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Gaming goes mainstream

Graphic by Adan De la Cerda

Story By: Victor Aparicio, Rampage Reporter

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In today’s mainstream society, we look to media as a distraction from the real world, whether for fun, stress relief or pure escapism. We connect to these creative expressions on levels of personality and self-worth.

We easily see movies, music, shows and books as part of our lives. But the comparatively young medium of videogames is always an afterthought category to society.

Video games are stuck on these dynamically changing rules of appropriate status. In one case, video games are an art form while, in other cases, they encourage violence and antisocial behavior. In the next, they are downplayed as a children’s toys.

Regardless of this ever-growing tech generation, the notion of gaming as being something lonely men and children do still occurs in the unacquainted minds expressed on TV and in movies.

These assumptions of mindlessly consuming digital explosions and killings should now be put to rest.

In 2012, the Entertainment Software Association conducted a survey and found that the average age of gamers is 30, 47 percent of all gamers are female and the average buyer of videogames is 35.

People who are against games or don’t understand them don’t realize how quickly and naturally the industry has molded into people’s everyday life.

The ESA survey also showed that the average U.S. household owns at least one dedicated gaming console, PC or smartphone. Forty-nine percent of households that own a dedicated console also own a second console.

That is very impressive and also unsurprising, as any current smart device has gaming applications that are easily accessed and downloaded in seconds. The games are so effortlessly played that many do not consider themselves gaming, but rather more along the lines of “killing time.”

The growth of video games is not limited to just social means. Financially, games are creating jobs and generating million of dollars.

The industry’s annual growth rate exceeded 10 percent from 2005 to 2009. Over the same period, the U.S. economy grew at a rate less than two percent, the ESA data continues.

In the same years, the rate of direct employment from the gaming industry grew 8.6 percent annually.

The financial growth of video games is even becoming comparable with the sales revenue of movies. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” earned $500 million globally within 24 hours of its launch, whilst the highly anticipated movie “Avatar” had a worldwide gross of just $241.6 million after five days.

Still, none of these stats cross the minds of the credulous. Gaming is a monumental staple of society, generating billions and spreading into every device with a screen. Without taking the time to understand why you are against them, you end up looking foolish.

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Gaming goes mainstream