Will gaming change humanity as we know it?

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Modern gaming has been one of the biggest cultural phenomenon to brace humanity in recent years. Forming an identity around itself, it’s grown from being a niche interest for children to one of the most popular pastimes for everyone. It’s a shift in paradigm that nobody could have predicted, and as the technology behind video games pushes forward, it begs the question. Will gaming change humanity as we know it?

Some may scoff at the idea of gaming having any major impact on how we live our lives. Even to this day, there’s this belief that video games are a product only for leisure and fun, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, this facet of media has evolved by a staggering amount, pushing boundaries in many different fields and becoming one of the forefronts of technological advancement.

As things continue moving forward and our world gets more and more connected, gaming has found itself in an interesting position. While for many it remains as a form of escape from the stresses of the real world, the medium itself has become something new and different. Some would even say it’s already begun changing humanity as a whole, and in many ways for the better. So, let’s get into why that is.

Gaming in education

When it comes to the education sector, things tend to remain stiff and unchanging. It allows for greater standardization of subjects and topics but causes the methods we use for educating others to stagnate. In response to this, many game developers saw this as an opportunity to revolutionize how education is presented by using video games as a medium.

Gaming changing humanity as we know it

The resulting effort has birthed many games with a primary focus of engaging young minds to study new, challenging topics through the fun interactivity of a video game. One of the most notable examples of this is Minecraft Education Edition, a game-based learning platform that promotes creativity, collaboration and problem-solving. It effectively manages to introduce children to concepts like chemistry and biology, all in an easy to understand and consume package.

Educators around the world use Minecraft: Education Edition to engage students across subjects and bring abstract concepts to life, to great success. To top things off, it’s a free tool available to all students and educators worldwide, showcasing how gaming’s accessibility is such a boon for it in these types of environments.

Gaming in the professional industry training

It goes even further nonetheless. While gaming for education is something most can wrap their heads around, what many do not know is that gaming also serves as the backbone for training in many different industries. The interactive nature of a video game makes it the perfect basis to build simulators on, and in recent years these simulations have only become more accurate to the real thing.

For example, many flight academies make use of Microsoft Flight Simulator for practice and flight simulations. As a video game that gets released annually with new improvements and updates, it manages to accurately portray the experience of piloting a flight, while staying up-to-date with modern standards and models. It’s an impressive piece of interactive technology that allows pilots to have accessible avenues for practice and training.

Video game models are also being trained for surgeons and other high risk professions, which is a massive benefit. For surgeries, the game simulates the real life circumstances and calculates the possible outcome of any given action through complex code. As a result, surgeons get a better grasp of the patient’s situation, and can perform their work more safely and efficiently.

As it stands, these realistic simulators are only going to improve with time. Soon, they will become commonplace within their industries thanks to how they promote efficacy and save on resources. While they will be described as simulators in these professional fields, they are unmistakably built on top of a gaming backbone, featuring video game engines to even run in the first place.

Worldwide connectivity through gaming

If there’s one thing that gaming has always excelled at, it’s connecting people from different places and walks of life together. In this modern age, many games come with online functionality, and as such this allows for people from all over the world to come together under the umbrella of gaming and socialize.

Games like Valorant and CS:GO push players to socialize with their teams to win, pushing some players to even form teams with teammates from across the world. In a way, video games are a great unifying force, bringing people together across social boundaries over a shared common interest. While this also applies to many other hobbies, what makes it special in gaming is how it is baked into its DNA.

VR gaming is getting traction among player

These days, many games are designed around social interactions, some even built entirely around it. One of the most bizarre gaming phenomenon is the sudden burst of popularity of VRchat. Unlike many other games, VRchat is mostly a virtual reality platform for socializing, where players create avatars and mainly just talk to each other.

While this may seem silly at first glance, VRchat is important to many people. Many communities of bedridden or physically less able people find VRchat to be an escape, allowing them to socialize with others without leaving their homes. The game also provides different rooms and spaces to interact in, some community created. It gives players variety and activities to do, making these experiences indelible to people.

The meteoric rise of Esports

It’s impossible to talk about the impact of gaming in today’s culture without mentioning esports. To put simply, esports are sporting events formed around ardent communities of games. Competitive, skill based games like League of Legends, Tekken and Valorant have massive and dedicated playerbases. With this magnitude of players, some stand above the rest in their skill and talent.

Esports has become the pilar of professional gaming

Esports rewards these players by offering them a platform to showcase their skill, as well as monetary and marketing benefits. In recent years, prizepools for these gaming events have grown exponentially, even dwarfing those of real sporting events in the case of games like DOTA 2. On top of this, it also brings about the rise of personalities within the gaming community, promoting their growth further.

Book Tekken professional gamer
Book professional gamer. PHOTO: Robert Paul – Tempusrob

A good example of this is in Thailand, where professional Tekken player Book has propelled himself to celebrity status through his achievements in gaming. Successfully creating a brand and image, he now features on commercials and advertisements in his home country. Many other players have also found success this way, pushing their platforms through their achievements and contributions. With this, viewership for these events only continues to increase.

Now with the advent of mobile gaming, these events are becoming more accessible. It’s practically guaranteed that we’ll see more people shift towards gaming as grounds for competitive play as events continue to grow.

Gaming as an occupation

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have taken notice of the sudden rise in gaming personalities around the world. People who’s job it is to play games online for the entertainment of others. Some may find it perplexing, but to others, this aspect of gaming is just as important as playing them.

Streamers and video makers often provide different views and experiences when it comes to games. With the world’s growing interest in video games, channels that dedicate themselves to the critique of video games cement their status as art. New games release every day, and with this, many people find it easier and easier to simply talk and play video games online.

Will gaming change humanity as we know it?

For many people, this rise in gaming related occupations acts as a boon. For content makers, as the case with Tiler1, it means that with hard work, they have an outlet for them to push their creative endeavors that’s backed by monetary gain. For game developers, it means there’s now a bigger market for their product, and with that comes greater financial security. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Video games as a force for good in the world

Earlier, we mentioned how video games are often seen as art. While this may be a contentious point for some people, the truth of the matter is that nowadays, games are often created with bigger themes and ideas in mind. Games are now created to send messages and be something larger than itself, a force for good in the world.

Games as a whole are deeply personal experiences, and game developers take advantage of this. Games like Metal Gear Solid are fun, but carry heavy messages against war and violence. On the other hand, some titles like Alpha Centurai tackle deep philosophical and socio-political issues about what makes a society great, and how a human should live.

Going even further, we find That Dragon Cancer, a game that’s all about the experiences and life of living with debilitating illness, spreading awareness while also being a deeply thought provoking experience. These games are a platform, a way to showcase a developer’s vision and ideas. And because of how accessible game development is, anyone with a creative mind can make something that’s worth talking about.

Gaming in conclusion

Overall, gaming is an interesting medium. Not only does it continuously change and shift, but it also inspires change as it does. We ask whether gaming will change humanity as we know it, but in many ways, gaming already has made a big and lasting impact on our society. For many, the impact is deep and personal, while for others it’s a shift in their industry and a huge convenience.

Regardless of where you stand on gaming yourself, it’s impossible to deny that video games are important. Starting out as merely a niche interest, it has evolved into an industry with the power to make changes on so many different fronts. And for once, the world is taking that potential and making the best of it. As it stands, we’re eager to see what the future holds for video games.

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