Oh, the joys of blogging! It turns out that my teacher wrote her thesis on storytelling in games. So for her sake (I too know the "joy" of writing a thesis, the mere mention of the Reign of Terror still gives my sleep-deprived shivers), and my own (if I miss a point, it will not immediately be picked up by said teacher) I am calling an audible. As the year 2012 approaches and people insist on applying the Book of Revelations to an ancient Mayan system of keeping track of time, I can't help but reflect on the real revolution taking place as a digital society emerges. Sorry, there will be no conspiracy theories here, even though I know how tempting it is to dream of the apocalypse getting us out of going to work on Monday mornings.
In Douglas S. Robertson's book, "The New Renaissance", the author discusses the concept of the four big revolutions in human history. They are the creation of the spoken word (speech), the written word (writing), the printed word (the printing press), and the digital word (digital computers and the internet). The opportunity to live during such a time period provides both an exhilarating and terrifying experience. As game makers, a firm understanding of the changes brought about by such a revolution in society is crucial in providing the best gameplay experience for the user and creating successful games. We are, after all, in the "business" of making games.
In my own life time, video games have gone from a fringe hobby of nerds and geeks, to a multi-billion dollar industry that has spread to all reaches of modern society. In this blog I will be looking at articles published in the last few weeks dealing with how video games and digital entertainment are changing and shaping our society, which in turn shapes the games being made.
It is noteworthy that the abundance of articles published even during a confined time period is itself an indication of the pervasive social impact of the new media.