and adventure games. These are games in which the player is required to solve problems to advance the game. Typically, the difficulty of each level increases as you become more skilled. This type of game requires a great deal of thinking ahead and even uses advanced mathematics. This is not a technique that are inherent to any one specific genre, but researchers have found a great deal of success using it in one area after another. For example, mathematical problems may be used in adventure games such as Sim City, puzzles may be used in tower defense games and so forth.
Problem-solving and adventure games seek to create an atmosphere in which the player is required to use critical thinking skills. Generally, this type of game requires the player to solve a problem by using logic, though they may also use a bit of luck. However, the trick is in finding the best solution without relying on chance alone. Many researchers agree that problem-solving is important because it helps to promote a positive attitude in people, since problem-solving requires that players remain open to new possibilities. This means that video games seek to promote a sense of self-worth in players, something that is essential in a growing culture that places a great deal of emphasis on individual achievement.
Finally, researchers note that the current generation of consoles represents the greatest expansion of interactive game technology ever seen. Developers are now able to create highly detailed worlds that feature hundreds of different objects and thousands of different players. New technologies allow for detailed character rendering, providing a unique opportunity to re-create an entire virtual city for players to explore. Newer consoles also have memory capacity that allows for hundreds of players to simultaneously play the game. In fact, researchers estimate that soon all video games will require memory capacity that is greater than the average computers.
Given the tremendous impact that video gaming has had on society, it is surprising that very few people actively discuss the impact that gaming has on people at a cognitive level. Gamers are now capable of creating an entirely new world in which to participate in a highly immersive and active fashion. According to several researchers, these changes may also have important implications for mental health.