10 years ago, what we today call ‘Socially Approved Video Games’ could not even be called a socially approved hobby, and the way to spend a free time and sometimes outdated stereotypes can still be found, however they do not contain any reasonable and clear arguments. The real facts and the results of numerous studies suggest that the statistics of generations with such experience has only increased. For example, the latest data suggests that only 0.3% of gamers may have problems with video game addictions.
Gaming as a Cultural Force
For today it is more relevant to talk about gaming as an all-pervading cultural force that has become part of modern life, is changing the entertainment sphere and is effectively integrated into such areas as education, business and even healthcare. How exactly does this happen, and what are video games today? We talked about this with the CEO and founder of the international game development studio RedPad Games – Vildan Fazylov.
Challenging Old Stereotypes with New Realities
“Gaming has earned its status as an effective and efficient educational tool today. From math and history to complex problem-solving skills and team interactions, gaming helps students learn.”
Gaming has evolved as a way of leisure and has little to no do with a sedentary lifestyle and isolated behavior, which may still concern those who do not have an up-to-date understanding of modern gaming. Nowadays, video games and virtual worlds have completely rethought social interactions. The widespread introduction of social cooperation in gaming communities has democratized this hobby, attracting players of all ages and activities. Gamers unite in communities from all over the world, which creates a cultural diversity and contributes to communication, expanding horizons, improving education and uniting families. To illustrate, according to experts from the ‘RedPedGames’ team, who have extensive experience working with events and with the community, they began to notice that many fathers come and express gratitude with words: ‘thank you that I have common topics for communicating with my son,’ and mothers: ‘thank you that the child is interested in history, language, technique.’
This is not an abstraction – these are real people. In addition, moderate consumption of games allows you to escape from daily stressors, can contribute to relaxation and increase mood.
Gaming’s Impact on Education
Gaming has also earned its status as an effective and great educational tool. Educational simulators are used to teach everything from mathematics and history to the skills of solving complex problems and team interaction. Students, whose learning systems have gamification methods implemented, show more interest in the subject and learn the material better, achievements and leaderboards appear in online diaries.
In the leading countries in terms of the level and innovation of education (Sweden, Belgium, Japan, etc.). gaming is a compulsory subject at school. For example, in April 2022, the first narrow-profile high school opened in Japan with the support of EA Sports, where they teach esports, gaming, and video blogging. At school, students will also get to recieve extracurricular physical education classes, special menu provided by a nutritionist and much more. Modern bloggers and cyber sportsmens are often adherents of healthy lifestyle, they are attentive to the schedule, develop communication skills and pump emotional intelligence. This is a completely different picture when compared to the image they broadcast 10 years ago.
In addition to the above, gaming includes the following advantages as well:
- Creative and critical thinking – most strategy games require a special approach to move to the next level, which improves the student’s thought processes;
- Improving social skills – team games imply structured tactics and interaction of team members, which helps each student to socialize and embrace their skills in a new way;
- Digital literacy – the introduction of games in schools will help students gain technical skills and literacy, which are so necessary in our time.
The Business of Gaming
Gaming has effectively integrated into the business world, creating opportunities for employee training, as well as to increase productivity and engagement. Gamified reward systems, progress tracking and development are being used in various corporate structures way more often. In addition, some companies use games as a powerful marketing tool, drawing the attention of customers through interactive events and immersive campaigns.
Strengthening Team Dynamics with Gaming
Besides this, gaming has gained its popularity as a tool for improving intra-collective relationships. Even though it seemed that after covid-19 it would be remnants of the past, this trend is only gaining momentum because of the distributed teams and the incredible speed of life. Virtual team building becomes a valid reason to spend useful time in the company of colleagues, relax, get to know each other better, unite and build healthier relationships between one another. Companies that implement gaming techniques in their work processes increase labor productivity by 20% and reduce staff turnover.
The Fusion of Gaming into Everyday Life
And ultimately, gaming has become a full-fledged and essential part of our life, even if we don’t click the “play” button a couple of times a day. The world and all modern digital products are somehow striving to unite. Now there are no clear boundaries between the products and services that we use every day: everything merges into a single ecosystem and metaverse. Games are part of them, and therefore it is no longer necessary to talk about social approval of gaming, because we are all involved in this process without being a direct consumer of video games.
A Glimpse into the Future of Gaming
In this article, we have listed the main areas of life that gaming is transforming today. But ‘tomorrow’ games will surprise us more than once, when exams or language learning will become an exciting role-playing game, loan questionnaires will be an inspiring quest, and with elderly relatives at the table we will discuss the results of the tournament on the next fashionable game.