Video games have grown from a small-time scene to a billion-dollar industry with profits that rival television, movies, and music. But like a paranoid youngest child, we always fret about what our siblings think of us, and we question our every move.
Last month’s Bitmob Writing Challenge asked our community members to discuss gaming’s representation in other forms of media as well as the works inspired by the medium that fans create.
Eight responded and approached the prompt from all angles. Read on to see what they think of the world that games built.
A new generation begins: Reflections on The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
By Justin Brenis and Jason Parris
Recently, Washington, D.C.’s hallowed museum played host to an exhibit about the video games and the developers behind them. As we reach an age where everyone has experience with our hobby, Justin and Jason describe how it was like to walk through this display of electronic history.
“This is my identity”: The heart and soul of indie development
By Giancarlo Valdes
Giancarlo reviews “Indie Game: The Movie” a documentary focusing on the developers behind the hits Braid and Super Meat Boy as well as the upcoming Fez. Games are entertainment, but they also express the beliefs of their creators. The film depicts the emotional struggles and personal sacrifices involved in this process.
Embarrassing and dishonest: TV’s portrayal of gaming
By Steven Sukkaku
Television and movies usually depict the act of gaming as either mindless button mashing or completely lifeless. The former is very unrealistic, while the latter is true but only tells half the story. Steven believes producers should include more of the on-screen action instead of making players look like drones.
Misogeny and apologists: The Street Fighter X Tekken competition that brought despicable behavior to light
By Thilina Bandera
Reality shows can bring out the worst in society, and that was the case in Cross Assault, the Capcom-produced web series that promoted Street Fighter X Tekken. The show gained widespread attention after one of the female competitors forfeited her spot after constant harassing remarks and acts from her coach, much of it on camera. As Thilina writes, those who tried to justify the actions only succeeded in showing how far gamers still have to mature.
Are games becoming more than just “games”?
By Joseph Jordan
While some may cringe at the gamer stereotypes that are still prevalent in the mainstream media, Joseph sees gaming’s acceptance by pop culture as a positive trend overall. The stigma of video games and being a nerd in general has decreased, and even major celebrities like Conan O’Brian are into the scene.
A meaningless gaming culture
By Edward Varnell
Dressing up as Link or writing a good Mass Effect fan fiction may get you some props, but could that energy have been better spent creating an original work? Edward takes the controversial position that fan-created works, even when they are executed well, lack meaning aside from showing appreciation for the source material.
Gaming’s cultural future
By Raymond Williams
Futurist Raymond Williams reveals how games will change the world, for better or worse. Sure, our attempts to leave our physical bodies for a virtual wonderland will prove disastrous, but at least Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will finally come out.
When TV gets video games wrong: The Big Bang Theory
By Daniel Machuca
As with a few other community writers, Daniel is disappointed with The Big Bang Theory, the popular CBS sitcom about four nerdy scientists and their girl-next-door neighbor. Daniel’s scorn has less to do with the portrayal of the characters but how the plot of geme-centric episodes defies common sense.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the challenge. Be sure to check out our next prompt coming soon.