Gamaming is the use of computer mediated technologies such as the internet or online gaming. A computer or video game is an interactive computer game that involves interaction with a human user interface (the device, hardware, software, configuration, operating systems) or other user input device including a mouse, keyboard, joystick, optical motion sensor, or sound card. Gamers are engaged in what some call “adrenaline rush” as they spend vast amounts of time in front of their computer to achieve some form of high level of experience.
The term “gamification” was first used by Jozef Blau, who defined it as “the gradual development of digital interaction features in an environment”. It should be noted that this definition excludes aspects of role playing, such as playing computer games with another individual, in which the goal of the player is not to win, but rather to have a real life simulation experience. It also includes elements such as using a webcam or other computer devices to interact with others, as well as “social” elements like building up communities on the Internet and exchanging information with other gamers.
The recent growth and rise in popularity of massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) has increased the awareness and influence of this emerging and relatively new genre of entertainment. MMORPGs offer a unique combination of interacting with another human being through the Internet, while at the same time immersing the gamer into a digital world, full of various computerized tools, items, and other items that are part of the virtual world. This provides the gamer with the ability to develop a character, experience different types of play, communicate with others, build up a community, and much more. MMORPGs can take place within the real world with real people, or they can take place virtually using avatars or video players.
Video game consoles, such as the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and more recently Play Station 3 have also created a new niche market of gamers. Many younger adults (and some adults) have fallen in love with these video games, especially after the successful release of games such as The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid, and other titles that utilize the power of modern game consoles to create a visual and sound experience beyond what could be accomplished on any other type of console. Gamers have been able to interact with others around the world, engage in massive online communities, and immerse themselves in a high-stakes world of virtual competition, adventure, and action. The interactive nature of video games has created a new segment of the market that has created great excitement and profit for those involved in it.
Due to this growing segment of the market, the gaming industry is currently worth an estimated $40 billion dollars. The current value of each new game released on the gaming market represents approximately two percent of the yearly revenues of each of the largest gaming companies in the world. The rapid expansion of the industry, combined with the increasing number of people who are now interested in playing video games, has resulted in the steady increase of new titles being created. As the number of game consoles increases, so will the number of companies providing consumers with these products. In addition, because the gaming industry is not saturated, there is always an increased chance that newer games created by successful companies will gain popularity and become successful in the marketplace.
Gamers are also creating a new breed of social gamers that meet through specific websites and chat rooms dedicated to their hobby. These gamers interact with each other in a safe, secure environment, exchange information about the games that they have purchased, discuss any problems they may be facing, and develop friendships that last a lifetime. Gamers who spend time together online don’t necessarily share the same desires for fame or fortune, but they do share a common interest in an exciting hobby that allows them to develop bonds while having fun. The Internet has changed the way we play video games and the future of gaming may very well continue down this path for many years to come.