Gaming Poised To Infiltrate The "Scene"
Considering the current average age of a gamer in this country is between 30 and 34 years of age (depending on your source), and considering the ever-increasing mainstream appeal, one has to realize: this entertainment industry is poised to make a charge on what is commonly known as the "scene."
The girls in this picture will likely be found at the "scene," which typically consists of locales ranging from nightclubs to open-air concerts, and those who are familiar with the concept will allow a cascade of words and terms to pile into their heads: loud music, nice cars, hot chicks, a lot of alcohol, important people, and a variety of velvet ropes with large individuals that stand before them like immovable oaks. Questions asked include, "what do you do?," "what kind of car do you drive?" and "...buy me a drink?" But with the advent of multimedia features that change video game consoles into uber-capable machines, a music-based genre explosion that has circled the globe, and statistics that continually show that females are becoming more involved in the hobby, something is bound to change. Some will say the "scene" is fickle, but in reality, the only real changes are often small and trivial. This is because the primary goal of the "scene" never changes.
But how this goal is achieved; how people go about having fun in a new era, how large social groups relate to one another, is shifting under our very eyes. How far away are we from following "what car do you drive" with "what system do you own?" Okay, we're not there yet, but when the system asked about holds entertainment value for the majority, the possibility becomes viable. No, the SpikeTV Video Game Awards aren't as big as the Oscars...but give it time. Hollywood has continually lost out in terms of overall profit and revenue to the game industry over the past several years; a shift in popularity continues. So we absolutely can't be too far away from movie producers and film directors standing on nigh-on equal footing with the same professionals from the game industry. I mean, come on: if a guy like David Jaffe or Hideo Kojima isn't swamped with hotties and reporters when they hit the red carpet in the future, something is off. I won't say that gaming is the new rock 'n roll - there are limits - but a change is definitely in the air.
I've done editorials about how game journalists need to earn respect, and how, despite tearing down a few stereotypes and obstacles, gaming still remains on the lower end of the totem pole in the entertainment realm. But I may have drastically underestimated the increased widespread appeal, and further, how video games are rapidly becoming entrenched in our culture. They spend real, actual time talking about Madden on ESPN. We see more and more trailers for games at movie theaters (soon, we may see an equal number of movie and game previews). There are TV ads. Celebrities are admitting to some avid game playing. Hence, the "scene," the same scene that reflects power and money and of which the only aim is to indulge, must, almost by default, make room for video games. It's only a matter of simple logic. :)
5/29/2009 Ben Dutka