Media in Australia: Video Games

The readings this week discussed the history of gaming, a medium that until recent years has been misunderstood by those who don’t consider themselves gamers. The latter half of the first decade of the twenty-first century saw a dramatic shift in the demographics of people playing video games. In Games and Gaming: An Introduction to New Media, Hjorth believes that three of the most influential trends in this new era of gaming were Nintendo’s Wii console, Apple’s iPhone and games on SNS (Social Networking Sites) such as Facebook. The Wii, which launched in 2006, led to those outside of the stereotyped demographic (young males) to play video games. Wii Sports, bundled with the system, became popular with parents, grandparents and others who had never had any previous desire to play video games (Hjorth, L 2011, pp. 127). Mobile gaming took off when the iPhone launched in 2007 and brought with it the App Store, a digital shop that sells applications for the devices. In The Media & Communications in Australia, Hjorth notes that by the end of 2008, more than half the applications sold on the store were video games (2010, pp. 264).

These “casual” games such as Wii Sports and Angry Birds are doing so well are because of their simplicity. Video game critic Ben “Yahtzee” Crowshaw notes that for a first-time gamer, playing a video game intended for established long time gamers can be “disorienting” (2010). iPhone games in particular usually require simply tapping the screen, which is a lot easier compared to ten buttons on today’s video game controllers.

References

Hjorth, L (2011), Games and Gaming: An Introduction to New Media, Berg Publishers, Oxford.

Hjorth, L. (2010), Chapter 15, The Media & Communications in Australia, 3rd edition, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen & Unwin.

Crowshaw, B 2010, Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Escapist, viewed 29 October 2012, < http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/extra-punctuation/7856-Super-Mario-Galaxy-2.2>.

[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 30 OCTOBER 2012. MAY HAVE BEEN EDITED SLIGHTLY]

This is the final of ten blogs I wrote for my university subject, Media in Australia, in 2012. The links to the other nine can be found here: https://stefanb33.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/media-in-australia-university-blogs/

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