Marionettes and Their Digital Puppets

Video gaming has become a multi-billion dollar industry annually. It is estimated that global video game revenue may top 100 billion in 2017. (http://bit.ly/1OJrHDF )

Video games have become a dominant form of entertainment. They have become unbelievably realistic, not only graphically but emotionally. The characters become likeable and as you play through you start to show empathy towards them. This is created through sophisticated dialogue and dramatic situations. In the early days of home consoles the same feelings would be created but there were limits with what a game developer could do. The dialog was different because the player would have to read it. The movements of the characters you controlled were also limited. A person does not get as emotionally attached to hero who swings their sword only one way for a whole game.

In 2016 the console video game is a new experience. You watch your character as the story unfolds. All of the dialogue you once had to read can now be heard and watched. The characters are speaking and moving about the screen as if you’re watching a movie. The character you control now has 10 to 20 different moves you can control on their body. It is as if you are a marionette and you have your own digital puppet.

With such large numbers in world revenue it appears as if the videogame industry may be stable for job growth. Metropolitan State University offers a Writing for Video Games class. This class is part of the game studies minor. Both very cool ideas, when I arrived at Metro State a few months ago I did not expect to hear this was available.

I personally enjoy console gaming for current games. I am not a PC gamer because I cannot get used to the keyboard as my controller. I enjoy a handful of buttons and the joystick to control my hero. I do love the nostalgia of arcade games. I was born in 1982 and I was the perfect age for some great arcade games. Games like Simpsons Arcade, Mortal Kombat 2, and Time Cop provided endless hours of entertainment. Or until your quarters ran out, all of these games were in an arcade too. Not a Dave N Busters where there is 30 different televisions, a bar, and a full food menu. I’m talking about a dark store in a mall only lit by the many different machines. I can still find pinball machines, but the coolest place I have visited was the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. http://www.pinballmuseum.org/

There are multiple different roots to this tree we call the video game industry. I feel it is becoming such powerful form of entertainment because of the interaction and the fans. Now people like myself have been playing videogame consoles for over 20 years. We still like to play them, we like getting pulled into a fantasy world for a period of time. It is time spent without worrying about other people’s opinions. Weather it is an arcade cabinet or a PS4 controller and a 4K television, it can be just you and the fantasy world that has been created, and you are now a part of it.

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